Over the past two weeks, there have been several statements that the 3rd-generation Apple iPhone and iPod Touch may feature a low-power 802.11n Wi-Fi radio based on hints suggested in the OS 3.0 beta release. Based on the specifications and the details of the upcoming Bluetooth 3.0 standard, however, we are certainly convinced that the new devices may hold support for this new standard.
According to AppleInsider, the existing Broadcom chip that supplies both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on existing iPhone and iPod models is BCM4325, and the OS 3.0 beta suggests an upgrade path to BCM4329. The newer chip adds support for 802.11n features, the ability to find and join 5GHz networks and process technologies to reduce active and idle power consumption and extend battery life.
Now it has recently been revealed that the ultra-fast data transfer speeds of Bluetooth 3.0 will be achieved through sending Bluetooth protocols, profiles, security and pairings through an additional 802.11n Wi-Fi radio present alongside the generic Bluetooth radio. In other words, The Bluetooth radio will still be used for device discovery, initial connection and profile configuration, however when lots of data needs to be sent, an alternate high-speed 802.11n radio present in the given device will be used to transport the data.
This two-for-one design in the seems to verify the need for an 802.11n radio in order for any device to be Bluetooth 3.0 capable. If the upcoming iPhone and iPod models will in fact carry the new Broadcom BCM4329 chip, then it seems as if all fingers point towards the possibility of these devices being capable of sporting the new blazing fast wireless standard. This is particularly good news for Apple's new Peer-To-Peer connectivity through Bluetooth feature that it has announced for OS 3.0, and seems to validate the "no pairing required" statement that it has given.
All in all, we will keep our eyes open for any confirmations that result from this observation.