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.
Ultimately, that decision is going to take an official announcement, but there’s no harm in preparing yourself for it.
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.
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.
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
- Larger Screen: Possibly Edge-to-Edge, Curved Glass
- Support for HSPA+ Networks
- Better Camera
- Different Backing
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
At 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.
The iPhone 5 will launch with iOS 5, folks. Plain and simple. I’ve yet to see anything say otherwise.