Latest iPhone Report Reveals Exciting New Features [UPDATE]

Posted by · March 22, 2012 10:33 am

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...The Apple rumor mill does not rest. Still relishing in the afterglow of a record-breaking release of the new iPad, one would think that it might do the company well to let the tablet hype wear off just a little bit before giving Apple enthusiasts something new to anticipate. Then again, that is the proven Apple style—always keeping consumers on the edges of their seats.

Unlike most of the rumors about upcoming devices—whose epicenters are typically found on blogs exclusively dedicated to all things Apple—the latest report comes from Reuters.

Relaying a South Korean media report on Thursday, the news agency has some exciting things to report about Apple’s forthcoming smartphone. Despite the proven success of the iPhone’s current style—whose sales since its 2007 inception have accounted for nearly half of all Apple sales—the company is reportedly opting for a bigger, 4.6-inch screen on its next-generation iPhone. Like the latest iPad, the new iPhone is said to boast the high-definition Retina display as well, adding an exponential boost of pixels.

Such a move by Apple is not out-of-line with the apparent trend in consumer preference. When it comes to smartphone screen size, buyers have expressed a strong affinity for the larger, 4.0-inch to 4.5-inch displays, like the one found on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus—the crown jewel of Android smartphones and the iPhone’s arch nemesis.

Also serving to catch up with current consumer expectations, the new iPhone will also (finally) have 4G LTE connectivity, which may actually prove well-timed for Apple, as TechCrunch’s Jordan Crook points out.

“[B]y the time the [new] iPhone launches, AT&T’s 4G LTE network should be much more built out, and Verizon’s should be much more reliable,” he posits.

While Apple suppliers are being predictably silent on the matter, the fact that Reuters has elected to pick up this story adds an element of credibility that other arms of the Apple rumor mill often lack.

But then again, isn’t that usually part of the fun?

UPDATE (3/23)

Popular Apple blog iMore put a kink in the Reuters report on Friday morning, with a “good source” of their own saying that the upcoming iPhone will keep the same (or close to the same) screen size of prior generations. After dedicating an entire post to explaining why a bigger screen (at least in their opinion) doesn’t make sense, the iMore folks doubled down on its stance by reporting some “additional information” that they had received since then.

So to sum up, iPhone 5,1 is on track for:

  • Similar if not same sized screen (currently 3.5-inch but not set in stone)
  • 4G LTE radio
  • New “micro dock” connector
  • Fall/October 2012 release

Given iMore’s reliable predictions in the past, including precise knowledge of the new iPad’s release date and LTE support, it’s tough to know who to believe.

  • Cassie

    OMG. I want to know when the new one will be released! I’m chomping at the bit for the 4S in May (waiting for my upgrade… bleh) and if Apple is releasing a whole new iPhone I may want to wait a little longer…!!

  • Chris Novak

    With the “new iPad” there’s been a lot of discussion about 4G/LTE streaming users burning through their monthly data caps much quicker than similar use on current 3G connections, due to ‘adaptive streaming’, where the streaming service sees higher resolution screen capability AND a bigger pipe, and therefore sends a higher-quality (aka a lot more) video stream.

    Makes me think there’s logic to sticking with older 3G devices. Perhaps Apple needs a setting on all iOS devices to be able to turn 4G off and use 3G only and/or some way to set the screen resolution lower when streaming video, so as to not burn through those monthly data caps so quickly?