Rumors conflict on iPhone 5, when to expect it

Jun 22, 2011
Finance

For the past few months, we’ve been getting intelligence of varying degrees of reliability about what Apple is planning for the next iPhone. Since no iPhone materialized at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, the general consensus has been that the new device is set to arrive this fall, probably in September to coincide […]

For the past few months, we’ve been getting intelligence of varying degrees of reliability about what Apple is planning for the next iPhone. Since no iPhone materialized at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, the general consensus has been that the new device is set to arrive this fall, probably in September to coincide with iOS 5.

But new rumors out yesterday have served to both bolster and weaken that idea, as well as the Internet’s general idea of what we’d be seeing in the next iPhone when it does eventually come to market. One goes so far as to call into question just about everything we’ve heard so far.

That’s a report that hit the Internet from Boy Genius Report, which claims that contrary to earlier information, the next iPhone is going to be a large improvement over its predecessors. So far, most of what we’ve heard about the new iPhone suggests a smaller, more incremental update similar to the change between the iPhone 3G and the 3GS. Some outlets had even referred to it as the iPhone 4S and the 4G.

BGR reports that while Apple is giving something called the iPhone 4S to developers to work with in developing apps for future platforms – which specifically includes the iPad 2’s A5 dual-core processor, and therefore is faster than the current iPhone 4 – the company is planning more for the iPhone 5. BGR claims anonymous sources have told it the new iPhone will have a “radically redesigned case” and a possible announcement and release in August.

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Before this, though, we’d heard that the new iPhone would carry the A5 chip and an amped-up camera, but for the most part it would be a lot like the iPhone 4. That rumor is backed up by a new story from Bloomberg, which also cites anonymous sources.

Notable about the Bloomberg story is that it puts the rear-facing camera in the next iPhone at 8 megapixels – a big step up from the 5-megapixel camera in the iPhone 4, and with a higher resolution than many cameras on the market in mobile devices. Like we’ve been hearing, Bloomberg also states that the iPhone’s release was pushed back to coincide with iOS 5, which makes sense seeing that Apple generally releases iPhones and iOS updates together (in June). We’re getting new iOS software this fall, so it’s understandable that the new phone would follow suit.

Bloombeg also dropped a few interesting rumors about the iPad 3, which it claims will have a screen with a resolution one-third greater than that of the iPad and iPad 2. The touchscreen on the device will also be more responsive, the Bloomberg report says.

As always, Apple rumors are easy to write and hard to prove, but my money’s on Bloomberg’s conception of the next iPhone. More than likely, though, Apple will bridge the two ideas slightly – we’ll get an iPhone 4S/G/5 that’s mostly what we generally expect to see, which is a small step up in quality but mostly a reworked version of the iPhone 4. But the device will likely sport more features and more upgrades than we’ve yet heard, so it won’t be quite what the rumors say. That’s all speculation, of course, but it’s speculation that fits pretty close to the moves we’ve seen Apple take in the past.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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