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David Zax

A View from David Zax

iPhone 5 Rumor Roundup

Digital scuttlebutt about the next iPhone.

  • May 16, 2012

Like any good tech blog, Hello World likes to indulge itself in a bit of rumor mongering now and then. The past few weeks have led to a flurry of speculation about the next-gen iPhone, and who am I to ignore it?

The rumors can be divided into two types: rumors (claiming certain specs for the device) and counter-rumors (claiming that said specs are wrong, or at least not necessarily right).

The rumor mill started whirring in earnest at the beginning of May, when a site called iLounge reported that it had learned that the iPhone 5 (or whatever it may be called), would be longer and thinner than the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. iLounge also reported that their source told them that the rear casing of the phone would be metal, rather than ceramic, and flat, rather than curved. The site also reported that the forthcoming phone would use the next generation of Gorilla Glass, Gorilla Glass 2, which is able to withstand as much force as its predecessor, even if thinner. The site also claimed that the next-gen phone would use a new dock connector. ABC News, among others, thought the rumors credible.

Around the same time, sites began repeating rumors that Apple would use Liquidmetal amorphous metal in the next iPhone. Business Insider swiftly shot down that rumor, saying that while Liquidmetal was an exciting alloy and that Apple would indeed likely use it in a “breakthrough product” someday, that product probably won’t come along for years.

Also in the first days of May, MacRumors and other sites began speculating on what a leaked image of what was supposedly the iPhone 5’s SIM card tray might mean for the phone’s form factor. Added to these rumors were other ones that had accrued over the months–that the iPhone 5 would have a bigger screen (or that it wouldn’t); or that it would have a 16:9 aspect ratio (or that it wouldn’t). Not to mention the one about the A5X chip. Or the one about 4G LTE radio. Or the one–especially rapidly shot down–about the flexible display.

Finally, on Friday, the site iMore posted the counter-rumor to end all counter-rumors (or to end all rumors): it reported that Apple simply hadn’t decided yet on the final iPhone 5 design, so all speculation would have to remain just that–speculation. Yet even in deflating rumors, iMore stoked the fires of speculation a little, venturing that “if the screen size does change, it won’t be by a lot,” that the Home button would remain a fixture, and that October would be the launch month. (Other sources say September.)

My advice to you: don’t believe anything just yet, and try to be patient for Apple’s WWDC conference in mid-June, when much will be elucidated. Still, allow me to venture to pitch you one last rumor–the most credible and exciting one, I think. Wouldn’t it be cool if, as some sources are suggesting, the next iPhone will run iOS 6, complete with the astounding and gorgeous 3-D Apple Maps app that I’ve written about here before

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