Rumors on Apple’s highly-anticipated smartphone have been rife this week, ranging from speculation about the launch of the device to leaked parts and possible new features.
Japanese blog Macotakara reported that the next iPhone has gone into production in China, suggesting that the iPhone 5 could arrive in September.
The site also posted a picture of the case of the future device.
However, BGR reported that the iPhone 5 is currently in the penultimate stage of testing before the release, estimating that the device could go into production in late August.
The site also reiterated the fall release date rumors that have circulated lately, claiming to have confirmation that “the units Apple is currently testing have 1GB of RAM, doubled from the iPhone 4S’s 512MB, and integrated 4G LTE radios.”
In adition, developer @chronic’s tweeted his disbelief regarding rumors that the handset is already in the production stage.
“The rumors about the iPhone 5 coming in August or September simply can’t be true, due to the stage of production that it’s in,” he wrote on the micro-blogging site on Tuesday.
“I’m staying out of it this time, but I’ll just say, the Verizon iPhone was at this same production stage 3 months before release,” he added.
Adding to the fall release date rumors were statements coming from Verizon Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo.
Questioned on the reason why iPhone sales were dropping, Shammo said that in Q4 of 2012 a new mobile phone is set for launch, without explicitly mentioning the iPhone or any other device.
Asked what might have kept customers from upgrading their devices in Q2, Shammo said that “of course there’s always that, uh, rumor mill out there with a new phone coming out there in the fourth quarter, so people may be waiting.”
Nonetheless, the next iPhone is expected to be “one of the most significant product cycles in two years,” and Apple to bring in $35.1 billion on gross margins of 43.1 percent to end the period with an EPS of $9.45.
Also reporting on the possible fall launch, Financial Times wrote that European mobile carriers are placing orders for nano-SIM cards for the next iPhone ahead of its rumored fall launch.
This has led to speculation that this stockpiling of the minuscule cards could mean that the iPhone 5 will soon be released.
Speaking of carriers, BGR reports that carriers are testing the new cards in partnership with Apple and AT&T is among those carriers.
Leaks of possible future components for the next iPhone were also rife this week.
Cases of the iPhone 5 based on rumors that have circulated lately were posted on Wednesday by Cydia Blog and they are now available for purchase from China’s TVC-Mall.com.
They come at a price of only 2 $ and feature a smaller bottom dock connector and a headphone jack placed at the bottom of the device, also adding to rumors of a larger 4-inch screen due to their dimensions.
In addition, a leaked image of the device’s front panel shows a centered FaceTime camera located above the earpiece, different from current models, which have the camera positioned on the left of the earpiece.
The picture shows two front panels, one black and one white, with the white one featuring a small black window to the left of the earpiece which is apparently the proximity sensor.
The handset is curved and it features a larger 4-inch display, while the back panel comes with a two-toned design and a smaller 19-pin dock connector at the bottom of the device.
Other iPhone 5 news coming from the Wall Street Journal this week seemed to confirm rumors claiming that the device will be built using a new screen in-cell technology.
The paper wrote on its Twitter account that the iPhone 5 could have a thinner screen built using a new technology, with speculation leading to in-cell panels.
This would make the iPhone 5 up to 15% thinner than the iPhone 4/4S. Sharp, LG, and a new company called Japan Display will reportedly build the new screens.
Rumors of a smaller USB port for the iPhone 5 also seemed to receive confirmation with a new Apple patent granted.
The document describes a redesigned iPhone charging and data port, prompting speculation that the company could be replacing its current 30-pin connector with a 19-pin one.
Finally, Noam Kedem, VP of marketing for Leyden Energy, a Fremont, California-based company that makes batteries for consumer electronics, electric vehicles and storage applications, made a thorough analysis for Forbes on the possible challenges Apple might face in building the battery of the next iPhone.
Kedem believes that energy density and thermal sensitivity are the causes for the device’s battery drain and suggested that increased packaging efficiency and a two-layer design for the placing of the battery could help overcome the difficulties.