Will the 3G iPhone have Intel's Atom inside?

Is the Apple iPhone about to get 'slightly bigger'?

iPhone owners are are used to having deep pockets - but it turns out they may need longer and wider ones too. That's because the boss of Intel Germany reckons that a future iPhone will have a much bigger display. Oh and it'll also be sporting Intel's ultra-mobile Atom CPU inside it too.

Hannes Schwaderer, managing director of Intel Germany, says that future iPhones will be slightly bigger than we're used to, chiefly because they'll boast bigger 720 x 480 pixel displays than the 480 x 320 version in current iPhones.

Of course the timing of Schwaderer's comments couldn't be more perfect - the 'future' 3G iPhone is surely a matter of weeks away, and his comments have reignited old - no, make that ancient - rumours surrounding the Mac Tablet, Apple's so far non-existent take on Wintel's Tablet PC.

Intel Atom

The presence of an Intel Atom processor would seem to be a shoe-in too. It's been specifically targeted at mobile internet devices or MIDs, with the aim being to usurp the current encumbent ARM, whose processors can currently be found in the iPhone.

At 24mm, the Atom is the smallest processor Intel has ever made, yet it packs in 47 million transistors with clock speeds ranging from 800MHz to 1.88GHz - ideal for a device that needs to play movies, music and surf the web.

Intel's naked ambition to be inside the iPhone has already led to some rather surprising results - for example the MID concept it showed off at the Intel Developer Forum in Shanghai was so iPhone-like Apple's lawyers probably should have sued.

Intel issues denial

Of course, Schwaderer may have just been drinking way too much Apple Kool-Aid. Intel Germany has already denied that he made specific comments about the iPhone, while Apple has taken its highly usual step (sic) of not commenting on rumour or speculation. We'll soon know the truth for sure.

At 10am on Monday 9 June Apple CEO Steve Jobs will walk onto the stage at the World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) and reveal his iPhone plans. And there's certainly enough evidence kicking around to suggest that a 'future iPhone' is definitely on the cards.