Tomorrow, Apple is expected to announce their new line of iPhones at a media event in Cupertino. New CEO Tim Cook will likely take the stage to introduce Apple's newest smartphone(s). Rumor has it that the company could unveil two devices, the iPhone 5 and a lower-cost version of the iPhone 4 called the iPhone 4S.
Though tech journalists and bloggers have been pretty responsible in restraining themselves from mindless speculation (cough), there are a whole bunch of rumors out there about what to expect from Apple's next-generation smartphones. We've been following the rumors all summer and into the fall; here's our collection of everything we might reasonably expect out of the Apple media event on Tuesday.
The iPhone 5
Apple might not break out this bad boy tomorrow and may opt, instead, to introduce only a low-cost iPhone 4S. Let's assume they will, however, and tell you everything we know about it.
The iPhone 5 COULD have:
-A teardrop design, rather than the more squarish one of the iPhone 4. Imagine the curves of the MacBook Air scaled down to the Apple phone.
-Apple's dual-core A5 processor, which currently powers the iPad 2. This chip would give the iPhone considerably higher-processing power than the iPhone 4 (which is built around--you guessed it--the A4), improving its suitability for graphics-intensive smartphone gaming, among other things. For a nice breakdown of the current leaders in smartphone processors, check out this helpful survey done by AnandTech.
-An 8 megapixel camera rear-facing camera, up from 5 megapixels on the iPhone 4. Several other smartphone cameras have been bumped up to 8 megapixels, and a few even have 12 megapixels.
-A slightly larger screen, somewhere in the neighborhood of four inches. By contrast, the iPhone 4 features a display measuring 3.5 inches.
-Thinner body. A lot of the cases popping up have indicated a slimmed-down iPhone 5.
-A redesigned home button. At least two supposed design leaks showed an elongated oval for the home button. The iPhone 4's sports a circular button.
-The ability to operate on the GSM and CDMA networks, making it more suitable for international travelers.
-Expanded voice command integration. Stevie Wonder loves the current iPhone, and if the big report from 9to5mac is true, he's going to love the next one even more. Apple is expected to include extended voice command integration into its new phones; expected features include ability to dictate text messages, ask for directions and schedule events on the calendar.
-iOS 5, Apple's latest version of its mobile software, which is supposed to roll out this fall.
-The option for a prepaid contract. Rather than paying a monthly service contract from mobile carriers, customers might be able to "pay-as-they-go" for minutes.
-NFC capability for smartphone payments, tied into the credit card information stored on iTunes.
-A 64GB option. This would give it twice the storage of the most spacious iPhone 4 offering.
The iPhone 4S
The iPhone 4S is rumored to be an Apple smartphone for budget shoppers and is said to be quite similar to the current iPhone 4 in appearance.
The iPhone 4S COULD have:
-A $99 price tag. If Apple really is going after budget smartphone shoppers, this might go a long way toward enticing them.
-An 8GB hard drive. Less storage space = lower cost.
-The 8 megapixel camera.
-The A5 processor.
- iOS 5.
-An identical form factor to the iPhone 4, but with cheaper parts on the inside.
-Glass front and back.
-An option to get it in white.
The long-awaited update to Apple's mobile operating system should be announced at the media event as well.
Apple's iOS 5 COULD have:
-A 'Find My Friends' service. If iPhone users agree to let Apple track their locations, friends with iPhones would be able to see where they are on a map, similar to the way they can on Googles Latitude.
-Increased Voice Command capabilities. 9to5mac has the full report, but highlights include the ability to dictate text messages, file calendar entries, ask for and receive directions and integration with computation search engine Wolfram Alpha, which would allow iPhone owners to ask their phone factual and mathematical questions. Check out Wolfram Alpha's online search engine to get an idea of what kind of computing it can do.
-Wireless mirroring. Right now, you can buy adapters that will send whatever is on your iPad or iPhone screen to your television or monitor without a cable, but "wireless mirroring," as it is called, is currently unavailable on Apple's gadgets. Expect this to change with iOS 5. Apple showed this off in July, so it's definitely coming.
VARIOUS OTHER STUFF
There are also whispers of:
-A Facebook app for iPad. This has been rumored for so, so long, but there is at least the possibility that Apple and Facebook could finally play nice and put out a Facebook app designed for the Apple tablet.
-New MacBooks and iMacs. Macotakara reported that Apple is gearing up to release a whole new line of MacBooks in time for Christmas; AppleInsider agrees and adds that Apple might also refresh its iMacs. It is unlikely that they would announce them simultaneously with their new iPhones, but it is a possibility.
-The death of the iPod Classic. Evidence is pointing to the discontinuation of both the iPod Classic (and its iconic track wheel) and the iPod Shuffle.
-A 3G capable iPod Touch. This one doesn't have much steam behind it, but AppleNApps reported on September 7 that a 3G iPod Touch was coming out "this month," or whenever the Apple media event was. Now we'll find it how good their source was.
-An appearance by Steve Jobs. "One more thing..."
-An 8GB iPod 4. Rather than roll out the iPhone 4S with an 8GB option, Apple might choose to just offer an 8GB iPhone 4 for $99.
Phew! We're going to start finding out which of these are true and which are phony bologna on Tuesday afternoon. The Apple media event is scheduled for 1 P.M. EST/10AM PST, and HuffPost will be covering the whole thing for your edification and your pleasure.
For a look at some of last week's hottest Apple rumors, take a look at the slideshow (below).
Gizmodo, in an effort to make Apple hate them even more, has apparently gotten their hands on the new iPhone 4s. The iPhone 4s, of course, is the lower-end, cheaper of the two iPhones rumored to be released this month, aimed at budget shoppers looking for an inexpensive iPhone handset. There is an Apple event in Cupertino on Tuesday, October 4, so we'll know soon enough whether these are legit; but if the pictures are accurate (head over to Gizmodo to see them all), it looks like the iPhone 4s will largely retain the look and build of the iPhone 4, though with perhaps cheaper materials constituting its buildup. A writer from Gizmodo Brazil was apparently able to obtain access into a Brazilian Foxconn factory manufacturing some of the new iPhones and snap a few photos of this iPhone 4s prototype in its casing, but otherwise, information is scant. Now, this iPhone 4s wasn't apparently up to snuff for whatever reason, and the smartphone was tossed into the "NOT APPROVED" stack. For a look at an iPhone 5 that will also not be in production, we turn to Germany, where one hobbyist took Apple nerd-dom to a whole new level...
When you follow Apple rumors closely and on a daily basis, you see people do a lot of crazy, desperate things as they wait for Apple to release its new iPhone. But this has to rank pretty high up there on the Mohs Scale of Weirdness. A German tech site called Benm.at took several mockups of what they believed the iPhone 5 (the higher-end next-generation iPhone with the improved processor, etc.) would look like and built an actual prototype handset of it. The picture above, with the tapered, teardrop design, is how they imagine, based on all the evidence, the iPhone 5 will come out. After building a 3D model, Benm.at constructed this prototype, which you can hold in your hand and pretend to play Angry Birds with. (Click over to Benm.at for a full slideshow of their device from several different angles.) Again, the "Let's Talk iPhone" Apple event is on October 4, so we'll know soon enough how close Benm.at came to getting it right. So, do both the iPhone 4s and the iPhone 5 exist, or are we hearing a bunch of clueless garbage rumors? Well, if a new screenshot from the Radio Shack inventory system has anything to say about it...
A Radio Shack employee sent the following picture of a RadShack retail store inventory system to HuffPost Tech sister site Engadget, which, if real, confirms the existence of the high-end iPhone 5, compatible with AT&T, Verizon and Sprint networks. Both 16GB and 32GB storage options will also be available from each carrier, according to the inventory list (seen above). Everyone start camping in front of Radio Shack RIGHT NOW! Radio Shack isn't the only corporate giant with leaked screenshots showing an iPhone 5. For our next installment of "HEY LOOK, THIS COMPANY ALSO SUPPOSEDLY OUTED A NEW IPHONE," let us jet over to the Midwest...
While there won't be any baseball excitement in Cincinnati this October, the iPhone excitement has already begun: Cincinnati Bell, the dominant local carrier in beautiful Cincinnati, Ohio, briefly had an iPhone 5, with 32GB of memory, on sale for $639.99 on its website earlier this week. The listing was quickly removed and is no longer viewable, but HuffPost sister site TUAW nabbed a screenshot just in time (viewable above). Noteworthy tidbits from the listing: 1) The 4G speeds, as Cincinnati Bell is on the HSPA+ network. 2) The pay-as-you-go option, which would be a new model for iPhones. 3) The much-rumored 8 megapixel camera. 4) A 4-inch screen, also much-rumored. Another TUAW reader sent in a screenshot from the Cincinnati Bell website for an iPhone 4s, available for $99.99 and packing a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera, the Apple A5 processor and a more modest 3.5-inch screen. So, Cincinnati Bell and Radio Shack have both leaked some info about the upcoming iPhones. And do you know who else has? Apple.
Those code-diggers at 9to5Mac are at it again, and they've found evidence of an iPhone 4s for the CDMA network within the latest beta release of iTunes. The screenshot above (yup, that's it) has a reference to a CDMA "iPhone 4s," so either Apple is just screwing with everyone, planting fake Easter eggs in its code, or the thing really exists. If you love interpreting context-less screenshots (and who doesn't), read on at 9to5Mac for a bit more analysis. The iPhone 4s and the iPhone 5 appear destined for the world. But really, what's an iPhone 4s and an iPhone 5 without some new duds? Some sweet, totally hypothetical phone cases have started to show up, giving us some hints at the possible design of the next-generation iPhone(s)...
There were two rumors this week concerning iPhone 5 cases, their existence and what they might tell us about the newest Apple iPhone. Gather 'round the campfire for some good old-fashioned smartphone case rumormongering stories. First, MacRumors had a reader send them in some photos of an apparent iPhone 5 case that arrived to an AT&T retail store at an undisclosed location. Nothing revelatory about the actual case design (and I agree with the MacRumors reader who commented "Ugliest packaging in history?"), though MacRumors does point out that this probably means that there will indeed be two iPhones released this autumn, and not just the iPhone 4s. Perhaps so, MacRumors--perhaps so. Meanwhile, Boy Genius Report, a tech site at the forefront of next-gen iPhone rumor-talk, was sent an photo of an AT&T computer screen that shows a veritable BEVY of iPhone 5 cases that are on their way to retail stores across America. These cases were produced by Case-Mate, co-stars of last week's Apple Rumors roundup, who accidentally had their iPhone 5 cases available for pre-sale last week. Oh, Case-Mate, you just can't stay out of the news, can you? Now that we've talked the design of the iPhone 5, let's talk timing. Do you live in America, the UK, France, Germany or Japan? Based on this site's readership, that's a definite "probably." If so, click forward for a totally unsubstantiated rumor about when the iPhone 5 will be releasing in those places...
Macotakara, which is either a delicious taco restaurant or a Japanese-language website covering Apple, is reporting (in Japanese) that they've heard the iPhone 5 release date is October 14 for America, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Japan. From my Google Translated version of this webpage: It seems, like the launch of the iPhone 4, United States, France, Germany, Japan, on October 14 in five countries in the UK (Friday) so that rumors and not to be released. Last time, June 24 (Friday) released last week, June 15 (Tuesday) I had been a booking, and this would be like? TAKE IT TO THE BANK! Speaking of important dates in Apple history, you probably know by now that new CEO Tim Cook and Apple are holding a "Let's Talk iPhone" event on October 4 in Cupertino. But guess who else has an event scheduled for the exact same time? Hint: Everyone wishes that the iPhone ran a product of theirs called Flash...
Now, I know what you're thinking: Sure, this means that Apple is going to announce that the iPhone 5 will finally run Flash. Uh, doesn't look like it. The Adobe presser is being sponsored by (ready for this?) Research In Motion, HP, Motorola, Samsung and Sony, among others, and the theme of the talk is, according to Apple Insider, "product solutions for web browsers and apps." With that sponsor lineup, and that topic, something's telling me Adobe's not getting ready to announce a product launch on a rival's device. Sorry, everyone who wanted to watch pornography on their iPhone 5. It really is too bad that Apple has decided against Flash, because it limits the options for media playing on their devices. But guess what, you guys? Media-playing on Apple devices just might get a whole bunch cooler, if the reports futuristic CURVED GLASS iPads and iPhones are true...
A brief report from Taiwan's DigiTimes newspaper says that Apple is preparing a whole bunch of curved glass devices for 2012, and that we should expect curved glass smartphones and tablets from other manufacturers next year, too. If the world doesn't end in 2012, that is. But that's a given. In May there were rumors that the iPhone 5 would have a curved screen, though that chatter has died down since then. The top-of-the-line Google Nexus S smartphone has curved glass already, and while that phone has proven popular with Android users, iOS lovers have not yet gotten to swipe or snap on a curved glass machine yet. Next year just might be the year for curved glass. In the meantime, we're about to see at least one brand new iPhone release, which should keep us pretty preoccupied, until next week.