For many, many months, Apple addicts have theorized and re-theorized what the next iPhone might look like, and when they'll get their eagerly trembling hands on it. As of this week, a new round of (often contradictory) rumors has the tech blogs buzzing:
1. It's coming in August
While many believe Apple will unveil the next iPhone at its annual September event, says Jonathan S. Geller at Boy Genius, we've heard "Apple may hold an event in the beginning or middle of August to announce the new iPhone, with availability to follow in the last week of August."
2. Or on September 7
"After 16 hours of number-crunching on the CNET UK supercomputer, we have determined the most likely release date for the iPhone 5 — 7 September 2011," says Flora Graham at CNET UK. That's the Wednesday after Labor Day, a day Apple has typically used for new iPod announcements. But, given that it's a year-plus since we've had a new iPhone, and that the Android is breathing down Apple's neck, I bet that the "iPhone 5 will cruelly oust the iPod from its own event."
3. It'll boast a "radical" new shape
Geller says he's "independently confirmed" that the next iPhone won't be a mere update of the iPhone 4: "We have been told by a reliable source to expect a radical new case design for the upcoming iPhone." Earlier rumors said the iPhone 5 would have a tear-shaped case; perhaps that's what "radical" means.
4. Unless it looks just like the iPhone 4
Our sources say "the new iPhone will closely resemble the iPhone 4," say Tim Culpan, Peter Burrows and Adam Satariano at Bloomberg.
5. It will be twice as fast
Culpan, Burrows, and Satariano further confirm the longstanding rumor that, like the iPad2, the iPhone 5 will have an A5 processor chip, allowing it to run twice as fast as the iPhone 4 and compete with Samsung's Android phones.
6. There will be a cheaper version
Sources say Apple is also developing a "cheaper version of the iPhone aimed at attracting customers in developing countries," say Culpan, Burrows, and Satariano. Its display and chips would be of a "similar quality" to the iPhone 4.
7. The iPhone will be overtaken by Android
"Android-powered smartphones may displace iPhone 5 in days to come," says Elias Samuel in the International Business Times. Androids have better pricing, better speed, support flash, and there are more options when it comes to choosing a model and a carrier. "The excitement from the original iPhone is slowly fading away."
8. Or Apple will totally crush Android
The Android market share peaked in March, and that's "just the beginning of Android's share loss in the U.S.," says Needham analyst Charlie Wolf, as quoted by Fortune. The iPhone 5's release on both AT&T and Verizon "should accelerate this fall." And it's possible that Apple might also increase its reach by launching the next iPhone on Sprint and T-Mobile.