Apple is right on schedule to release the next generation iPhone in summer of 2010. Unreleased iPhone hardware version 3,1 has been logged by PinchMedia this month in San Francisco. This means the company is already field testing hardware for the next model iPhone.
In the past, Apple has field tested other iPhone models 6-8 months before release. The jump in hardware designation from 2,1 to 3,1 indicates the hardware update from the 3GS to the next model will be significant.
The update is likely to include a faster, more powerful processor amongst other improvements. Speculation has centered around Apple's acquisition of chip manufacturer PA Semi, which could indicate Apple has designed its own system-on-chip hardware.
Developer Pandav, the makers of iBart, saw the iPhone 3,1 hardware entry to in an analytics report from PinchMedia. These reports let developers know where their apps are installed and on what hardware the products are running.Pandav reported the discovery to MacRumors. iBart is an app that helps users navigate the San Francisco area subway system.