Our last recap of iPhone 5 rumors concerned speculation on the possible release date of Apple’s highly-anticipated device.
Now InRumor offers you a roundup of last year’s rumors on the features likely to be introduced in the iPhone 5.
iPhone 5 could arrive in June with a bigger screen and aluminum case
Back in February of 2011, rumors said that the iPhone 5 could be introduced by Apple in June and it was expected to feature a 4-inch screen, as compared to 3.5 for models at that time.
A month later, it was reported that the next iPhone might give up the glass back in favor of an aluminum shell as the original iPhone model released in 2007.
Initially, it was speculated that this design change would mean that Apple wanted to abandon the concept of an external antenna, which caused reception problems with all iPhone 4 models.
However, some analysts argued that nothing would change since material that the case was made from didn’t attenuate the signal in contact with the user’s hand.
8 megapixels camera for iPhone 5?
News of an 8-megapixel camera for the iPhone 5 broke after Howard Stringer, CEO of Sony, slipped a bit of info at a conference.
Asked about the consequences of the earthquake and tsunami on Sony factories in Japan, Stringer said that the Sendai plant that produces camera sensors was affected by the earthquake.
He added that shipments of photo sensors to Apple were therefore delayed.
iPhone 5 could feature a voice command system
As the date of the October 4 keynote approached, invitations were sent to the press, titled “Let’s talk iPhone”.
In addition to the date, time and location, a small “1? could be seen on the icon with the phone, which many believed indicated the presentation of a single device.
As for the slogan, it was speculated that it could refer to an advanced voice control system, called Assistant, which proved to be the new iPhone’s signature feature.
A source claimed to have tested an iPhone 5 prototype
In November, tech sites went abuzz with reports of a well informed Apple source who claimed to have toyed for 15 days with an iPhone 5prototype, which apparently was quite far from being finalized.
The insider also gave some details about the characteristics that the prototype supposedly had:
• 4-inch screen
• Aluminum backs (like the iPad 2)
• Liquid metal technology to make different colored phones
• Much faster, but lower battery
• 10-megapixel camera
• Thinner and wider
• No physical home button
According the same source, the design of the device didn’t satisfy Steve Jobs, in particular the screen: such a format would have induced a fragmentation of the iOS software.
4G LTE technology, curved glass screen, “liquid metal” technology and Nano-SIM
The month of November was prolific as far as iPhone 5 rumors were concerned.
Reports said that the iPhone 5 won’t hit the market until 2012 when the 4G LTE networking would be available.
Since current 4G LTE antennas are physically large and absorb a great amount of power, the iPhone 5 was believed to have been put on hold so that its creators will be able to endow it with an advanced such technology once it becomes available.
In addition, many analysts believed that the world didn’t get to see the launch of the iPhone 5 the previous month because Apple’s designers intended to adorn the device with a curved Gorilla Glass display, nixing the phone’s planned October launch in the process.
Apple was also rumored to introduce the ‘liquid metal’ in order to make colored iPhones. Liquid Metal is like paint made out of aluminum, full saturated with color, highly resistant to scratching.
And last but not least, it was speculated that the device could be equipped with a Nano-SIM which measures only 12 x 9 mm, making it the smallest SIM card in the world.
iPhone 5 to feature bigger four-inch screen
Reports surfaced in mid-November that the iPhone 5 would benefit from a 4-inch screen and will be a full 8mm longer, despite Steve Jobs’ wishes. The late Apple CEO was said to be unhappy with altering the smartphone’s screen size because it “fragmented” iPhones.
A week later, news broke that Hitachi Displays, Ltd. and Sony Mobile Display Corporation had begun shipping the first 4-inch LCDs from Apple.
Rumors said at the time that Apple was to launch the next generation iPhone in March.
In addition, the Cupertino company was said to be adding NFC (Near Field Communications) to the device. The iPhone 5 was said to be 8mm longer and feature an aluminium metal case.
iPhone 5 could feature 4-inch IGZO screen and shatterproof OLED display
In December, Apple was rumored to be funding Hitachi and Sony in making 4-inch IGZO displays.
According to recent reports, the Cupertino company had signed a deal with Sharp to build LCD panels for its next-generation devices.
In addition, Apple’s next-generation iDevices were reported to feature an OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) display.
Tech sites reported that the OLED display will also be shatterproof and far more resistant than the current “gorilla glass” and LCD design used in the iPhone 4S and previous generations.
Apple testing quad-core processors, iPhone 5 will arrive in fall 2012 with complete new design
The month of December was also rife with speculation that the Cupertino-based company is testing quad-core CPU’s in order to see the viability of a quad-core iPhone.
Reports stated that two iPhone models were being tested, one equipped with a dual-core, the other with a quad-core processor.
In addition, the company was said to be developing quad-core A6 as successors to its current A5 and A4 chips.
Various sites also reported that Apple will launch an iPhone 5 with an aluminum rear panel and rubber bezel in the fall of 2012.
Sources close to Apple were cited as saying that the next-generation iPhone will “use a rubber or plastic material — similar to the material used in the company’s bumper cases — that will be built into the new iPhone case.”
iPhone 5 will be a “more radical update” and will feature “innovative display technology,” analysts say
Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu believes that Apple’s next smartphone will represent a “more radical refresh” with features such as 4G LTE technology.
In a research note obtained by The Mac Observer, the Wall Street analyst speculates on the possible features of the next-generation iPhone.
“From our checks with supply chain and industry sources and consistent with what we had said in early August, we are picking up that the new iPhone will be a more radical update with a sleeker, thinner form factor, and a slightly larger screen,” Wu writes.
Charles Moore at The iPhone 5 News Blog speculates that the iPhone 5 might be powered by an A6 CPU.
The analyst admits that he initially believed Apple would introduce the quad-core A6 processor first on the iPad and then on future iPhone models. However, he has changed his opinion.
Citing a post at DigiTimes, Moore writes that the next iPad models will be the first to use Apple’s quad-core A6 processor. At present, iPad 2 and iPhone 4S feature the dual-core A5.
Citing “a reliable source,” Germany-based MacTimes writes that the handset will sport an “innovative display technology … based on adjoining and round pixels,” according to the Google Translate account of the German language post.
Gorilla Glass 2 will make smartphones lighter and stronger, Liquipel will render them completely waterproof
In anticipation of the future iPhone 5, analysts are already predicting a future partnership between Apple and Corning, a company that has recently introduced the Gorilla Glass 2 at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas.
The new Gorilla Glass is up to 20% thinner than the original but it still offers the same strength.
Used for the first time in mass production with the release of the first iPhone in 2007, the first generation of Gorilla Glass was a real bestseller that fits all generations of iPhone.
In addition, a small U.S. company has launched an ultra-thin coating that promises to make smartphones completely waterproof. This new tech is called Liquipel.
The company, based in Santa Ana, California posted a video on YouTube that shows an iPhone 4 playing a video while submerged in water.
iPad 3, iPhone 5 will offer 20 times more performance
Imagination Technologies unveiled PowerVR G6200 and G6400 graphic processors at CES 2012.
The company, which builds the GPUs for Apple’s mobile products, also announced that the future A6 chipset, that is believed to be introduced in the iPhone 5, could have a GPU that is 20-times more powerful than the current A5 model.
PowerVR Series6 GPUs can offer computing performance “exceeding 100 gigaflops and reaching the teraflops range, enabling high-level graphics performance from mobile through to high-end compute and graphics solutions,” the company stated.
The Series6 GPUs are based on the PowerVR Rogue architecture which Imagination claimed that will provide “ultra-realistic gaming” and enable more complex applications.
Apple is believed to be among the partners that are set to receive the new processors since the Cupertino company is a major shareholder in Imagination.