Apple's Next iPhone: The Rumour Roundup

There's been so much rumour-hawking and speculation these past few weeks that there's no denying we're in the middle of iPhone season, and now that invites have gone out for the 12 September event, excitement is starting to reach fever-pitch. Here's a rundown of everything we think we know about Apple's next iPhone.

Appearance

We think we have a pretty good idea of what the new iPhone will look like; we've been seeing leaked parts for months now. That has recently escalated into fully assembled versions, and possibly even a whole phone smuggled out of a manufacturing plant.

The new iPhone will reportedly come in both black and white, and it's said to have a unibody design, with a two-tone back.

Case manufacturers have reportedly been circulating a mock-up of the device so that they can hurry their new gear into production. One of these precious prototypes was spotted at IFA 2012.

Screen

The new iPhone will probably have a 4-inch screen with 16:9 aspect ratio. We've heard this again and again, and iMore's report from earlier this week suggests Apple's locked into this configuration.

On a technical level, the iPhone is probably going to use Sharp's IGZO display technology. IGZO screens are thinner because they use smaller transistors, allowing more light to pass through. That means they use fewer LEDs, take up less space and consume less power.

If the iPhone 5 does have the IGZO screens from Sharp, it might be a good idea to pre-order your device, simply because Sharp actually halted production on the displays recently, which may cause a shortfall in orders later down the line.

On the other hand, LG may be the display manufacturer based on recent reports. If that's the case, expect the next iPhone to be mind-blowingly thin. Like look at the metal band and remove the plastic on either side type-thin.

iOS 6

We all know that the next iPhone will come with iOS 6. We've also learnt a lot about Apple's next mobile OS since it was announced at WWDC in June. It will feature Apple's own mapping system, as well as new features like Passbook.

Traditionally, we get an early look at the new iOS during WWDC before getting the full dose when the new iPhone comes out. This year, if reports are to be believed, we'll also be getting an iPad Mini at the same time, so there could be some differences across devices. But either way we'll definitely be getting the final versions of all the new features.

SIM Card

Reports indicate that the new iPhone is going to go smaller again when it comes to the SIM card. The iPhone 4 brought about the addition of the MicroSIM, and after an industry power-struggle, it looks like the new iPhone will come with what's being dubbed a Nano SIM, which is sure to make changing handsets on the go more annoying.

Peripherals

All signs point to the new iPhone having a smaller dock connector. Like the move to MagSafe 2 adaptors, the new 19-pin dock connector is a necessity. And it has been for at least two years, since the iPod Touch reached new levels of skinny.

And if you're really upset about all of your previous-generation peripherals, we're expecting some kind of converter, like with the MagSafe. It might even be compatible with microUSB, but that's getting overly optimistic.

We're also starting to get trickles of the first accessories to support the new dock connector, too. One Australian inventor even went as far as to solve the problem of the changing dock connector even before the iPhone 5 has been released.

Network

It would be hugely surprising if the new iPhone doesn't have 4G LTE. Not only because of the necessity of keeping up with Android and Windows Phone, but because Apple has been reportedly installing LTE equipment in its stores since last year.

Battery life is also a factor. The IGZO screen's low power consumption and the extra space in the body afforded by the thinner screen would allow the iPhone a big, long-lasting battery. That's important.

Until now, one of the main reasons Apple hasn't pulled the trigger on LTE is that the hyperspeed connections would have drained the iPhone's battery too quickly. Apple has always prized battery life in its devices, and there was no way it was going to ship an LTE iPhone that couldn't last a whole day on one charge.

Australia now has a second 1800MHz 4G network thanks to Optus (previously all you could get was Telstra 4G), but there's still no reason to think that the Apple will support 4G in Australia following the new iPad debacle that saw the company fined $2.25 million for advertising incompatible 4G technology.

NFC

There have been some rumours about the new iPhone having NFC, but at this point they seem like a bit of a long shot. Passbook in iOS 6 seems like a natural fit for NFC.

But no one's really drooling over NFC right now — not like they are for LTE speeds. Apple probably has the muscle to push its own NFC venture through the carriers, unlike Google Wallet. While it makes perfect sense to pair a mobile payment system like Passbook with NFC, if the demand isn't there, there's not much reason to stick its nose in the fire. Even Apple's WWDC announcement of Passbook made it seem like we'd be without NFC for a while.

Release Date

We now know that Apple will be holding an event — presumably for the iPhone 5 — on September 12. That's consistent with the iMore report that pegs the announce date as the 12th and the release date as the 21st.

As far as the iPad Mini goes, reports are now pushing it back to October, but we may still see some allusions to it at this event next week.

We'll be live blogging all the announcements for you, so stay tuned.

Name

It's easier to call it the "iPhone 5", but that doesn't work because it will be Apple's sixth handset. It's more likely that Apple will ditch the numerical naming convention like it did this year with the iPad. Your next iPhone will just be the iPhone.

On the other hand, the event invite for 12 September sees the number 12 cast a shadow of the number 5. Of course this could all just be an elaborate tease.

Maybe

Of course, the speculation could be wrong. As we saw from the cache of iPhone prototypes last week, Apple works on multiple designs at once. So, as unlikely as it may seem, the final design that gets released could be totally different to what we've been seeing.

All we know for sure is that we're going to have some new Apple gear drop into our laps on 12 September.

Original top image and additional render by Martin Hajek


Comments

    How will backward compatibility work with the new aspect ratio?

      I'd Assume scaling or black bars until devs update them to full res

      There will be a black bar at the top of the phone and the image you see will be exactly the same as you did on the iPhone 4/S. Over time, apps will be updated to use the entire screen. It's pretty clever really.

        It will be like most people with 4:3 desktop backdrops on a 16:9. Everyone will be just short and fat!

      auto scaling is already a built in feature of all app store apps. think about what happens when you open up an app while in the middle of a call or when you are tethering. the little blue (or green) bar forces the app to squish down and take up less room.

    Well I'll wait until it comes out to decided if I go to SGS3 or go the "new iPhone".

      Having changed from Iphone 4 to SSG3 already, the SSG3 makes the iphone look like a toy.

      Thank you Samsung/Google for not treating us like babies and allowing us to setup our phones the way we want them, not the way you think we should have them.

      I was sold the first time I plugged it in and dumped some anime on there and low and behold the default media player just played them!!! On an iOS device I would have had to endure hours of tedious re-encoding.

        Greg I must disagree, I recently had to make this decision, the iPhone felt solid and had a smooth and responsive touch screen. The samsung felt like too much like cheap plastic, and the screen was not as crisp and responsive as the iPhone.
        Although I must admit Anime videos did not play a roll in my decision.

          Jellybean feels just as crisp and responsive as the iPhone. As for the 'cheap plastic', there's a whole raft of Android phones out there if you don't like plastic.

            Get the HTC One X. I made the switch. You won't need an iPhone ever.

              +1 best decision I ever made. Had an iphone 3GS and 4 and use apple computers, however the HTC One X is one of the best pieces of technology I've ever used. Thankyou HTC

            You do realize "cheap plastic" is a far superior material right? It’s light, durable and can survive a drop without shattering. Personally I am far more interested in having a light, tuff phone than I am having one that looks good from the back in stock photos. But Apple befor logic right?

              You want tuff fones - thats fine, really. But Id rather have one that feels nice and looks nice because its always on my hand and im carrying it around all the friggin time.

              It's not superior to touch or to look at. That's like saying you'd rather not have a Ferrari because what if you crash it :)

          A knife hewn from a single billet of aluminium!

          So you went with style over substance, is that what you're saying? I couldn't care less what the outside the damned things feels like, especially when in the case of an iPhone 4/4S it means it will shatter if you drop it, no matter how it lands. i.e. I don't buy a phone to look pretty, I buy it to work the way I want it to work. Utility always comes first, style second (but a close second).

            Breaking News: Guy obsessed with Microsoft doesn't value style :P

        Or just get a free media player app for your ios device and play whatever format you want..

          It's still a hassle because it still needs to sync via iTunes and you need to go through the App Window itself. The ease of which I can transfer AVI files in my GNex and iPad are incomparable. Plus you don't need an additional app to play non-MP4 video.

        The plastic phone makes the metal one look like a toy? :P

        Thankyou Apple for ignoring the people who enjoy and understand using computers and technology and not listening to them like everyone has been doing for decades. Don't ever listen to people who know how to use a file system to 'dump some anime on their device without re-encoding it', leave that to samsung and google!

          Yes because if you are to rough with the iphone it breaks just like a toy.

          Sorry mate but the only people who use iphones are the technologically inept.

            lol. I know a guy working for IBM, a specialise in mainframe security who travels the world working on multi-million-dollar contracts. Why does he use it? Because it's user friendly, it "just works". And he's a linux nerd to boot.

            Sorry mate, but you are in no way superior to the 'technologically inept'. Imagine what the guys who build their own Caterhams think of people like you that just buy their cars, the 'mechanically inept'.

        or just use one of a hundred different media player apps on the iphone and you can do the same thing.

        You do realise that the media format restrictions imposed on the iPhone by default, is due to the iPhone having HARDWARE DECODING capabilities for those formats, therefore reducing battery life by a massive margin. To think the iPhone/iPad isnt capable of playing other formats is stupid. The default app is restricted purely for power consumption reasons. Want to play other formats? Install a 3rd party app.

          The performance that i get by converting the random non MP4 files to MP4 are quite astounding. I could actually play 1080P 12GB MP4 files (formerly MKV iirc) without any stutter. Even the scrubbing function works marvellously well.... a bit better than my PC running i5 16gb RAM and 6950 :(

      You should think of the iPhone release as a discount to S3 rather than a release of a new iPhone. You will save $400 buying the S3 + get all the better features and overall a much better phone.

    The funniest thing about all this is the dock connector bit. Apple change it finally after 10 years and now people are whining that it won't be compatible with their older devices. Jesus people? It had a 10 year lifespan FFS! Nintendo couldn't even keep the same connector going from the DSi to the DSiXL. The same model. Did we hear legions of whiners? nope.

    Sometimes haters will cling to anything that could be deemed slightly negative.

      But why don't they just just micro USB like everyone else in the world?

        USB doesn't have all the features that the dock connector has such as pins dedicated to analogue audio signals and the like which I'm sure a number of speakers or docks would make use of. There are some benefits to it.

          What makes those extra pins necessary? Nothing, that's what. You can stream anything through USB, even HD video, and convert it somewhere with better DACs than you can fit into a phone. It is an excuse, not a reason. It is simply another way Apple seek to lock you into their ecosystem.

            I am getting so sick of "why not just use usb? It can do all the dock connector does!" comments. It can't. Simple as that. There are reasons for the dock connecter, and it was (is) a very well thought out connector. Maybe you need to read this: http://www.cultofmac.com/178093/the-future-of-apples-dock-connector-feature/ . That will explain why the connector is better than plain usb, and why it is now being shrunk from 30 pins to 19 pins. In short (spoiler alert), they are removing the pins used for Firewire.

      Apple users were quick to forget the bad old days, where every phone seemingly had it's own proprietary power connector and data connector. I've still got a drawer full of these old cables and power bricks.

      The 30-pin connector was and still is a marvel. It can deliver high amounts of power and lossless 24bit audio with ease and it is (was) universal with all Apple phones,tablets and mp3 players. People always bash on Apple, but they didn't get to where they are today by selling the same shit as everyone else.

        Except for the power change at one point which made lots of devices not able to charge the iphone.

          Low powered data ports don't charge. It's unfortunate, but nit every USB port made was designed to output enough to charge.

      You sound like a childish Apple apologist. I understand why Apple's making this transition and I approve, but your attitude of bitching about the bitches is not the logical equivalent of genuine criticism.

      Pretty sure DSi, DSiXL and 3DS all use the same power connector.
      DS used the same power plug as GBA SP.
      DS Lite used it's own plug.

      So I guess your example still stands, just the particulars of which DS models were a bit off. Three different plugs in the space of 5 (?) years for what is effectively the same device.

      If people are upgrading their phone, then they don't need the old charger - and if they're keeping older iDevices that use the same charger then they can put the cable from their old phone aside as a backup - I've got draws full of backup iPod/Phone usb cables and DS power packs, I really don't see it as a great burden on my life.

        its*

        :(

          no they don't actually. We have DSi and DSiXL and they both take different connectors....bafflingly

      "Sometimes haters will cling to anything that could be deemed slightly negative."

      Lol. The people still using iPhone seem to be the ones clinging to anything, otherwise they would have jumped ship by now.

      Blame Apple for keeping the old connector around too long, and not moving to MicroUSB.

      Look at the people who still whinge and whine about how great Windows XP is. It's awful compared to Windows 7, but who's fault is it? Microsoft's for leaving it there too long.

    My ultimate iPhone would look like an iPod touch and have a magsafe power connector or induction charging. This same old 4/4S shape is really disappointing for a major upgrade.

    Theyre almost certainly going to include 4G/LTE capability. The real question is, will they pull the same shit as they did with the iPad and only include the spectrums used in the US, or will they make it 4G in Australia as well?

    "it will be Apple’s sixth handset"
    I was about to say it will be it's seventh but you are correct, as there was no iPhone 2, went from iPhone to iPhone 3G, which was when they added 3G data.

    Long shot but the next one could be iPhone 4G ? :)

    The prediction machine seems to have gone very quiet on microSIM or nanoSIM format in the newiPhone.
    This would be enough to tip me into Android land if it is nano.
    I travel frequently and unless I can trim a miniSIM to nanoSIM size or random roadside vendors in Indonesia carry the nanoSIM, I'm out of the game for a generation if not for ever.
    Do Apple care?
    To borrow a phrase from HHTG "So long and thanks for all the fish".

    But if Apple just calls it "The new iPhone", what are they going to call next year's barely changed model? "The new iPhone S"?

      They could call it the Apple Turbo SIII 4G Liquid Black Incredible Slide Magic Touch Desire Optimus. But I think HTC is already using that name.

        haha but will it be Designed for Humans? o.O

          I find it funny when Samsung say S3 is 'designed for humans'. Wtf else are they gonna design it for??? Sheep...

            It's not designed for humans, it's designed for rich humans. One of the many things that Apple and Samsung devices have in common.

        The name of the device isn't "new iPad". It is just called "iPad", but they state that it is the new one. It's like saying the 3rd gen iPod is actually called "3rd gen iPod" but it's not, it's called "iPod"

    So, anyone else intrigued by Apple going for Sharp over Samsung for the screen? Perhaps Apple are ready to dump Samsung over their stupid little patent spat?

      Speculation. Plus Apple uses a whole bunch of different manufacturers for their screens from Samsung, Sharp and Sony as they have in the past. I'm sure there will be some Samsung-manufactured iPhone 5 screens showing up on iFixit sooner or later.

      Apple and Samsung loathe each other and always have, but it's never stopped them doing business for mutual benefit.

        Samsung is a twelve headed dragon. One head might not be best buddies but the other might be best of friends. Going with different manufacturer also makes sense from a supply standpoint. If one of the factory/manufacturer's facility gets hit by a flood or experiences a strike or what not - ...theyre stuffed.

        Apple is going with LG Display now.

    The Apple F700 looks nice

    Can't say i'm impressed with the iphone5 and i'm especially not impressed with iOS6

    I've had the 3g/3gs/4/4s now android is looking pretty good.

      I too am not impressed by a product I've never seen haha

        I come from using both Apple and Android. For me the iPhone and its lack of functionality for the "geek" wasn't enough. Sure you could jailbreak it and it becomes this amazing device, but why should I have to do that? Android comes with that full fuction out of the box. In a nutshell, each have their pros and cons but the more interesting thing is that now companies like Samsung are coming out with really good devices. Devices that can wipe the competition floor clean and Apple aren't used to this. Let's hope they can step up their game so that the competition, and innovation derived from that competition, can thrive.

          What can you do with an Android device that you can't do with an iPhone? (catch - it has to be something that I WANT to do with my phone).
          I have a 4S and a Samsung Nexus, but I alway find myself using the 4S.
          I'm not asking to stir things up, but as you have used both, I just want to know *what* lack of functionality made you jump?

            Widgets, Reverse tethering, UI elements, system tweaks, etc.

    We can speculate all we want. I'm expecting a feature that no one has predicted. (Of all the rumors up there, not a single one dedicated to the camera)

    I won't be swayed from Android to iOS, but I really do hope there's something awesome that's announced.

      I cant imagine ever saying 'I wont be swayed'. I'd be completely swayed in any direction if the given direction is the best direction :)

    This is probably the least excited i've ever been for a new phone.
    I mean, what does it really give you?
    ok, so 4g is fast, however, it's all reliant on if you can get 4g speeds in your area, with little interferance and if the network isn't bottlenecked somewhere else.. I can't even really get full 3g speeds most of the time.

    So what else? a larger screen? I'm not even sure that's a good thing.
    The screen is already so good in the 4/4s and if my thumb can't reach all the parts of the screen, i almost see it as a negative.

    Faster processor/More RAM? although it's always good to see this, I don't really see that my phone needs to be any faster than it is now.. I mean I can play console-like games on my tiny little screen as it is, what will a faster processor allow?

    NFC? well that would be good *IF* it's included and *IF* there's actually support for it.

    So, really it's IOS6, which I think is the biggest let-down of all.

    More facebook integration (which I personally see as a bad thing, seeing as I don't use fb)
    Siri (it enables only US services, so again, sux for australia. Meh, it's mostly a gimmick anyways)
    Passbook (again, mostly US, and if it doesn't come with NFC, I don't see the big deal)

    The only thing I wanted with IOS6 was a better UI. We are still shown the crappy multi-page icon grid that was around since the first gen. Look at what android has now!

    The only feature i'm actually looking forward to in IOS6 is manual control of camera settings.

    I've had the 3/3s/4/4s and this is the first time i'm thinking about moving to android.

      Just do it and don't look bad. Trust me in this case, it really is greener on the other side.

    TBH I'm just hoping they pull another 4S on these sad people. Introducing the iPhone 4Z. And it has a 3.7inch screen lol. Just like last year, everyone was saying zomg bigger screen blah blah blah....And then they revealed the iPhone 4S. Lulz

      This time they may even take it a step further. Perhaps at the unveiling, they will put boxes on peoples heads, label them "iTelligent caps" then tell people to imagine the best phone ever. As long as users don't take the box off their head, it's real :D

    I have an S3 and am also keen for the manual focus fans exposure ios6. Hopefully that comes with an even better camera too. :)

    If there's no 128GB option or 256gb option, I might have to give it a miss

    Like many out there, due for an upgrade (still hanging onto 3GS).
    Everything depends on what is presented in California next week.
    If it ain't up to scratch, i'm kissing goodbye to 4 years of Apple and marching off to get my 4G SGSIII

    just throwin it in, I sorta cant wait for the new iphone.. Iv been using a HTC incredible S for the past year and pretty much over it, non-responsive keyboard, slaggy (just made it up, but that's how it feels) and then the recent software updates changed all my looks and where everything was.. I'm pretty with it when it comes to tech, but in the end i just want a phone that's.. simple.. not one where oh do you wanna change this do ya wanna change that you can do this with it and this and this... cool.. great.. dont care .. I just wanna reply to a simple txt msg and get on with life..

      ....Then why even bother getting an iPhone 5 if you just wanna send simple txt messages. Just get a cheap ass prepaid phone or I'll even give you my Nokia 3315. And you can't really give your opinion on Android considering your HTC is nearly two years old. The iPhone 5 should be compared with the Galaxy SIII or the Nexus which is smooth as butter. You say you're 'with it' when it comes to technology, but you are way out of date with your phone.

      From a galaxy nexus user running 4.1 Jellybean. No lag whatsoever. Also note that the Galaxy Nexus is a dual-core device, when it gets quadcore like S3, it will be a joke to find any lag on that beast.

    Apple for some reason reminds me of the Simpsons Halloween episode with the guy that sells frogut (frozen Yogurt) I don't know why.

    You get your choose of topping "that's good" The topping contains cyanide benzate "that's bad"

      its froyo

        He says "Froghurt" in the episode no Froyo

    good time too, its time that the people got a real smart phone, from a real innovator, not a pretender company that makes a phone thats way too big, and feels wrong, the pretend stuff that Samsmug puts out is just rubbish when it comes to streamlined use syncing of an iPhone. PLUS I dont like a surfboard in my pocket. (galaxy sufboard iii any one)

      note how nobody agrees with you?

        who cares what any one else thinks!? not me!

          I dont either, only shallow people with no self confidence come on here to post comments , and then look for people to agree with them. I dont care wether people agree with me or not. who bloody cares!?

        I agree with him. I had a big phone in the 1990's. It was annoying. Im quite happy with the screen size of the iPhone 4/4S to be honest. I dont really want a bigger phone. Why on earth would I want a massive thing to lug around? If I want to watch video or something, I can use my iPad, or better yet... a TV.

    I see everyone is ragging on fanboys,the specs and what phone is better. But how much will one of these things cost? $999 or plan only. I normally buy outright. Help

    Iphone had to shift aspect ratio's because there is no way a mini ipad is going to be competitive using the current aspecst ratio, so you start withj your iphone change its aspect ratio, then your next device the ipad mini will follow suit, so your current device offering is compelling to developers and all the earlier adopters will be on all the new devices, so it just makes sense.

    And it also, gives Idevise/Android hybrid people have the best of both worlds, as all media is then 16:9 co-device development gets easier in that aspect as well.

    i think when it's september 11 at the concert steve jobs will announce something different and everyone will be amazed

      12th Sept - I predict Steve will do a TuPac style cameo ....

    I wonder if for the past few months, the apple team go on google in their lunch breaks and laugh at all the rumours of what the new iphone will and won't be. That's what I would do :)

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