iPhone 5S Release Date & Rumor Roundup
The iPhone 5S rumors started late last year and as we roll into 2013, the iPhone 5S rumors are picking up steam and beginning to agree on release date timing, features and what the iPhone 5S will look like.
All of these iPhone 5S rumors help paint a picture of what Apple is planning for the iPhone 5S release and likely right along side it iOS 7, a new version of the iPhone software.
Apple is obviously working on the next iPhone, and based on the company’s past actions and naming schemes it is very likely that the iPhone 5S will arrive this year.
We’ve heard quite a few iPhone 5S rumors so far, mixed in with rumors of an iPhone 6 with a massive 5-inch display and rumors of a cheap iPhone for developing countries. While the iPhone 6 may indeed feature a larger screen it would b surprising to see it launch in 2013. The cheaper iPhone may indeed launch later this year, but it will likely go on sale in emerging markets, not at Verizon and AT&T.
Apple faces a stronger competitor this year with Samsung launching the Galaxy S4 in March. The Galaxy S4 is launching on the success of the Galaxy S3, and could pack enough punch to take on not only the iPhone 5, but also all the new iPhone 5S features.
The first iPhone 5S rumor arrived just days ahead of the iPhone 5 announcement, pointing to an iPhone 5S with a focus on security, and soon after we began hearing rumors of an early 2013 iPhone 5S release date and suggestions that Apple would launch the iPhone 5S and the iPad 5 at the same event.
From big rumors to small rumors and iOS 7 features we hope Apple adds to the iPhone 5S, there is no shortage of iPhone 5S rumors. For shoppers who are waiting to buy the iPhone 5S, rumors offer a glimpse at what might make it to the store shelves later this year.
Here, we are taking a look at what analysts and leaks are saying about the iPhone 5S, as well as what Apple’s own patents and industry insiders hint at for the iPhone 5S.
iPhone 5s Release Date
The iPhone 5S release date remains up in the air, though the early rumors of an iPhone 5S release early in 2013 don’t look good anymore. While Apple has traditionally held an event in the Spring to announce new products, the iPhone is announcement has taken place in summer and fall.
Apple avoids announcing products at major trade shows like CES and Mobile World Congress, preferring to invite the press to events in or near the Cupertino, Calif. headquarters when the company is ready to show off a new product. Occasionally Apple will send invites to an event the day of, or the day before a competitor’s launch. If Apple is planning to hold a Spring event for any product, we could see invites come out on March 14th, when Samsung plans to announce the Galaxy S4, which will likely be the iPhone 5S’ largest rival.
Summer 2013 keeps coming up as the rumored iPhone 5S release date. Apple previously released the iPhone models in June or July at their WWDC events, changing the focus in 2011 to launch the iPhone 4S in October. It is possible that Apple will switch back to a summer iPhone 5S release, especially with KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who is known for his opinions on Apple releases and products, on board with a Summer iPhone 5S release.
If Apple does plan to release the iPhone 5S in the summer we can expect to start seeing iOS 7 betas for developers, which will allow them to integrate new features. In the last two years Apple announced a new version of iOS in the summer with a fall launch. Apple could keep iOS 7 a secret until the event or it could use a Spring event to show off iOS 7 and potential new iOS 7 features. There are too many moving parts to be definitive about Apple’s IOS 7 plans, even based on past actions.
One thing is certain, Apple’s iPhone 5S announcement will include the iPhone 5S release date and carrier announcements, something competitors like HTC still struggle to do.
iPhone 5S Display
The iPhone 5S will almost certainly keep the same 4-inch display size as the iPhone 5, and will likely use the same 1136 x 640 resolution.
While this is smaller in size and resolution than competitors who are offering up nearly 5-inch displays with 1080P full HD screens, Tim Cook stated that Apple is happy with their screen size choice during an earnings call earlier this year.
The iPhone 5 offers as you know a new 4-inch Retina display, which is the most advanced display in the industry and no one comes close to matching the level of quality as the Retina display. It also provides a larger screen size for iPhone customers without sacrificing the one headed ease-of-use that our customers love. So, we put a lot of thinking into screen size and believe we’ve picked the right one.
Even if Apple keeps the same size 4-inch display the company could choose to use a new Sharp IGZO display for the iPhone 5S. The video below shows the a phone using a Sharp IGZO display panel at CES 2013.
In the video below Sharp explains the advantages of an IGZO display. The biggest benefits are a better touch experience and better battery life.
iPhone 5S Design & Features
Apple will likely release an iPhone 5S that looks very much like the iPhone 5. Not only is this how Apple has handled past ‘S’ model phone launches, but analysts are already claiming Apple plans to keep the design much the same.
Earlier this month Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty stated that the iPhone 5S design will not likely change from the iPhone 5. Huberty bases these claims on lower Apple equipment costs.
A leaked photo allegedly shows the back of the iPhone 5S. The photo below from eTradeSupply and MacRumors shows the iPhone 5 back next to an alleged iPhone 5S back. There are a few key differences, such as the placement of the logic board screws.
We’ve previously heard of iPhone 5S color options like the iPod touch line, but rumor is less likely than those proclaiming the same iPhone 5 design.
The iPhone 5S wil likely use a Broadcom 43342 combo chip in the iPhone 5S, according to Evercore Partners analyst Patrick Wang. This chip is a expected to be ready for production in in mid-2013 with a spike in demand in Q3, when the iPhone 5S may launch. The Broadcom chip does not include NFC, like some other recent Broadcom chips, which could mean Apple is once again leaving the feature off.
One of the most likely rumors is that Apple may include a fingerprint reader as part of the iPhone 5S. We’ve heard from numerous analysts and sources that Apple is planning to put a fingerprint reader in the iPhone 5S based on technology from the company’s AuthenTec purchase. Additionally, Apple patents tell us the ‘S’ in iPhone 5S is for security.
iPhone 5S Camera
We expect Apple will include a better camera in the iPhone 5S. Apple has improved the iPhone camera on each release and iLounge claims Apple is planning a better camera.
Specifically the iPhone 5S may feature the same 13MP sensor as the Sony Xperia Z and the sensor rumored for the Samsung Galaxy S4.
This would deliver better looking photos and HDR video, like that shown in the video clip below.
There are no iPhone 5S sample photos yet, but this gallery of Sony Xperia Z photos may show what the iPhone 5S camera can do. There is certainly more to a camera than the sensor, but it plays a large part in the overall quality.
iPhone 5S Specs
The iPhone 5S specs rumors are few and far between, though odds are Apple is planning a faster processor. A fake photos showed an Apple A7 processor on what was claimed as an iPhone 5S logic board, but aside from that there is not much to go on. Apple routinely upgrades the processor in each new phone, so we could see the Apple A6X like on the iPad 4 or a new Apple A7 processor, only time will tell.
The iPhone 5S may not feature NFC, but it could be powered by a new Qualcomm 4G LTE radio chip that would make it easier to use the iPhone 5S across a variety of networks.
Additional rumors point to a 128GB storage option, which is more likely now that Apple offers a 128GB iPad 4.
iPhone 5S Software – iOS 7
The iPhone 5S will most likely launch with IOS 7, the next version of Apple’s iPhone software. There are very few leaks about what we can expect from iOS 7. But, there is a good chance that Apple will announce iOS 7 in the next three to four months so that developers have time to work on new features and prepare their apps.
There are several iOS 7 concepts that show how Apple could improve the iPhone 5S with better Do Not Disturb, a new lock screen and more. The video below shows Auxo, a jailbreak app switcher that we hope Apple implements in iOS 7.
We expect to know more about iOS 7 in the coming months. The only thing we know for certain is that iOS 7 will offer a new challenge to the evad3rs iOS jailbreak team.
iPhone 5S Carriers
The iPhone 5S will likely launch on Verizon, AT&T and Sprint, just like the iPhone 5. We do expect one new major U.S. carrier to join, as the T-Mobile iPhone is confirmed. While there are no official statements about which iPhone T-Mobiel will carry, we expect that Apple is saving the announcement for the new iPhone 5S.
We could see the iPhone 5S also land on a number of smaller carriers in the U.S. and pre-paid carriers like Straight Talk after a short delay. There is still no Virgin Mobile iPhone 5 in the U.S., so it’s not clear if the iPhone 5S will hit the major pre-paid carrier.
On top of the expected U.S. carriers Apple will likely launch the iPhone 5S on a host of new global carriers at or shortly after release.
iPhone 5S Price
Even with talk of a cheaper iPhone we don’t expect a big shakeup in the price of the iPhone 5S. Apple will likely sell the iPhone 5S for $199 on contract with 16GB of storage and charge $100 more for each jump in storage. The only major change could be the inclusion of an iPhone 5S that retails for $499 on contract with 128GB of storage.
Off contract iPhone 5 pricing, which may be what T-Mobile customers pay, will likely start at $649 and range up to $849.
The iPhone 5 will most likely drop to $99 with a two year contract and the iPhone 4S could drop to free on contract.