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Tuesday, January 12, 2010, 07:25 am PT (10:25 am ET)

Apple's next-gen, dual-core iPhone could debut in April - report

Officials at KT, the exclusive provider of the iPhone in South Korea, have allegedly said Apple could debut a new iPhone with an OLED screen, video chat and a removable battery as soon as April.

The Korea Times claimed Tuesday that sources at KT said the new phone would have an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screen, would feature video chat functionality, and a removable battery is "highly likely." The report also said the new iPhone would include dual-core processors, more powerful graphics capabilities, and a superior camera.

Talks over initial sales have reportedly been under way at KT, which plans to sell the fourth-generation device to corporate clients in April as a "litmus test." Local distributors would allegedly receive the new device in June, which would represent the typical timeframe for an iPhone launch.

The Times quoted a "high ranking KT executive" as saying that Apple and the wireless provider have reached "a broad consensus to introduce the advanced models as early as possible."

If true, multi-core support for the new iPhone would likely come in the form of the new Cortex-A9 processor design from ARM. The new processors are capable of breaking the 2GHz barrier.

Last week, AppleInsider reported that Apple has moved to purchase significant quantities of LED camera flash components. These could be used to improve both picture and quality in low-light situations.

Last year, rumors said Apple was testing RFID swipe support in new iPhone prototypes. Radio-Frequency Identification is a technology that allows a device to sense embedded chips in nearby objects without making direct contact or without visible light. It could allow users to use their phone as a credit card to swipe payments, or to swipe and obtain information from a kiosk.

Recent reports have suggested Apple has supplied a new iPhone 4.0 beta SDK. It is said the developers kit includes a "simulator" that aims to make it easy to adapt applications to different screen resolutions.

A new version of the iPhone could arrive in 2010 to support CDMA networks like Verizon in the U.S. Rumors over the last few months have said Apple has struck a deal to purchase chips from Qualcomm to support CDMA/EVDO carriers. However, there have also been allegations of disagreements between Apple and Verizon over potential handset pricing.

The iPhone debuted in South Korea at the end of November with a successful launch. Apple sold 60,000 iPhones in the handset's debut, representing 15 percent of the 400,000 total smartphones sold in the country in the third quarter of 2009.