Could Apple's next iPhone sport double the storage of the company's current models? That's the latest rumor, or at least the latest revival of such talk.
Citing the same anonymous source of alleged model numbers for new iPhones and iPods that entered Apple's retail inventory system earlier this week, 9to5mac says Apple's iPhone refresh will bring three models at differing storage capacities. That's as opposed to Apple's current lineup, which has a 16GB model and a 32GB model.
The outlet suggests that the third model will feature 64GB of storage, matching the storage options made available on the iPad since the first-generation model.
There have been a few signs of Apple testing out higher capacity iPhone models that subsequently never made it to market. For instance, in March, China-focused technology blog M.I.C. Gadget said it had secured an "engineered prototype" of the iPhone 4 with 64GB of storage on board. The outlet posted photos of the device and said its production information suggested it was produced in the beginning of 2010, ahead of when the iPhone 4 was announced.
Adding to that was what appeared to be an early development version of the white iPhone 4, sporting 64GB of storage and what looked like a prerelease version of iOS 4. That device popped up on Vietnamese site Tinhte this past April; that's the same outlet that got ahold of the iPhone 4 ahead of its official announcement.
One thing that remains clear is that Apple can fit 64GB of storage in that amount of space, as it's done on its iPod Touch models since the third-generation model in 2009. The interesting thing now is the extent to which local storage plays a part in the iPhone's future. With iCloud likely launching alongside the next iPhone, Apple is helping users get away with less storage, storing files and application information on its servers, and letting users delete then redownload songs and videos when space is needed. It's far from a "cloud-based iPhone" where there's no storage at all, but it's the building block for such a possibility.
All that said, more storage is certainly an attractive feature to some folks, especially those who like to keep a lot of media on their device, as well as install large applications.
Apple holds its "Let's talk iPhone" event next Tuesday, where the company is expected to take the wraps off its next iPhone.