It’s been an interesting couple of months for us loyal iDevice enthusiasts. Rumors about the next iPhone are flying about all over the place, from display size to camera pixels, there have been some differing opinions. One thing’s for sure, Apple is doing much better at keeping this one a secret than it did the iPhone 4. Here’s a roundup of all we “know” so far. |
iPhone 5 release date
Normally, this time of year, we’re almost certain that the iPhone will be arriving in the next month. This year no one seems to know. The most popularly held belief is that the iPhone will be launched in September. Reasons for this include the relatively recent launch of the Verizon iPhone, the white iPhone launch around a month back and difficulty in getting parts shipped from Japan. All seem reasonable reasons. With this added to a bunch of evidence, it’s a pretty convincing argument. Sources in China who are familiar with the manufacturing industry are convinced that the iPhone 5 hasn’t even been put in to production yet. One source predicted that the iPhone would arrive on September 13th. This was based on the time normally given between the iOS unveiling and next-gen iPhone launch. iOS 5 is almost definitely going to be previewed in June.
The most popular alternative to the September date is the usual June/July launch. Interestingly, over the past week, there have been more rumors about a June release than any confirming the delay. One analyst, Gene Munster, gave his reasons why the iPhone 5/4S is coming this summer. The reasons included the illogical delay of a device which is more than likely going to be a faster version of the iPhone 4. The biggest reason he gave was in reaction to the expenditure predictions announced by Apple for this coming quarter. Typically Apple spends a huge amount more on staff wages in its Q3 than at any other time, and it’s no different this year. This points to new hardware being launched. If it’s not the iPhone, what is it? Also, yesterday it was revealed that Apple has been chasing up UK journalists to attend WWDC this year. Some say this is a sign that a new device is on its way.
The third and least popular rumor is that we may not see the new device until November. The information came from source atÂ Phones 4U, a UK retailer with about as much credibility as a smiling crocodile. I won’t even be entertaining this one for a second.
iPhone 5 form factor
As usual, there’s a good selection of rumors detailing the dimensions of the iPhone 5. The most widely accepted is that it will look and feel exactly the same as the iPhone 4. This will mean the same flat back and square-ish design. However, some believe it could have a bigger screen, taking up more space on the front without increasing the overall size of the device.
Other rumors have included the “smaller and thinner” leak by Orange’s CEO. (There was a mockup released of this yesterday.) There is also the rumor that Apple is investing in curved glass.Â So we could see the return of the curved back, or a curved display similar to the iPod Nano launched two years ago. One of the earliest rumors was that the iPhone 5 would have an Aluminum back that was tapered like the MacBook Air, or curved like the original iPhone.
The one feature that’s seen a lot of press is the home key. No one is yet decided on whether it’ll be a physical, clickable home key or if it will be capacitive like the one seen on the leaked iPod Touch prototype (above). Some rumors at the beginning of the year stated that Apple is moving away from any kind of home key, in favor of multi-touch gestures.Â
iPhone 5 display – what size?
Again, three different rumors on this one. Firstly, it could remain exactly as it is. The 3.5″ Retina display is perfectly fine, but is starting to look a little miniature compared to its Android rivals. A leak did show the front face of the supposed next iPhone, with what looked like a 3.7″ screen fit in to an iPhone 4. More rumors state that it could be a 4″ Â edge-to-edge display. This would be pretty revolutionary on Apple’s behalf. Toshiba has recently unveiled a 4″ display with a ridiculously high contrast ratio and a pixel density of over 360ppi – enough to be branded a Retina display. The Japanese tech company stated that it will be on one device by the end of the year, but didn’t state who the partner was.
This could well be Steve Jobs’ “one more thing” this year if the iPhone is unveiled at WWDC. The iPhone “4S” that is currently in the hands of developers is compatible with both Sprint and T-mobile. This year could well be the year we see an iPhone on all four major US carriers – finally! Don’t hold your breath though.
This device should be compatible with AT&T’s HSPA network, as well as T-mobile’s HSPA+. On AT&T it could theoretically reach download speeds of up to 14.4Mbps, leading some to believe that “Big Blue” will brand it as a 4G device, and charge extra for the privilege. There won’t be 4G love going down with Verizon though. Apple will not build in a LTE chip, due to “design compromises“. However, it is widely expected that the device will be a “world” phone. This means that Verizon’s iPhone will be no different to AT&T’s, and both will get the phone on launch day.
The camera has been subject to some speculation. Sony and OmniVision are the two companies expected to supply camera sensors to Apple for the iPhone 5. It will probably be 8mp, but there is a possibility that OmniVision’s 12mp sensor with 1080p video recording will make it on to the next handset. Camera parts have been leaked, and it looks as though the LED flash will be swapping sides to help with over-exposure and other flash related woes.
On a smaller scale, there are two other rumors that have interested me. Both of which would make using an iPhone an even better experience. Firstly, there’s the NFC technology that could turn your iPhone in to an e-wallet. (Goodbye credit cards!) Google announced its plans to release the service, and Apple could be next. At the moment the contact-less technology isn’t widely available, but it is a growing industry.
Even more interesting to me is Thunderbolt, the technology developed by Apple and Intel which could see much faster data transfer between your Mac and your iPhone. If the correct write-speed was implemented on your iPhone’s storage, your syncing time could drop from minutes, to mere seconds.
Which of these rumors do you find most ridiculous, or most believable? Let me know in the comments below. (If you want, you can tweet me too – @TiP_Cam.)