According to a couple of sources, the iPhone 5 might actually be released a little earlier this year than expected. Japanese accessories makers apparently got word from Apple that an official release of the next general smartphone will take place end of September 2012.
According to a French blog site, the highly anticipated iPhone 5 featuring a larger screen and a 19-pin dock connector will be released on Friday, September 21, 2012.
Citing a source within China’s third largest accessory maker, App4phone.fr claims that Apple has released a few scant details to accessory makers, including a target date in late September.
It could be true. Last year, Apple released the iPhone 4S on October 14, 2011, and while usually Apple tends to go by what they’ve done in the past, September 21st is close enough to early-mid October that there are any number of reasons why Apple might want to get out the next iPhone a little bit earlier: for example, to get it in more hands by Christmas.
If the September 21st date pans out, that would imply that Apple will officially unveil the iPhone 5 ten days earlier, as they did with the iPhone 4S. Would Apple really announce a new iPhone on the anniversary of September 11th, though? We doubt it, but don’t think this is a dealbreaker: Apple could easily push the announcement a day earlier or a day later if they’re feeling like a 9/11 iPhone announcement would be in bad taste.
Apple today previewed iOS 6, introducing over 200 new features to the world’s most advanced mobile operating system.
New features include: an all new Maps app with Apple-designed cartography, turn-by-turn navigation and a new Flyover view; new Siri® features, including support for more languages, easy access to sports scores, restaurant recommendations and movie listings; Facebook integration for Contacts and Calendar, with the ability to post directly from Notification Center, Siri and Facebook-enabled apps like Photos, Safari® and Maps; Shared Photo Streams via iCloud®; and Passbook, the simplest way to get all your passes (boarding passes, tickets) in one place.
iOS 6 will be available to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users this fall.
Read the full press release after the click.
SAN FRANCISCO―June 11, 2012―Apple® today previewed iOS 6, introducing over 200 new features to the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, and released a beta version to iOS Developer Program members. iOS 6 will be available to iPhone®, iPad® and iPod touch® users this fall as a free software update. New iOS 6 features include: an all new Maps app with Apple-designed cartography, turn-by-turn navigation and an amazing new Flyover view; new Siri® features, including support for more languages, easy access to sports scores, restaurant recommendations and movie listings; Facebook integration for Contacts and Calendar, with the ability to post directly from Notification Center, Siri and Facebook-enabled apps like Photos, Safari® and Maps; Shared Photo Streams via iCloud®; and Passbook, the simplest way to get all your passes in one place.
“iOS 6 continues the rapid pace of innovation that is helping Apple reinvent the phone and create the iPad category, delivering the best mobile experience available on any device,” said Scott Forstall, Apple’s senior vice president of iOS Software. “We can’t wait for hundreds of millions of iOS users to experience the incredible new features in iOS 6 including the new Maps app, expanded Siri support, deep Facebook integration, Shared Photo Streams and the innovative new Passbook app.”
iOS 6 includes an all new Maps app with vector-based map elements that make graphics and text smooth, and panning, tilting and zooming incredibly fluid. New turn-by-turn navigation guides you to your destination with spoken directions, and the amazing Flyover feature has photo-realistic interactive 3D views. Real-time traffic information keeps you updated on how long it will take to get to your destination and offers alternate time-saving routes if traffic conditions change significantly. Additionally, local search includes information for over 100 million businesses with info cards that offer Yelp ratings, reviews, available deals and photos.
Siri, now available for the new iPad as well as iPhone 4S, includes language support for English, French, German and Japanese, and adds support for Spanish, Italian, Korean, Mandarin and Cantonese. Siri is optimized for use in 15 countries and helps you get even more done with just your voice, whether it’s finding the latest sports scores or making restaurant reservations. You also can ask Siri to update your status on Facebook, post to Twitter or launch an app. Additionally, Siri takes hands-free functionality even further with a new Eyes Free mode, enabling you to interact with your iPhone using nothing more than your voice.
Built-in Facebook integration is the best ever in a mobile device, allowing you to sign in once and post from Notification Center, Siri and Facebook-enabled apps, including Photos, Safari and Maps. Your Facebook friends’ information is kept up to date across all your iOS devices, automatically updating details in Contacts when they change, and scheduling events and birthdays in your Calendar. You can also “Like” content directly from the App Store™ and iTunes® and see what your friends recommend.
With more than 125 million users already enjoying iCloud, iOS 6 introduces new ways to share photos with friends and family using Shared Photo Streams. Simply select the photos you want to share, pick which friends you want to receive the album, and the Shared Photo Stream album is instantly available on their iOS devices, iPhoto® and Aperture® on their Mac®, via the web or even through Apple TV®. You and your friends can leave comments on or “Like” any photo in a shared album.
The new Passbook app is the simplest way to get all your passes in one place, such as boarding passes and baseball tickets. Passbook lets you scan your iPhone or iPod touch to use a coupon, get into a concert or check into your hotel. Passbook automatically displays your passes on your Lock Screen based on a specific time or location, so when you walk into your favorite coffee shop your loyalty card appears and you can scan it to buy a coffee or check your balance. Passbook can even alert you to last minute gate changes or flight delays at the airport.
Building on Apple’s commitment to provide innovative solutions for education and accessibility, iOS 6 introduces Guided Access. This new feature allows a parent, teacher or administrator to disable hardware buttons to lock an iOS device into a single app, especially useful for test taking or helping someone with a disability stay focused on learning. Guided Access also includes the ability to confine touch input to certain parts of the screen.
Additional new iOS 6 features include:
enhancements to Safari, the world’s most popular mobile browser, such as iCloud tabs, offline reading lists, photo uploads and full screen view;
support for FaceTime® calls over cellular networks;
the ability to set up a VIP Mailbox, making it easier to quickly view messages from important people you designate as VIPs;
the option to decline incoming calls with a quick message, set a callback reminder and enable a new Do Not Disturb option; and
a whole new set of improvements and services specifically for iOS users in China, such as improved text input and built-in support for popular Chinese services including Baidu, Sina Weibo, Youku and Tudou.
The iOS 6 beta software and SDK are available immediately for iOS Developer Program members at developer.apple.com. iOS 6 will be available as a free software update for iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, the new iPad, iPad 2 and iPod touch (fourth generation) this fall. Some features may not be available on all products.
Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.
Here, five rumored features Apple could be looking to incorporate into its best-selling handset:
1. A new metal body
Apple’s next iPhone will feature “a new chassis design,” says Christina Bonnington at Wired. It may even be “housed in Liquidmetal, the commercial name for an alloy of titanium, zirconium, nickel, copper, and other metals.” The “amorphous” alloy can be poured into a molding like plastic to produce ultra-thin and durable parts. When it hardens, Liquidmetal retains “high strength, high resistance to wear against scratching and denting, and [has] a good strength-to-weight ratio.” Once cooled, it looks “smooth like liquid.” Such an alloy may bestow the next iPhone “its special swagger.” Eh, let’s not get too excited, says Adrian Kingsley-Hughes at ZDNet. While Liquidmetal is indeed “incredibly tough stuff,” it might not be that conducive to radio frequencies. Remember Antennagate?
2. A larger screen
The next iPhone may feature a much larger display — possibly 4.6 inches versus its current 3.5-inch set up — and Apple has already started placing orders to its suppliers, reports Reuters. While that sounds nice, making “a 4.6-inch display would mean that the size of the iPhone itself would be much larger than it currently is,” says Jordan Crook at TechCrunch. And that doesn’t seem realistic. More likely: Apple is working on a 4-inch display to “fit on to the iPhone at its current size.” Keeping the same iPhone size sounds more like an Apple move, says MG Siegler at Parislemon. “A device that stays the same size, but gets a slightly larger screen for one more row of apps”? Exciting stuff.
3. Less glass
The curent iPhone’s touchscreen uses two separate layers to achieve its effect: A touch sensor layer and an LCD display layer, which are stacked on top of each another. But Apple is said to be introducing “in-cell touch panels on its next iPhone,” says Josh Ong at Apple Insider, which means the two space-hogging layers will be consolidated into one. That means Apple could produce an iPhone measuring just 7.9 mm thick — noticeably thinner than the iPhone 4S’s 9.6 mm.
4. 4G LTE… and a better battery
Apple already introduced “the high-speed network on its new iPad,” says Dave Smith at the International Business Times, which was probably done as a “practice run” for the iPhone. But the main problem with LTE is that it tends to “ravage battery life.” If the company wanted it on the iPhone 4S, it would have had to “increase the phone’s thickness” to accomodate a larger battery. Now that Apple appears to be shaving off millimeters here and there, the next iPhone could receive the bigger (and better) battery required to handle faster networks.
On March 6, Apple won a “major patent” for technology called the “iWallet,” says IBT‘s Smith, which allows users “complete control over their subsidiary financial accounts on their iPhones.” The technology uses Near-Field Communication to make credit card transactions by holding the device next to a payment console, effectively turning the iPhone into a digital wallet.
For more photos and information, check out The Week.