Sometimes it feels impossible to wade through the torrent of Apple rumors streaming constantly from the keyboards of thinly sourced tech blogs to the eyes of eagerly waiting fanboys. Speculation over the iPhone 5 has been particularly bad as of late. Last month, we pointed to an article by Sascha Segan, a blogger at PC magazine who said he was getting "physically sick of the nonstop iPhone rumor mill." Segan's inevitably right that tech blogs are pumping out countless posts about the new iPhone and that many of them contradict each other. That's why they're called rumors.
Nevertheless, the past week has delivered a few new updates that we can stomach. Among other things, we already believed that the iPhone would sport the fast A5 chip that's in the iPad 2 and that Apple would offer a suite of low-, mid- and high-price models. Apple has also already announced the neat details of the operating system that will power the new iPhone, including updated notifications and Dashboard-like widgets. But here's a fresh set of updates that feel fairly dependable.
Curved glass and a thinner profile. A number of photos have emerged recently of a new-looking iPhone clone. It's 7 millimeters thick and sports a curved glass front and back. There's now even a video of the device in action. Everyone agrees that the device we're looking at is definitely a knock-off, but many also suspect that it's based on the real thing. The dimensions match some new cases being produced in China, and according to Jesus Diaz at Gizmodo, this could be a dead giveaway:
In China, many products are often cloned before they even reach the market—based either on digital blueprints or models sneaked out by workers when the products are already in production. That's the reason you see cases and cloned replacement parts of the iPhone or iPad models before they even get released.
Given that the iPhone 5 is probably being churned out of the factories as we speak—either in limited production runs or ramping up—I wouldn't be surprised if someone got a prototype and sold it to some enterprising pirate company.
September release date. The general consensus has been that the iPhone 5 would come out this fall, probably in September. After All Things D reported on Monday that the release would be delayed until October, Charles Arthur at The Guardian went digging. As Arthur and others have pointed out, the September release date coincides with the proposed release date of Apple's new mobile operating system, iOS5, and that seems even more likely after the beta release of iCloud, which is supposed to come out at the same time. An unnamed source told Arthur that the new phones have already been shipped to carriers for testing, and he can only think of one reason they might delay the proposed September release:
Now, why would Apple be looking to release in October? By the logic of "get it out there sooner so more people can buy it", there's no sense in waiting so long. The only reason why Apple would delay the launch in that way would be if it has hit a manufacturing problem. But supply lines are quiet; there's plenty of capacity (Apple secured it after the Japanese earthquake in March). So it can't be a supply constraint either.
It looks like Arthur is right so far. News broke on Wednesday--from another unnamed industry source, mind you--that the phone manufacturer Pegatron received orders for 10 million iPhone 5s.
Regardless of the timing of the release and the exact specifications, however, we can count on Apple's next iPhone creating a massive splash. Apple is quickly becoming the most valuable company in the world, and they're definitely hoping the new phone will help them grow even more. Retailers are already getting ready by dropping the prices of old models, and all signs point to a new model this fall. The tech blogs will of course continue to joust over every little detail, and we'll keep a close eye on it. In the meantime, somewhere in the world, there's some guy getting ready to stand in line for days to be the first owner of the shiny new Apple thing.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.