At the beginning of the month, Fast Company interviewed Ed McLaughlin, MasterCard’s head of emerging payments, sparking speculation on the technical specifications of the next iPhone.
McLaughlin said Apple was very interested in the integration of NFC technology in its next smartphone models, an allusion concerning especially the iPhone 5.
In addition, tech site 9to5Mac discussed this issue with a “well-connected developer” currently working on designing an app compatible with NFC.
The developer, whose identity was not revealed, is cited as saying that Apple software engineers are “heavy into NFC.”
Citing a “well-placed” source within one of the top British independent phone retailers, todaysiphone.com reported that Apple and Samsung’ future smartphones could become completely waterproof thanks to the Liquipel technology.
The treatment would cover both the outer shells of the devices, as well as their internal components.
A trademark application from Apple for the word “Macroscalar” was published by the US Patent & Trademark Office earlier this month.
The patent suggested that the Cupertino tech giant is getting ready to implement the technology on its upcoming products, namely the iPhone 5 and the iPad 3.
Macroscalar provides better support for the performance of a processor, while consuming less power.
Another Apple patent revealed a 3D eye-tracking-based interface, which could be used in future generations of devices such as the iPhone, iPad or the Mac.
The documents described a system that relies on sensors which track the position of a user’s eyes with the front facing camera and uses data provided by the accelerometer, compass, gyrometer and its GPS in order to create the perfect 3D image.
The technique could create a “virtual 3D operating system environment,” according to the filing, which would allow a user to “look around” the interface on their display.
Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu speculated that the upcoming iPhone and iPad are bound to offer LTE.
In a note to clients, Wu said, “We are frankly not surprised as this is consistent with our supply chain checks inmid-January. As we had commented then, we believe the upcoming iPad refresh could be significant with notable new features including a 4G LTE wireless, beefed upprocessor, higher resolution screen, and Siri voice recognition.”
Regarding the iPhone 5, the analyst believes the handset will very probably benefit from LTE technology.
“We view the potential inclusion of 4G LTE for iPad as a positive and a good indicator that the upcoming iPhone 5 refresh in the fall time frame will likely include this key feature as well,” Wu wrote. “We continue to believe that AAPL is positioned to outperform in this tough macroeconomic environment with its defendable strategic and structural advantages and its vertical integration.”
Besides LTE, speculation is rife regarding the chipset that could equip both the iPhone 5 and iPad 3.
Chipmaker Qualcomm introduced its fifth generation Gobi chipset for mobile computing this month, leading many to assume that the gadget will equip Apple’s future products.
The current Gobi chipset can be found on the iPhone 4S and in the past Apple has been known to use Qualcomm chipsets for its iDevices.
Various tech sites and analysts assume that the chipset could power the long-awaited iPhone 5 and iPad 3.
Recently, iMore reported that Apple is ditching the current 30-Pin connector in order to include bigger batteries and 4G LTE tech.
The iPhone 5 is believed to be the first Apple device to feature the micro dock connector, followed by the iPad and iPod touch.
The site wrote that Apple is not satisfied with the current 30-pin connector that uses space that could be used for other components and a new micro dock connector would allow the company to bring new features to the future iPhone without having to increase its size.
Latest reports suggest that various companies are interested in making Apple’s devices resistant to water.
Among them, HzO and Liquipel are competing to make the iPhone 5 waterproof at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.
HzO has presented a method by which they are able to make any electronic component waterproof by applying a protective film at a nanometer scale on them during the assembly.
“We have agreements in place with all of our partners preventing us from talking about upcoming devices,” HzO’s Director of Marketing and Sales, Rick Peterson, told Cult of Mac regarding the company’s collaboration with Apple on making future iPhones and iPads waterproof.
As for Liquipel, the company has created a method of using a “nano” coating of the inside and outside of the iPhone that will protect it if you are clumsy by nature or your job requires you to be near water.