June 1, 2012 at 12:30 PM ET
Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) runs June 11 through June 15. As in prior years, the event will kick off with a keynote presentation and this, naturally, means that expectations are high and that many are hoping to hear about the next iPhone.
So let's review iPhone rumors, again, just so that we're up to date on things.
When will the next iPhone arrive?
With the exception of the iPhone 4S (released October 2011), every new iPhone model hit shelves in either June or July. So it's no surprise that many are optimistic regarding the next-generation Apple smartphone being announced at WWDC. But unfortunately, many recent reports shoot down the idea that the next iPhone will be shown off during the WWDC keynote.
According to CNET, analyst Tavis McCourt of Morgan Keegan said the next-generation iPhone should arrive in the fall of this year. South Korea's Maeil Business Newspaper backs up this release date and explains that the head of human resources at Foxconn's Taiyuan factory said that the device will become available "around October." (Or at least that's how Kotaku's Brian Ashcraft translates the publication's claim.)
Of course, there's a flip-side to every piece of gossip. 9to5 Mac believes a "reliable source at Foxconn in China," who suggested that the device is set for a summer launch. Digitimes points out that "the Chinese-language Commercial Times quoted Daiwa Securities as indicating" that the gadget will be unveiled at WWDC. And then there are all the leaked images of purported iPhone components which are already hitting shelves ....
As I've said before, my best (reasonably educated) guess is that the next-generation iPhone will arrive in late summer or early fall of this year. (And if you h forced me to pick one, I'd go with the fall — which would give the current, hot-selling 4S a full year to soak up the sales.)
What will the next iPhone look like?
While the iPhone 4S is virtually indistinguishable from its predecessor, the iPhone 4, most reports agree that the next-generation Apple smartphone will have a significantly different look.
Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White sent a note describing what he learned about the new iPhone while visiting tech suppliers in China and Taiwan, writes Business Insider's Jay Yarow: "This will be the most significant iPhone upgrade with a four-inch screen and a new, sleek look that we believe will require a unibody case." Those at 9to5 Mac add that they've heard — via mysterious, unnamed sources — that the next iPhone will "sport a new, larger display that is 3.999 inches diagonally."
At iMore — which has nailed several Apple predictions in the past — folks disagree with White's prediction that the new iPhone will have a larger display. (Though they do hedge their bets and say that the detail isn't set in stone.) Reuters goes into the entirely opposite direction with a report that the new iPhone will use a ridiculously large 4.6-inch display.
Some reports have suggested that the next iPhone may be made out of "Liquidmetal," a strong, durable and versatile material. But Dr. Atakan Peker, the creator of the material says that this rumor likely won't pan out. He explains that the material is most certainly good enough for the iPhone, but that the manufacturing techniques and infrastructure to implement it properly, and on a large scale, do not exist just yet.
What sort of guts will it have?
9to5 Mac's Mark Gurman says that prototype versions of the next-generation iPhone are rocking 1GB of RAM, and TechRadar's John McCann offers that Sony's new back-illuminated stacked CMOS image sensors would be perfect for the next-generation iPhone as they are ideal for super-slim phones (and the iPhone 4S uses some Sony camera technology already. And we certainly agree with iMore's Rene Ritchie, who suggests that the device will be 4G LTE compatible — just like the new iPad.
What did we learn?
Many people have said it before and I'll say it again: "A rumor's not a rumor that doesn't die."
This means that the particularly persistent rumors tend to be the ones which turn out to be true. So pick your favorite rumors and speculate at will in the comments below.
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