iPhone 5 release date, rumors in the week ending January 22: HzO, Thunderbolt, Facebook integration and others

Home button could disappear from the iPhone 5

Designer Kris Groen came up with an iPhone 5 concept-video that shows a device with a 4-inch display in which the home button has been replaced by two separate home bumpers on the side.

The idea behind the concept is that with the future iPhone the user can simply squeeze the size of the phone on the left or right side of the device to use the home button.

The squeezing can be done easily as the position of the side buttons is based on the way phones are held.

By squeezing the buttons there a number of functions that the smartphone can perform, with no need to touch the screen.

iPhone 5 could become waterproof thanks to HzO

The technology developed by HZO is able to make any electronic component waterproof by applying a protective film at the nanometer scale on them during the assembly. Now Apple is said to have taken an interest in the concept for its future products.

“HzO uses a unique coating processes to shield almost anything from water and corrosion damage,” the company said.

“Unlike other water damage solutions, with HzO technology a device is not sealed, water is able to enter. Instead, the electronic components inside the device are coated to provide protection, leaving the device unencumbered and always guarded against unexpected accidents.”

The ‘nanotech’ spray coating is applied to the components when assembling the electronic device. To demonstrate the reliability of his technique, a working iPhone and Samsung Galaxy were dunked into a bowl of water and still remained functional.

iPhone 5 could feature Thunderbolt technology

The revolutionary I/O Thunderbolt technology is the new high-speed transmission format introduced by Apple that can transfer gigabytes of data in seconds.

Three patent applications filed by Apple last week detail on subjects such as the basic pinout of the Thunderbolt connector and the ways in which the wires are arranged within a cable.

“A connection may be provided between a portable media player and a display, a computer and a portable media player, or between other types of devices,” the report reads.

Thunderbolt sets a new standard for speed, flexibility and simplicity and it is currently available on MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac and Mac mini.

iOS 5.1 hints at Facebook integration

Codes in the iOS 5.1 beta 3 firmware seeded to developers shows that Apple could plan introducing Facebook into the contacts, just as the current version does with Twitter.

Built-in Facebook could give users the opportunity to post pictures and videos to their accounts directly from iOS, without having to open the Facebook app.

The team at iMore, who were the first to discover the hints, found that the operating system features a field for a Facebook user name in the contacts app.


However, this is to be taken with a grain of salt as it is still uncertain if Apple will make the feature available, or even if they will release it one day.

LTE for iPhone 5 could mean bigger battery, analyst says

Carlo Raphael Diokno at popherald.com speculated that the future Apple devices will have to integrate a heavier battery if they are to feature LTE technology.

In an article published last week, Diokno wrote that Apple will need to insert a heavier battery if it plans on introducing Long-Term Evolution to its gadgets in 2012.

According to the analyst, even though Apple’s rival, Android, is already providing faster wireless technology, a major drawback for Android LTE phones is their poor battery life.

Diokno also concluded that if the Cupertino company decides to add either the 4G/3G toggle or 4G, there is a high possibility that the next-gen iPhone and iPad will be thicker due to antenna and the battery.

iPhone 5 will feature 4-inch screen, says analyst

Susquehanna Financial analyst Chris Caso sent a note to his clients in which he speculated that the iPhone 5 will enter production this year in June, ahead of its fall release, and that it will come with a larger 4 inch screen.

Rumors of a larger screen for the next iPhone appeared late last year.

In addition, a recent iPhone 5 concept-video by designer Kris Groen shows a device with a 4-inch display in which the home button has been replaced by two separate home bumpers on the side.

Apple wants to redesign future batteries for LTE

In the purpose of launching thinner devices, the Cupertino tech giant has to shape the battery design so that it fits their desired standards.

In a new patent application, Apple writes about the company’s plan to make batteries thinner, which has led many to believe that LTE could come to the future iPhone 5.

According to tech site Cult of Mac, in order to bring a better battery life to upcoming iOS devices, Apple plans to revolutionize the shape of the batteries by building them from different electrode sheets.

This could also mean that such batteries could lose their rectangular shape to make way for custom designs that would fit the requirements of such measures.

iPhone 5 will have “monster” launch and release date, analyst predicts

In a note sent to investors, Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray speculated that the future iPhone 5 will have a “monster” launch.

“If Apple sells 30 (million)-plus iPhones in Dec., with no new form factor, up from 17.1m in Sept., it would be evidence supporting our survey work indicating that 94% of iPhone users plan to upgrade to a new iPhone,” Munster wrote.

“This theme suggests iPhone 5, which we are expecting in Aug. with a new form factor, will be a monster upgrade.”

Consequently, Munster predicted that 94 percent of the current iPhone owners will upgrade to the iPhone 5.