Apple's next iPhone: The pre-reveal roundup

However you feel about Apple or its iPhone products, there's no doubt that the release of the next iPhone is perhaps the most anticipated launch of any electronic consumer product in 2011. Rumors have been flying for months about what Apple will reveal on Tuesday when it holds its press event at its campus in Cupertino, California. Officially Apple has only said that the event will be about the iPhone product line but aside from that it has never revealed anything else officially about what the next version of its smartphone will be like.

Today we will go over all of the speculation about the launch of the next iPhone. We try to figure out which ones are likely to be true and which of them are just wishful thinking. The biggest thing about Apple is that, even in this 24/7 Internet news world of leaks and unnamed sources, it could still come up with some surprises.

Why is the next iPhone announcement coming so late in the year?

While Apple has never commented on this officially, most technology analysts believe that March's massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan caused delays to some of the parts suppliers for the iPhone in that country. Apple has announced and/or launched previous versions of the iPhone in the June/July time frame. The introduction of the next iPhone on Tuesday would be at least three months later than normal. It's believed that the next iPhone will begin shipments to customers and stores sometime later this month after Tuesday's announcement.

What will be inside the next iPhone?

Most speculation on the Internet believes that Apple will put in the A5 processor in the next version of the iPhone. That's the same dual core chip that's in Apple's current iPad 2 tablet. If true it should give the next iPhone a big boost in performance. There are also rumors that the next iPhone could have a larger four inch touch screen compared to the current 3.5 inch display on the iPhone 4. Other rumors claim that the next iPhone could have a redesigned case that would make it thinner than the current iPhone 4. It's also expected to have an eight megapixel camera.

There have been rumors that the next iPhone will support the faster LTE wireless network, which Verizon has and which AT&T is starting to launch. However, most analysts believe that an LTE iPhone won't be released until sometime in 2012.

What's this we have heard about two new iPhones?

There have been persistent rumors that in addition to the next generation version of the smartphone (usually called the iPhone 5 in the press), Apple will also announce a cheaper version of the smartphone, the iPhone 4S, at its press conference on Tuesday. All of the previous versions of the iPhone have been priced on the high end of smartphones, although that hasn't stopped them from being sold by the tens of millions worldwide. The idea is that Apple might offer a cheaper version of the iPhone in order to expand its market share to developing countries or to people who can't afford to spend at least $200 on a phone.

One new rumor that was published on Sunday at Mashable claims via unnamed sources that Apple will only announce the cheaper iPhone 4S at Tuesday's press conference. If that turns out to be true it could be a massive disappointment to Apple fans who have been expecting a big hardware upgrade for the next iPhone.

Will there be a new version of Apple's iOS operating system for the new iPhone?

This is one area which Apple has indeed confirmed. iOS 5 has been in beta testing for Apple's third party developers for months and is expected to be pre-loaded onto the next iPhone when it is launched and will also be available as a software update for previous versions of the iPhone and iPad. The biggest new feature is the iCloud, which will allow users to store music, photos, data and more on Apple's cloud servers. Users will be able to stream and play their music library from the iCloud without the need to actually download a music track.

Other new features in iOS 5 will include being able to update the OS wireless with no need to hook it up to a PC or Mac. It's also suppose to have deeper Twitter integration, a new notification center to keep track of all new emails, texts and more in one space and more. There are even rumors that it will have native voice recognition software.

Will the iPhone come in a variety of colors and storage space versions?

If we get a truly next generation version of the iPhone on Tuesday it will likely come in 16 GB and 32 GB versions. There are rumors of a 64 GB iPhone but that has yet to be confirmed. If there is a cheaper version of the iPhone announced on Tuesday we think it will come with just 8 GB of storage. As far as colors, there are also rumors that the next iPhone will come in both black or white.

Will Sprint start selling the iPhone with the next version?

All signs point to "Yes" on this. While neither Apple nor Sprint have officially commented on this tidbit, there is evidence that Sprint workers are being told not to take any days off between now and October 15 due to a big phone launch, and you can't get any bigger than the next iPhone. Sprint will likely join both Verizon and AT&T in selling its version of the phone in the US. It also looks like Sprint users will be able to use its unlimited data plan with the next iPhone, something that Verizon and AT&T no longer have for new customers.

What else might Apple reveal at Tuesday's press event?

In addition to the iPhone news, Apple might also announce its annual refresh of its once mighty iPod media player line. However, the iPod has suffered in sales since the launch of the first iPhone in 2007. Some rumors believe that Apple will only launch new versions of the iPod Touch and the iPod Nano at Tuesday's press event. The iPod Classic and the iPod Shuffle are rumored to be on the retirement block.

The event could also see Apple make some joint announcements with Facebook, including a long awaited iPad-native version of the Facebook app and possibly an HTML5-based app marketplace that goes under the code name "Project Spartan."

Will Steve Jobs appear at the iPhone press event?

As most of you may know, Jobs decided to retire as Apple's CEO earlier this year. Jobs is still Chairman at Apple and could make a surprise cameo appearance at Tuesday's press event. However, it's more likely that this will be the first Apple media event that will feature the current CEO, Tim Cook, on stage to present the next version of the iPhone to the assembled press and the public.

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24 Comments

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Who in their right mind really cares? Rumors distract our productive lives. Stop this free advertising. When the first iPhone came out it was something revolutionary. But over time all manufacturers catch up and share the same features. If apple wants to be revolutionary again then they better build a phone that can create crystal clear holographic images to knock the press off its perch.

jesseinsf said,
Who in their right mind really cares? Rumors distract our productive lives. Stop this free advertising. When the first iPhone came out it was something revolutionary. But over time all manufacturers catch up and share the same features. If apple wants to be revolutionary again then they better build a phone that can create crystal clear holographic images to knock the press off its perch.

Full 3-D holographic UI coming to the iPhone 10...

I think it's quite clear that there will be an iPhone 5 AND an iPhone 4s. There is sufficient evidence for it.
Covers/cases coming up at AT&T stores, and both of them briefly showing up "accidentally" at some of the carriers website. There was no snapshot, but both of them were mentioned by name.
You can see a lot of this at Engadget.

'Representatives in the PR wing of Apple's sprawling Cupertino, California campus have confirmed that the company will, unfortunately, not provide a live stream of tomorrow's media event where the 5th generation iPhone will make its long-awaited public debut.

Although Apple has consistently provided video of its media presentations after the fact, the decision to not provide a live stream tomorrow is surprising given the unprecedented interest and pent-up iPhone mania that has trailed the next-gen iPhone's developed. Unless you're a confirmed UK-based or European journalist, access to live video from tomorrow's event will be strictly prohibited.

Earlier this year, Apple similarly disappointed when it kept a lid on live streaming at the iPad 2 introduction led by former Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Apple, in fact, hasn't delivered a live video presentation since September of 2010.

As it now stands, Apple's scheduled presentation will commence tomorrow sharply at 10:00 a.m. PST, 1:00 p.m. EST.'

Unless Apple are managing to keep this a big big secret it doesn't look like there will be an iPhone 5, just a 4S.
It showed up in iTunes beta, and all over operator inventory systems across the globe...

MichaelJTKnox said,
Unless Apple are managing to keep this a big big secret it doesn't look like there will be an iPhone 5, just a 4S.
It showed up in iTunes beta, and all over operator inventory systems across the globe...

yea i cant see a 5 happening, more like a 4s.

Here are my guesses as to what the new iPhone will and will not have:

- it will called the "iPhone 5"
- it will have an A5 processor
- it will have 1 GB of RAM
- it will have come with 16 GB, 32 GB, or 64 GB of storage
- it will have a 960x640 3.7" screen
- it will have an 8 Megapixel camera
- it will have an LED indicator light on the front, in addition to LED flash on the back
- it will be thinner than the iPhone 4
- it will support UMTS/DC-HSPA+ (up to 42 Mbps)
- it will also support 1X/EVDO Rev.A and will work on Verizon/Sprint

- it will not have LTE support
- it will not have an NFC chip
- it will not have a glass back
- it will not have an antenna on the outer border

Apple will only announce the cheaper iPhone 4S... If that turns out to be true it could be a massive disappointment to Apple fans who have been expecting a big hardware upgrade for the next iPhone.

Shouldn't that be "expecting a new look/exterior for the next iPhone" instead? If only one iPhone is released, it'll still have the hardware changes mentioned above (e.g. A5 and 8MP camera) regardless of its name.

By the way, this is a poorly written "roundup". There also could've been a little bit more information about the rumoured Assistant features. No mention of a potential 8GB iPhone 4 (along with the iPhone 4S, rather than a 4S and 5 release) either.

Edited by Manish, Oct 3 2011, 4:28pm :

seebaran said,
Will there be cake?

Read the article...
...it's more likely that this will be the first Apple media event that the current CEO, Tim, will Cook on stage to present the next version of the iPhone to the assembled press and the public.

Okay, I might have moved a word and a comma :-)

The biggest part is the unveiling of the virtual AI Assistant:

http://9to5mac.com/2011/10/03/...d-changing-event-interview/


Winarsky is also not bashful about what the significance of Apple's adaptation of Siri technology would mean, calling it a "World-Changing" event:
Quote:
Make no mistake: Apple's 'mainstreaming' Artificial Intelligence in the form of a Virtual Personal Assistant is a groundbreaking event. I'd go so far as to say it is a World-Changing event. Right now a few people dabble in partial AI enabled apps like Google Voice Actions, Vlingo or Nuance Go. Siri was many iterations ahead of these technologies, or at least it was two years ago. This is REAL AI with REAL market use. If the rumors are true, Apple will enable millions upon millions of people to interact with machines with natural language. The PAL will get things done and this is only the tip of the iceberg. We're talking another technology revolution. A new computing paradigm shift.

cralias said,

REAL AI? Starting on phones? World-changing event? Disregarding the usual "revolution" Apple makes each year? I would laugh out of my pants if I didn't knew this was Apple marketing bull again. Asshats making real AI. Using unobtainium, as per usual.

You're gonna look awful stupid tomorrow after the demo.

What is the purpose of this article? All the rumors have already been flying for a bit now and most everyone who pays attention already knows what those rumors are. I see no need to rehash unconfirmed anything especially when the REAL news will be out tomorrow.
Neorumors seems to be the new tagline for this site.

Draconian Guppy said,
Will there be a new version of Apple's iOS operating system for the new iPhone?

Seriously?


It's a roundup, someone might have missed that in which case the now answered it... Obviously not a section for Neowin regulars though...

Leonick said,

It's a roundup, someone might have missed that in which case the now answered it... Obviously not a section for Neowin regulars though...
Dude, there have been 8/9 beta's. You'd have to be Stevie Wonder to not know about iOS five by now.

Xerax said,
Dude, there have been 8/9 beta's. You'd have to be Stevie Wonder to not know about iOS five by now.

As Leonick said, this is obviously a section for non-Neowin regulars who eat and drink tech news. I would be willing to bet money that the vase majority of smartphone users don't keep track of when the next OS update will be available (or care) or even know what a beta is.