The swirling tempest of recent Apple iPhone rumors seems to be converging on a late-summer time frame for Apple’s next mobile announcement: AllThingsD claims it’s learned that Apple’s planning to unveil the next iPhone — and whatever else it might have up its sleeves — on Sept. 10.
That’s a Tuesday, two calendar days earlier than the Wednesday Sept. 12, 2012 shindig Cupertino staged to celebrate the iPhone 5’s arrival last year. Whether intentional or coincidental, if the rumor’s calendar crosshairs prove accurate, it would place Apple’s announcement in the midst of a popular Berlin-based electronics show at which HTC and Samsung are anticipated to announce new hybrid “phablets,” possibly an “HTC Max” in HTC’s case, and the third iteration of the Galaxy Note series in Samsung’s. Make of that what you will.
My colleague Jared Newman already broke down the list of likely (or less so) rumored features we’ll see in Apple’s next iPhone, but in short, we keep hearing about a fingerprint reader — technology that’s been around in mobile form for over a decade, but which Apple could rejigger in ways we’ve not yet seen (when I was a systems engineer back in the early 2000s, one of the concerns the company I worked for had about biometric authentication was that it’s possible to lift someone’s fingerprints, then create artificial ones capable of fooling a fingerprint scanner; perhaps Apple and AuthenTec — the security company Apple snatched last summer for $356 million — have some near foolproof angle on this).
There’s also the NFC (near-field communications) rumor, which may or may not have anything to do with the use-your-phone-like-cash-at-retail rumor, incremental updates to the hardware (a faster, possibly quad-core processor, better battery life, more system memory, a higher-megapixel camera with low-light improvements) and all of that running iOS 7, the most radical visual overhaul of Apple’s mobile operating system since the original iPhone launched in 2007. Right now, odds seem to favor an iPhone 4S–like iPhone 5 refresh where the phone’s form remains the same — an “iPhone 5S,” if you will.
Everything else you’ve read, say about a low-cost iPhone, a smaller “lite” version, one with a Galaxy S4–size screen or something midway between that and the iPhone 5’s, etc., should be treated with the same level of skepticism you’d level at a celebrity-gossip rag. Yes, “analysts” have been clamoring for Apple to release smaller, lower-cost mobiles for years — which, given Apple’s remarkable iPhone-sales track record, tells us all we need to about why companies don’t outsource business decisions to pundits by any other name.
Update: The ever prescient Jim Dalrymple (The Loop) just weighed in with a trademark “yep,” which pretty much means game on.