An annual rite of summer is upon us: It is iPhone-rumormongering season once again. From the iPhone to the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3Gs, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and the iPhone 5, each year Apple sends the gadget world into a tizzy trying to figure out what, exactly, the innovative tech company plans to release next in its iPhone product line.
Apple’s rollout of the first iPhone seven years ago culminated years of gossip concerning the Cupertino-based company’s proposed entry into the warm — soon to be blazing hot — smartphone market. Since then, Apple has released five additional iPhone models, each one selling better than the last.
There are a number of things we can take for granted as givens in the next iPhone — for instance, iOS 7 and (we hope) better battery life for the power-hungry 4G LTE antenna — but there are a number of things we can’t.
With that in mind, here’s the latest next-gen iPhone gossip making the rounds in the Internet rumor mill:
iPhone 6 or iPhone 5S? Judging by Apple’s naming-convention pattern of years past, iPhone 5S is the likely name for the next version of the iPhone. However, with major upgrades coming left and right from Android manufactures, a major technological leap forward — one that merits an iPhone 6 moniker — would play better with fanboys. And yet, although the collective sigh of disappointment over the iPhone 4S was palatable a couple of years ago, that smartphone proved to be a fast seller. So an incremental iPhone 5S upgrade this year, with a major update next year in the form of the iPhone 6 would make the most sense.
More Megapixels. Rumor has it the iPhone 6/5s will get a 12-megapixel camera, a major increase in quality from the iPhone 5’s 8-megapixel shooter. A better, dual-LED flash may be in the offing as well.
Bigger Bucket for Data. For a couple of years, the iPhone has topped out at 64GB of storage. So it may be time for Apple to double that to 128GB, just as it did with the latest full-size iPad model.
Solid Gold, Baby. The new model, if the one of the more recent rumors is correct, will be available in a brand new color: gold. So if you are tired of traditional black and white, you may get a chance to buy an iPhone with a bit of bling on the surface.
Next-Gen Wireless Ready. Expect support for the latest Wi-Fi standard, 802.11ac.
The NFC We’ve Been Waiting for?. Near Field Communication (NFC), present in several Android phones, and expected for but not delivered in the iPhone 5, could finally find its way to Apple’s smartphone with the iPhone 5S. It would go nicely with Apple’s Passbook App, which stores credit card and other financial and personal information, as it would with a rumored fingerprint sensor for the next iPhone. The latter would be an excellent addition for securing these types of digital, phone-as-wallet transactions.
Pumped Up Processor. Apple usually ups the processing power with each generation iPhone. The upcoming model should be no different. So expect to see something more powerful than the iPhone 5’s A6 dual-core processor, perhaps even Apple’s quad-core A7 — if not in the next model, then in its follow up.
Double Trouble. Don’t be surprised if Apple simultaneously introduces a cheaper, budget-level iPhone to better compete with the influx of low-priced Android smartphone models flooding the market. Steve Jobs probably wouldn’t have done such a thing, of course. But Tim Cook is not Steve Jobs. Rumor has it the so-called iPhone 5C will sport plastic casing and be available in six to eight colors.
Same Look, New Features. Do not expect the new iPhone to look radically different in design from the iPhone 5, which is longer, narrower and thinner than the iPhone 4 and 4s. However, rumor has it that the casing may be a little larger to accommodate a slightly bigger, 4.3-inch display. The iPhone 5’s display is 4 inches.
Whatever Apple introduces and rolls out tomorrow, one thing is certain: millions of people around the world scoop it up in droves.
Android may be the number one mobile OS now, but the iPhone is still an iconic and market-leading smartphone brand. In fact, Apple sold 31.2 million of them last quarter. That’s pretty remarkable considering Apple hasn’t released a new smartphone in close to a year.