iPhone 5 Rumor Roundup: Hardware, Release Date, Carriers

Whenever a new iPhone gets rumored, it immediately shoots up to the top of wish lists around the world. And Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5, or iPhone 4S, is no different. This is a highly anticipated device, but unlike most other phones, consumers only have bits and pieces of rumored information about it. In comparison, another popular phone,  the Android-powered Motorola Droid Bionic, has leaked out in every way imaginable.

Update: The new iPhone 5 Roundup for 2012 is live with details abotu teh next iPhone.

The same can’t be said for Apple’s unicorn. There are a ton of rumors but it still manages to stay in the shadows. That being said, we want to condense all of the confusing, contradictory, wrong, possible, and good, rumors out there about the iPhone 5  in an attempt to feed you as much information as we can about Apple’s next iPhone before you are challenged to make a decision on whether or not you want to buy it.

iPhone 4

Ultimately, that decision is going to take an official announcement, but there’s no harm in preparing yourself for it.

Hardware

Let’s start from the beginning. All the way back in January, we started hearing some crazy stuff about the iPhone 5. That it might have a slide-out keyboard or that it might not have a home button. I think it’s pretty safe to say that neither of those are going to be happening.

Shortly afterwards, we had the original batch of  fairly credible Phone 5 rumors seep out with claims that the iPhone 5 would feature a 4-inch display, a dual-core A5 processor (same chip as the iPad 2), an upgraded camera – possibly 8MP, a metal chassis, a near-field communication (NFC) chip, and a new antenna. And maybe, just maybe, 4G LTE support.

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These were followed by reports that the iPhone 5 would only be a minor upgrade over the iPhone 4 in the same regard that the iPhone 3GS was from the iPhone 3G. Then, we heard that it might featured curved glass display akin to the Samsung Nexus S.

Come June, we heard straight from Verizon’s mouth that its iPhone 5 would be a global device, capable of operating in countries around the world. And then, actually on that very day, we got a look at what ThisIsMyNext claimed might be a mock-up similar to what Apple might release as the iPhone 5. It featured a larger home button as well as a edge-to-edge screen.

Possible iPhone 5 Mockup

One take on the iPhone 5

Since then, we’ve seen a ton of great mock-ups and the possibility that one version of the iPhone 5 will be a dual-mode device capable of working on both CDMA and GSM networks and we’ve heard that it will likely be thinner and lighter than the iPhone 4. But we really haven’t seen many other details come up to the surface besides pictures of possible parts. We’ve seen a ton of those. So, what does this all add up to?

Right now, no one really has clue to what exactly Apple will be releasing, but let’s make a few educated predictions.

Likely Will Have

  • Thinner, Lighter Design
  • Faster Processor: Possibly Dual-Core A5
  • White/Black Design

Might Have

  • Larger Screen: Possibly Edge-to-Edge, Curved Glass
  • Support for HSPA+ Networks
  • Better Camera
  • Different Backing

Won’t Have

  •  4G LTE
  • Exact Same Design as iPhone 4

Every iPhone to date has had something original and it’s had something new to lure folks in. The iPhone 5 will be no different and quite frankly, a new and improved iPhone 4 isn’t such a bad thing at all.

Release Date

Update: We expect an iPhone 5 announcement on October 4th, where Apple will give us a firm iPhone 5 release date.

At the beginning of the year, if you imagined the iPhone 5 launching at any other event other than WWDC 2011, go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back. The first rumor of an October release came all the way back in March from a Japanese blog that claimed that the next iPhone would not launch until October. Then, a report from Reuters about a September release.

Then, even more cries of September from various publications and that seemed to be June’s death knell.

Still, all the way up until the event actually happened, there were people who believed that the iPhone 5 would launch in June as it had in the past. Apple promised software and iCloud and they delivered with software and iCloud.

No iPhone 5 unfortunately.

July then saw the rumors of a fall release pick up with reports that Apple had approached suppliers with iPhone 5 orders in the millions. We also saw a job posting in the United Kingdom asking for temporary positions at Apple retail stores for mid-August to October.

Iphone 5 release date

The iPhone 5 is Expected Soon.

Since then, we now have two schools of recent though. A late September release for the iPhone 5 or an early October entrance. Both seem to have steam and here’s a look at the details of both.

  • September: The September launch date is the latest intelligence we have and it comes from Reuters who is a known Apple mouthpiece. Their report claims that the iPhone 5 will launch alongside a cheaper iPhone model, which is actually an 8GB iPhone 4, and will do so at the end of September. No specific date given.
  • October: The October school of thought comes from the folks at TiPB, AllThingsD and 9to5Mac who claim that the iPhone 5 will launch in October. We also have some specific dates. September 30th is rumored to be the starting date for iPhone 5 pre-orders with the phone launching on October 7th. A Canadian carrier has also listed the iPhone 5’s launch date as October 1st.

So, we expect the iPhone 5 launch to take place somewhere in the vicinity of the end of September, beginning of October. If you’ve been waiting to see the iPhone 5 before you pick up a new phone, you probably want to circle those weeks in your mental calendar and pull up a chair for the inevitable flurry of rumors that will begin when the Motorola Droid Bionic launches.

Apple loves taking the wind out of the competitions sails.

Carriers

Before the iPhone 4, the iPhone only called one carrier home. AT&T. Then, in February, the dreams of millions were realized when the iPhone finally broke free of Ma Bell’s chains and headed to one of her competitors:  Big Red, Verizon. This year’s release is shaping up to be a whole lot different. There are rumors swirling around that this next iPhone might hit more than just AT&T and Verizon but some of the other bigger U.S. carriers as well.

Let’s break down each carrier then, shall we?

AT&T: There has never been any doubt that the iPhone 5 would come to AT&T’s network. Instead, the debate is in what form it would arrive. Lulzsec, a group affiliated with the group Anonymous, leaked some documents that seemed to reveal Apple’s plans for a LTE iPhone. Unfortunately, those plans were from January of 2011 and I have a very good feeling Apple’s plans have changed.

We’ve seen zero credible evidence – oh heck – just read my reasons why it won’t have LTE.

It’ll be coming to AT&T and hopefully, at the very least, it has 4G HSPA+ capabilities.

Sprint: There were rumors swirling around about a release on Sprint all the way back in May but the idea didn’t really gain any traction until the Wall Street Journal reported that Sprint would indeed be carrying the iPhone 5 this year.

Unfortunately, that’s all we have to go on until Apple decides to announce this thing but if you’ve been hoping for a Sprint iPhone 5, there is a good chance your hopes and dreams will be realized in just a few short weeks.

T-Mobile: T-Mobile was included with Sprint in the original rumor and shortly after the report claiming that the iPhone 5 would be released on Sprint, we heard another report that stated that T-Mobile would see the device land in October. The source isn’t as credible as the Wall Street Journal, but it would be surprising if the iPhone landed on every carrier but T-Mobile.

If it doesn’t show up on T-Mobile, I think we’ll safely be able to blame the uncertainty surrounding the AT&T merger as the cause.

Verizon: Like AT&T, there has never been any doubt that the next iPhone would be heading to Verizon. In fact, Big Red has not only confirmed that it would be getting the next iPhone alongside AT&T but it also has said that it expects the next iPhone to launch this fall.

I like that candidness.

Again, there is speculation that it might have 4G LTE on board but again, trust me, there won’t be.

Pricing

We haven’t seen any thing leak in regards to the pricing of the iPhone 5 but I think it’s pretty safe to bet that it will cost the usual $199 on a new two year contract for a 16GB model and $299 for a new 32GB iPhone 5.

There have been rumors of a 64GB iPhone model so if that actually comes to fruition, expect the pricing of that to be, you guessed it, $399.

Besides the iPhone 5, remember, there is likely going to be a cheaper iPhone 4 8GB model that Apple hopes will compete with all of the cheap Android handsets that have flooded the market.

Software

iOS 5At WWDC 2011, Apple announced that it would be releasing its next version of mobile software, iOS 5, at some point this fall. That is, of course, the same season that the iPhone 5 is likely going to be released. I’ve talked about how important it is for Apple to launch new hardware with the new software so it’s ridiculous to think that the new iPhone will launch with anything less than the latest and greatest software.

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The iPhone 5 will launch with iOS 5, folks. Plain and simple. I’ve yet to see anything say otherwise.

Comments

  1. baz says

    another rejuvenated article saying the iphone will likely have a camera upgrade, be smaller, and faster. no sh*t sherlock…

    the irony in this article is unbelievable

    • Bill says

      Are you out of your mind? Maybe you should take a look at this. http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9201098/3G_vs._4G_Real_world_speed_tests?pageNumber=2

      • cedric182 says

        yeah, but it kills battery, my videos are usually loaded in 4 seconds, why is faster than that needed?

  2. Patrick Debevec says

    all you guys commenting on this thread dont know **** i work on atnt and verizon 4g lte cell sites by that i mean building them so using you know what lte involves and how it works then i would just stfu when your trying to act smart when you talk about lte when you really dont know ****

    • Trezz09 says

      So why don’t you just stop wasting time cursing and explain how it works and what they said wrong in the first place smart guy?

       -Exec Assistant with Telecom firm.

  3. Prototypedealer says

    Well I have 2 free upgrades on my account so I’ll be buying the new iPhone in Oct since my 3Gs is now annoyingly slow and when the far superior one comes out next spring will upgrade again. I can’t lose. Apple…don’t fail me!

  4. Bmike916 says

    the phone wont have 4glte but it will have 4g the lte version is faster than the 4g that everyone else has

  5. mr. lowa lowa says

    i dont care what the iphone 5 will be like but i’ll have it the very first week just for the hell of it ;)

    • Mikeboucher21 says

      This is what gives phone ppl a bad name. Just mindless buying. Don’t know anything about phones. Ur just an example of their marketing

  6. mr. lowa lowa says

    i dont care what the iphone 5 will be like but i’ll have it the very first week just for the hell of it ;)

  7. Ajay says

    I have the iphone 4 with the beta version of IOS5 and it is an incredible software upgrade apple really out did themselves with this one it makes all of the Andriod phones software look like crap

  8. Ducieduce1 says

    Sorry apple no 4g no money from me I’m going to sprint and going to get me a 4g 3D phone

  9. Ducieduce1 says

    I phone 5 is just another 3GS that’s all I already have the 3GS and don’t get me wrong love it but I want the best on the market and with no 4g or 4glte I’m good it’s just another I phone 4 where’s the 3d where’s the 4g. Apple just lost a customer cuz I get my upgrade too so deff not upgrading nor staying with at&t and there high ass bills I can vet a better phone with a cheaper bill. Just cuz you have an I phone does not make you surperior to others. They just lost Steve jobs the master mind and now they can’t keep up with the compition. Hahah metro pcs has 4glte and they suppose to be the worse. I’m sorry apple and AT&T I’m going sum where else

    • MrFouSix says

      4g or LTE is not yet perfected it uses a lot of battery so it dies real fast, and 3d its no deal breaker its cool but there isnt much content yet unless you just have to have this two things i would not recommend purchasing a phone just for these things man, i had the 3G i took a pass on the 3GS and got the iPhone4 and love it. Just look for a phone that does what you need

  10. 0|||||0 says

    WTF are some of you doing on your phone which will require 4g? What most of you need is a phone with top shelf spelling and grammar check software.

  11. Anonymous says

    I predict a big meh out of current Android high-end smartphone users. I don’t think they could go to an iphone the way it is now. It would be a big step backwards. Way too little blingage and eye-candy.

  12. TechnoJim says

    If ATT or Verizon actually delivered the full 3G speed that the 3G standard is capable of in all their metropolitan areas, then users would be very happy with that.  The problem is that the networks are way overloaded and they haven’t built up capacity fast enough.  Deployment of 4G, be it HSPA+ (which isn’t really a 4G protocol), or LTE (which is), won’t noticeably improve download speeds or upload speeds until the carriers upgrade their backbone networks very significantly.  It will be many years, perhaps 5 to 7 years, before the benefits of 4G will actually be realized by the average user.  Even if the iPhone 5 supported LTE, theres only a couple places in a couple cities in the whole USA where you could get a LTE signal on ATT.  By the time ATT significantly deploys 4G LTE, it will be 2014 to 2015 minimum, and you’ll be on an iphone 7 or 8 or 9 by then.  So for iPhone 5, HSPA+ support is plenty for ATT.  For Verizon, LTE support would be nice to have sooner, maybe when iPhone 6 comes out, but on iPhone 5 it would just be a checkbox and you won’t see any real improvement.

    • Garyi says

      Good one, I just chuckle to my self when people buy a 4G phone in our area and talk about how much faster 4G is over 3G.  We are not even close to a 4G service area (closest one is St Louis about 120 miles away).

    • Wongway says

      Speaking for Verizon only, you’re wrong. Ive had a 4g midi card for about 5 months and I get LTE connectivity in most larger cities. In that time, I’ve probably been in 20+ places, from Chicago to Pensacola and have had 4G coverage in all but San Juan, PR. I’m sure it would be different in more rural areas. When I do have LTE coverage I prefer it over hotel wifi’s because it has always been faster, with average download speed of about 12mps.
      I agree that battery life is atrocious. I get about 2 hours use out of a full charge. I used to get 6-8 from the previous 3G card.

    • Wongway says

      Speaking for Verizon only, you’re wrong. Ive had a 4g midi card for about 5 months and I get LTE connectivity in most larger cities. In that time, I’ve probably been in 20+ places, from Chicago to Pensacola and have had 4G coverage in all but San Juan, PR. I’m sure it would be different in more rural areas. When I do have LTE coverage I prefer it over hotel wifi’s because it has always been faster, with average download speed of about 12mps.
      I agree that battery life is atrocious. I get about 2 hours use out of a full charge. I used to get 6-8 from the previous 3G card.

  13. Gbeamish91 says

    I find it hard to believe apple is not going to release this as 4g. Due to competition they almost have no choice but to do so. Besides a phone this powerful would get casted out by the bionic if it is infact 3g.

  14. Anonymous says

    Well… the good news about it coming out in late Sept/Oct now is that I have more time to save. This round of iPhone seems like it’s been the fuzziest in terms of release date and specs, but maybe that’s just because I’m so desperate to upgrade from my clunky 3GS. Can’t wait!

  15. AmirThePrynce says

    This is what I love about apple they capture everyone’s attention and deliver sensation pieces of hardware…. And btw I own a Evo so I’m not a Apple fan boy, I’m just stating facts

  16. Sergio Rico13 says

    all i gotta say is that apple devices are extremely durable and awesome pieces of hardware. They last forever and someone will always be interested in buying your device in case u want to upgrade…theyre just that great… apple products are awesome!

  17. Sdavissm says

    I have trouble believing anything on a site that has an advertisement for a $23.74 iPad prominently displayed.

  18. teamBLACKBERRY says

    majority of iphone users dont even use their devices tothe max capacity n just think its so superior… Im over it.. its some type of complex that has developed and marketing strategies are geared more toward connecting with that complex than if the person needs the phone or not… sheep

  19. Anonymous says

    I was so excited when i saw the commercial that the iphone 5 would be released on Sep 5th. I saw this commercial earlier this summer on TV. When i called Apple just to confirmed, they said since Apple did not released that date, it wasn’t true. Here i am, Sep 15 looking at my phone and seriously thinking about switching to a differnt phone. Apple ‘cmon, let’s set a release date already so i can have something to hold on to. I’ve been eligible for an upgrade a long long long time ago. I am getting tired of waiting.

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