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The long-delayed fourth-gen. white iPhone is expected to FINALLY air in the next couple weeks.  (Source: Gear Live)

The next gen. iPhone 5 is rumored to launch in September. It reportedly will be almost identical to the iPhone 4, but will pack a new signal processing chip, a faster processor, and a higher resolution camera. It will reportedly be quickly followed up with the iPhone 6 -- a more major redesign -- in Spring 2012.  (Source: Google Images)

iOS 5 is rumored to bring a new visual preview of multitasking apps.  (Source: tinhte.vn)
Details about iOS 5 also may have leaked

It's only a few months away from one of the biggest annual smart phone events -- the launch of Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) latest and greatest iPhone.  Hopes are riding high and the pressure is on for Apple.  

After delivering a fourth generation handset plagued with problems like shatter-prone screens, antenna woes, and proximity sensor issues suffice it to say that its crucial for Apple to deliver solidly this time around.  And that's not to mention the increased pressure Apple faces from a soaring Android from Google Inc. (GOOG) and a resurgent Windows smart phone effort from Microsoft Corp. (MSFT).

I. iOS 5 Details Air

As is typical, what is rumored to be Apple's game plan for the upcoming release has leaked well in advance of it.  While no Gizmodo lost prototype debacle, there's plenty of juicy details to dig into this time around.

First up is a pair of videos from Vietnamese leaks site Tinhtê.vn.  The site shows off what looks to be the long delayed white iPhone 4 handset, which it claims to be from Apple.  Better yet, the device is sporting what it claims to be a "test build" of iOS 5.

The test build shows a new multitasking menu that shows you visual previews of apps -- similar to the Opera browser's tab preview.  The current version of iOS only has icons of running apps in its multitasking menu.  Like in the current menu you can click on apps to expand them to fill the screen or click and hold ("long click") them to bring up an option to close them.

The new menu also features a search bar up top, that drops the user into what appears a Spotlight search version almost identical to that found in the current iOS build.

In the settings menu, the system information indicates that the device has a capacity of 64 GB.  

Note, it would be possible to jailbreak an existing handset and implement such a preview feature, so there's no guarantees of the authenticity of this set of rumors.

II. Hardware Revealed as Well?

A separate report provides more details about the hardware that the iPhone Gen. 5 is rumored to be packing.  In a research note, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo with Concord Securities breaks down several new features coming in the handset.  

Mr. Kuo was boosted for being one of a handful of analysts to correctly predict that the iPad 2 would stick with the previous generation's screen resolution of 1024x768 pixels.

This time around he predicts that the iPhone will ditch the Infineon Technologies AG's (IFXA) 3G baseband processor found in the previous model, for a new baseband processor from Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM).  The last generation's reception woes were thought to be partially the fault of Apple's antenna design and partially the fault of Infineon's hardware.  This time around Apple clearly wants a clean break when it comes to its antenna design.

He says overall, the phone's hardware modifications will be "slight" and be more of an iterative nature, rather than a redesign.

For example, he expects the camera to be bumped to an 8 megapixel resolution.  And he expects the device to employ a more powerful CPU/GPU successor to the A4, dubbed the A5.  The higher clocked chip will likely be co-designed with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (005390) and Intrinsity, Inc., as with the previous generation.

Apple has scheduled its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) for June 6-10 in San Francisco, Calif.  But don't expect the iPhone 5 to air then, according to Mr. Kuo.

Due to various issues, including the Verizon pickup and part shortages due to the recent Japanese earthquake/tsunami, he expects the iPhone 5 to enter mass production in August and be released in September.  Past years have seen Apple announce the iPhone hardware in June and release it in July.

If this is accurate, it is unlikely that the hardware will announced in June as Apple typically prefers to announce its products right before it is going to release them.  More likely WWDC 2011 will be focused exclusively on iOS 5 and Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.  As the hardware of the iPhone 5 will likely be more of an iterative improvement, Mr. Kuo suggests that iOS 5 will be the "main selling point" of the handset. 

Mr. Kuo expects Apple's shipments will reach a volume of 28 to 32 million units for the year.  
He says that his sources indicate, in a surprising twist, that Apple will air the sixth generation iPhone early in spring 2012, despite the late fall release of the iPhone 5.  He says the company is devoting a great deal of resources to the iPhone 6, which will represent a major hardware redesign geared at keeping the company competitive with Android.

Additionally he predicted that the iPod Touch Gen. 5 may not ship in September alongside the iPhone 5.

In a previous note from last month, he predicted that Apple would begin to ship a white iPhone -- similar to that seen in the Vietnamese leak -- late this month.  The rumor has since been confirmed by numerous reports [1] [2].


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Curious
By amanojaku on 4/19/2011 12:18:06 PM , Rating: 2
The iPhone release cycle has been approximately twelve months, from Original->3G->3GS->4. Now it's approximately six months, from 4->5->6. What gives? Has Apple leveled up and boosted its magic power? Does that mean its iSpells will critically hit for double Android damage? There can't be that much improvement between the three models in so short a time.




RE: Curious
By theapparition on 4/19/2011 12:37:11 PM , Rating: 2
4->5 is going to be well over 6 months, closer to 15 months. 5->6 will probably be less, and that will just keep with the existing June/July schedule. Only thing happening here is iPhone 5 sounds like it is going to be a minor upgrade (which I already guessed at) and it's going to be delayed.

So what's up with Apple sueing Samsung and then using thier Hummingbird design for thier A4? A5 will also use Samsung and Intrinsity designed parts.

And Steve's level 9 Elf Paladin only hits for double damage when the RDF spell is cast.


RE: Curious
By Mitch101 on 4/20/2011 9:08:13 AM , Rating: 2
I think all smartphones are going to be just minor upgrades from here on out there is very little one smartphone does over another. It comes down to form factor and your wireless carrier at this point. Not even sure a higher resolution 3.5" screen will have any wow factor.

I have a Samsung Epic (Android), HTC Arrive (Mobile 7), and a Blackberry Curve 2 (Work).

I dont own an iPhone because it lacks a memory slot and they will NEVER support flash. I think the camera and video is top notch so why no memory slot? The user interface enjoyable but found myself unable to experience half the internet because of the lack of flash. Making it white wont resolve the issue. Its a nice device you just need to know its limitations and flash I feel is permanent one in Apples world.

I dont see a need for more cpu or gpu on any of my phones. All apps written correctly for a mobile device work perfectly fine are fast and enjoyable on any of the devices and should last 2 years.

I dont care about true multitasking I haven't found a reason, want, or need for it. If I want to multitask I will use my PC with multiple monitors. It only drains the battery.

Not going to start a war on # of apps its a moot point now even on Windows Mobile 7. I have found everything I feel I need.

They can get better cameras but without more memory or a memory slot you'll just fill it up quicker.

I personally like my Windows Phone 7 best. Why? Minor things like seeing how many messages since I last checked and the X-Box integration thats only going to get better. Finally because were moving toward Sharepoint 2010 and I can check out documents but would prefer a Windows Tablet for when Im on the move. Thats me it fits the way I work. For goofing around on stuff like you tube maybe the Samsung Epic just because of the 4G.

All could use much longer battery life. My 2 cents.


RE: Curious
By Guspaz on 4/19/2011 12:39:26 PM , Rating: 2
Your timing is off:

iPhone 4 launch (actual): June 2010
iPhone 5 launch (predicted): September 2011
iPhone 6 launch (predicted): June 2012

That makes the gaps between 4 -> 5 to be 15 months, and 5 -> 6 to be 9 months. Not 6 months.


RE: Curious
By ClownPuncher on 4/19/2011 7:56:18 PM , Rating: 2
Perfect gestation period.


RE: Curious
By Roffles on 4/20/2011 2:53:52 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, there is a 3 month "kink" in the standard release cycle due to the Japan crisis and hardware redesign. It doesn't seem to me like they are switching over to a new release cycle.

Did anyone catch the subtle hint, when discussing the move to a Qualcom 3G baseband, that Apple is in fact admitting the current baseband chip is faulty? I always chuckle when people say, "the iphone is good at almost everything except being a phone".


RE: Curious
By Kiffberet on 4/21/2011 9:46:28 AM , Rating: 2
It's only in the US and even then in the sticks, where the reception was ever a problem. In Europe I have never had a problem, even when in the Alps snowbaording!


RE: Curious
By AstroCreep on 4/19/2011 3:16:35 PM , Rating: 2
If I were to guess, I'd venture to say that the shorter time between the release of 5 and 6 is that 6 will have an LTE radio in it versus CDMA and/or GSM (hence the verbiage about being a "significant redesign").
Plus that will be closer to a year-out from the release of the iPhone on Verizon, and AT&T is supposed to start rolling out their LTE towers before the end of this year.

I think Apple's "end-game" is to have one hardware version to supply both carriers with, versus having two separate versions.


RE: Curious
By JW.C on 4/20/2011 6:15:36 AM , Rating: 2
No, its simply that the life of the devices isnt what apple had hoped it would be. People are buying other phones and so apple is reduced to using the buz of a "NEW" phone to generate sales. Thats the simple truth, like it or not


RE: Curious
By Kiffberet on 4/21/2011 10:09:26 AM , Rating: 1
People are buying other phones only because they can't afford an iphone.
Sales aren't declining, in fact, they're increasing. And every phone sold has a nice margin that HTC and Samsung can only dream about, with their generic 'bleh' smart phones.


RE: Curious
By marvdmartian on 4/20/2011 8:17:12 AM , Rating: 1
Steve Jobs needs his faithful (mindless) minions to buy more new toys, so he can afford to finish the construction of his cloned body, which his brain will be transplanted to.......thus ensuring his dominion over the masses for many decades to come.....and that sh*t costs serious money, ya know?? ;)


RE: Curious
By Lazarus Dark on 4/20/2011 8:24:45 AM , Rating: 2
It's just a color change. I don't think six months is too long for a color change :P

This is for the real A-holes who want to say: Not only do I buy terrible phones because they are "hip" (aka, douchy), I can afford to throw them away just to get a new color!!


RE: Curious
By voodoochile123 on 4/21/2011 7:12:57 PM , Rating: 2
Wtf? I don't get all this iPhone hate... I'm with you on not throwing money away on incremental upgrades, but there is absolutely nothing terrible about the iPhone and absolutely nothing douchy about buying one.

I can get any phone I want. I want to watch movies on it, play music, surf the web, and play games. Tell me a better phone than the iPhone 4.


"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer














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