Rumours surrounding the iPhone 5’s release date, potential specs and features, and price have fuelled reports that Apple is gearing up to launch its next-gen smartphone around summer time.
The handset, which is rumoured to be named the ‘new iPhone‘, is reportedly under construction – and the rumour mill has been busy speculating about what we can expect to see from the device, if and when it lands.
While none of the below have been confirmed by Apple – the company is notoriously good at keeping secrets – we’ve rounded up all the speculation dished out by sources, experts & fanboys to get some clue on what to expect from the iPhone 5.
Apple iPhone 5: Release Date
Update: Latest iPhone 5 rumours have suggested that the eagerly awaited Apple iPhone 5 release date will be confirmed during a special launch event on August 7th.
Update: Reports from Japan claim that the next generation iPhone 5 smartphone has now entered full production.
Handset blog Know Your Mobile has cited a ‘reliable industry source’ in suggesting that Apple will hold a special keynote speech on August 7 to officially confirm the long awaited iPhone 5 release date, a date that is expected to follow later the same month. It is said that Apple has brought the unveiling of its next-gen handset from the widely rumoured October release in order to quell the rise of the rival Android powered Samsung Galaxy S3.
Previously, respected Japanese Apple blog Macotakara had alleged it had received word from “Asian sources” who claim that Apple will launch the device in September or October 2012 which would fit with last year’s arrival of the iPhone 4S.
“According to Asian reliable source, next iPhone will be released in September or October, and this cycle seems to be kept for years”
If the article proves to be accurate, it would mean the company is returning to the 12-month launch cycles we saw for the first four versions of the beloved device.
Last year’s October iPhone 4S launch was the only time Apple has verged from the summer cycle, making users wait 15 months instead of the usual 12 for a new handset.
While the iPhone 4S was more of an evolutionary upgrade, with a faster processor an improved camera and the addition of the Siri voice control app, the iPhone 5 is likely to bring a more revolutionary approach, perhaps with the addition of a 4G LTE internet and a larger screen size.
Apple iPhone 5: Price
The 16GB iPhone 4S lines up in retailers with a hefty £499 price tag. Prices continue up all the way to £699 for the 64GB edition.
Ahead of the iPhone 4S successor’s announcement, it is believed that the sixth-gen model will simply replace the iPhone 4s in terms of price points and range of models with any 128GB storage option likely to hit the £799 price mark.
Apple iPhone 5: Name
Following the March launch of the new iPad, eports have suggested that Apple is to cease the numbered naming convention of its pocket blowers and move the market leading iPhone range in line with its Mac offerings which see multiple product overhauls occur whilst maintaining the same base name.
According to Apple blog 9to5Mac:
“About two weeks ago we got a tip from a reliable source that Apple was going to call the iPhone 5 the new “iPhone”. That seemed a little nuts at the time but what a difference a Keynote makes. Apple chopped the suffix off of the iPad as part of a branding makeover that will likely expand. Just like iMac is not called iMac 1,2,3 it looks like Apple won’t be doing the numbering on iOS devices (though it never did with the iPod touch).”
Apple iPhone 5: Display
Update: Apple has reportedly begun manufacturing on its rumoured iPhone 5 handsets. Reports suggest Sony has been working on display components for the Californian company’s next-gen smartphone since February – and will ramp up production on the panels at the end of this month.
According to AppleInsider, the consumer electronics manufacturer is working in conjunction with other firms, such as Toshiba Mobile Display and LG Display Co, to roll out enough panels for the heavily rumoured device, expected to launch later this year.
Stone Wu, a senior analyst at IHS Displaybank, said:
“Even for those companies that start mass production in May, they can only reach an average yield of 65 to 70 per cent at present.”
Although there has been no official word on the iPhone 5’s screen size, rumours suggest growing competition and market pressures will see Apple introduce a new plus 4-inch model.
These rumours have been backed up by a selection of industry analysts that have suggested Apple will be forced into the screen size overhaul as competition from rival handsets, such as the Samsung Galaxy S3, intensify.
Patently Apple published details of what it claims to be of a patent registered by Apple. The patent outlines a 3D imaging camera that will reportedly allow users to make use of advanced micro lenses to add visual depth to extra-dimensional snaps.
A post on the site reads:
“Apple has invented a killer 3D imaging camera that will apply to both still photography and video. The new cameras in development will utilize new depth-detection sensors such as LIDAR, RADAR and Laser that will create stereo disparity maps in creating 3D imagery. Additionally, the cameras will use advanced chrominance and luminance Sensors for superior color accuracy.”
We’re not sure what to make of a 3D camera, purely because we’ve played with them before and had mixed opinions.
But then again, this is Apple, so we could possibly see something remarkably new (and improved) than the lacklustre 3D kit found in, say, the Nintendo 3DS (please don’t shoot us!).
Speaking with T3, industry specialist Daniel Ashdown from tech analysis company Juniper Research suggested Apple may opt for a larger screen for the iPhone 5.
“It will be particularly interesting to see what the size of the display will be given that it has not changed thus far since the iPhone was launched with a 3.5-inch screen. Competitors have increased their devices to up to 4.3″. We would be surprised if they [Apple] didn’t break from tradition this time and increase the size of the next model.”
Contrary to these claims, other reports have suggested Apple will retain its 3.5-inch iPhone display for future handsets as a larger screen could disturb the iOS platform’s offering of apps.
Apple iPhone 5: Specs
Update: The key reason for current users to upgrade to an iPhone 5 later this year will be a ‘sleek unibody casing’, according to an industry analyst.
In a note to investors, Brian J. White of Topeka Capital Markets reckons production will begin on a new 4-inch iPhone in June this year, following a recent visit to suppliers in Taiwan and China, AppleInsider reported.
He says the sixth generation iPhone device will boast a look similar to the single sheet aluminium casings featured on recent iterations of the Apple MacBook Pro and MacBook Air lines.
“In our view, this will be the most significant iPhone upgrade with a four-inch screen and a new, sleek look that we believe will require a Unibody case. This new, sleek look will be the most important reason that consumers decide to upgrade.”
Meanwhile, despite the on-going legal battles between the two companies over repeated patent infringements, Samsung looks set to continue its role as a component supplier for Apple’s iDevices.
The Korean firm is reported to be providing the quad-core A6 chips to feature within the iPhone 5.
“Apple has been in talks with Samsung over shipment of its A6 quad-core mobile processor (AP) chips to be used in the next iPhone”
Meanwhile, further reports have suggested Apple is to shave millimeters off the form of its next-generation handset thanks to the introduction of a new streamlined Sony camera sensor.
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