Okay, time to get a little technical. When it comes to how well a smartphone runs graphics-intensive applications and games the graphics processor (or GPU) is what really matters. Ever since Anandtech (the same folks who held the 3GS speed test) did their in-depth analysis of the 3GS hardware we've thought that the new iPhone held a lower-end SGX 520 GPU.
The 520 would make the 3GS substantially less powerful than the Palm Pre, which sports a 530 model. Apple fans can breath easily, though. AppleInsider just reported that Anandtech is changing its tune on just what sort of hardware the the 3GS has under the hood. Apparently one of their commenters heard an Apple engineer from WWDC mention that the 3GS packs the much beefier SGX 535, and not the 520.
The difference between the two models is substantial. The 520 delivers 7 MPolys/s, while the 535 puts out 28 Mpolys/s. That means that the iPhone's GPU is about four times as powerful as we expected, and about twice as powerful as the Palm Pre's 530. This is good news for Apple fans, who have a much more powerful gaming gadget in their hands than we'd previously known.