After unveiling a marginally improved iPhone 4S in 2011 instead of a radically different iPhone 5, Apple has returned to its development labs to cook up (no pun intended) the next iteration of its popular phone. In 2012, we're fairly certain that the real iPhone 5 will roll out of Apple's gates and that the device should be a bigger leap forward than the 4S was.
That's why after taking some time off at the end of last year, we've resurrected CNET's iPhone 5 rumor roundup to cover the new tidbits from 2012. So join us again in watching the rumor mill churn. We'll add to it until we get the real thing; please let us know if we've left any gossip out.
August 7, 2012
Back to the taller screen
One of the most popular iPhone 5 rumors surfaced again when 9to5Mac reported that Apple has been testing a taller display for its next handset. 9to5Mac used iOS development tools to simulate a 640x1,136-pixel-resolution screen, which gave the phone five rows of icons stacked vertically above the dock, instead of the four displayed with iOS 5.
Now a 9-pin connector
We've already heard that Apple might shrink the iPhone's 30-pin connector to either 19 or 8 pins, but now the possibility of a 9-pin connector is afloat. 9to5Mac says it found a code string for a 9-pin connector in the latest beta version of iOS 6. It's important to keep in mind, though, that until Apple issues the final release of iOS 6 the company will continue to add and remove strings as it tests the operating system.
August 6, 2012
An even smaller SIM
Alleged iPhone 5 part photos from a French Web site show a slightly smaller Home button and a narrower SIM card tray than in the iPhone 4/4S. The possibility of a nano-SIM has surfaced previously. If true, it could make more space for a larger battery.
August 2, 2012
The dock connector shrinks down to 8-pin
Currently, the iPhone has a 30-pin connector, but rumors have been rolling out that it'll shrink down considerably. Though we've already heard the 19-pin theory, iLounge reported that it may be smaller than that. According to two separate sources, not only will the new iPhone sport an 8-pin connector, but also new iPad and iPod units will have it, too.
The screen ships out in August
Sharp, a Japanese company that is producing the screen for Apple's new iPhone, said it will begin shipping its models out. Though there hasn't been any official confirmation of the handset's launch date, the fact that Sharp's president, Takashi Okuda, told reporters in Tokyo that the screen will ship out now is consistent with a 2012 launch.
July 30, 2012
More iPhone 5 footage has been released
Last month, a video purporting to show the new iPhone was released on the Interwebs, and a flurry of speculation followed. Today, another video has sprouted up, posted by Japanese site Macotakara. Though it's best to take this one with a grain of salt as well, the featured device is consistent with past rumors that the new iPhone will have a taller display, a smaller dock connector port, a relocated headphone jack, and a new back design.
July 27, 2012
The NFC idea is getting tossed around again
The evidence is more substantial than from your run-of-the-mill press "insider": a patent application by Apple itself revealed an NFC chip imbedded into several Apple products, including an iPhone. The patent is titled "System and Method For Simplified Control of Electronic Devices," and illustrates the NFC acting as a remote control for televisions, standalone cameras, and DVRs.
Maybe that smaller dock really is coming
An iPhone case manufacturer in China posted a picture of its newest iPhone 5 case, and threw in a picture of the supposed device, too. Not only do we see that it's a little taller than the current model, but a side shot of the handset's bottom reveals a shorter pin connector. This further corroborates existing rumors that the dock is going to shrink.
July 24, 2012
Apple ambiguously hints at 'fall refresh' during earnings call
During Apple's third-quarter earnings conference call, CEO Tim Cook vaguely responded to an analyst's question about a "fall product transition." Cook said that "there's an incredible anticipation out there for a future product" and that based on what Apple has delivered in the past, this amount of speculation is "reasonable." All right, Cook, we get it. Mum's the word.