iPhone 5: a roundup of rumours

The launch of the Apple iPhone 5 is generally considered imminent and speculation on its features is rampant.

But first, a word of caution to neophyte Apple-watchers: speculation is all it is. Apple, remember, is the world’s finest supplier of high-end computers, consumer gadgets… and secrecy. Nothing leaves the Cupertino HQ without permission (well, almost nothing). So, officially, there is no iPhone 5. There may never be. And, if there were, it may not be called “iPhone 5” at all. Or there may be multiple models, an iPhone 4GS. Who knows? No one outside of Apple, and actually not that many in.

Anything we do think has been gleaned from secondary sources, hearsay and, certainly by the time it gets to this page, a good dose of Chinese whispers too.

Right, let’s speculate!

iOS5

What we do know is that there will be an update to iOS, the operating system that runs the iDevices – iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. That was announced this summer and scheduled for autumn. That has been going out in test form, “beta code”, to developers who have leaked many details. Some of the software features that iOS5 will bring will include:

  • iCloud – syncing your contacts, diary, photos and apps between your iDevices, as well as your computer
  • iTunes Match – letting you stream your whole iTunes library to your device
  • Speech recognition
  • Find My Friends – a bit like Google Latitude, letting you share your location with friends
  • Twitter integration throughout
  • Reminders – finally it syncs with Outlook’s to-do items!
  • Assistant – speech-based movie and restaurant bookings etc.
  • In all, over 200 new features.
iOS5 will be available on most newer iDevices, that is all iPads, iPhone 3GS and later and third-generation and later iPod Touches.

iPhone 5

Ready to upgrade to the iPhone 5? What will the iPhone look like and what new physical capabilities will it boast?
Well, first we think it’s going to be roughly the same size and shape, possibly with a “teardrop” shape to the back, that is, curved edges like the 3GS but thicker at the top or bottom. But the screen will be larger, between 3.7″ and 4″, with the bezel being correspondingly narrower.
We’re also pretty sure that the camera on the back is going to get a jump from 5 megapixels to 8: most welcome.
There is also some support for the idea of a budget model, the so-called 4GS, but it’s unlikely – Apple likes to keep its ranges as small as possible.

Right. When?

The reason for the fever pitch is that everything points to an imminent release: leaked phone-company and retailer documents all point to an Apple event in September with an actual ship-date of October 7th or so.

Are you excited? Oh. Well, allow me to be so on your behalf. In fact, if you like, I’ll even go get one. Just so you can hear what it’s like.

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