Recently, the mobile market has been filled with news and events centered around the latest and greatest Android smartphones. Many smartphone enthusiasts are waiting for the Samsung Galaxy S4′s arrival, HTC One is on its way to global release, while the LG Optimus G Pro might be released in the U.S. by the end of May (at least according to rumors).
Needless to say, the Android market is in continuous expansion. While these powerful handsets are flexing their muscles, Apple enthusiasts are starting to feel a bit left out. The Cupertino-based giant released the iPhone 5 in 2012, and as expected, not much has happened in the world of Apple ever since.
Nevertheless, rumors and purported leaks continue to make the rounds in regards to the upcoming iPhone 5S / 6. Some of them are a bit exaggerated, while others, not so much. After a careful vetting process, you’ll find a collection of the latest, plausible rumors in the sections that follow. However, this analysis is based on speculation, so treat this type of information accordingly. Nothing is set in stone and until Apple makes any official announcements, anything is subject to change.
The Fingerprint Scanner Conundrum
The idea that a fingerprint scanner will be implemented on the “upcoming iPhone” is rather old. It’s been reiterated before, yet it didn’t stop the industry’s “trusted sources” from bringing it up again. Not long ago, rumors were claiming that the iPhone 5S will benefit from this type of technology and that the scanner itself will be built by AuthenTec and embedded within the Home button. AuthenTec, a mobile and network security company, was purchased by Apple last year for $356 million.
Furthermore, rumors were also claiming that the iPhone 5S will benefit from Near Field Communication (NFC), a capability that allows enabled-devices to communicate with each other when close together. With that feature, the fingerprint scanner would be a way of securing mobile transactions performed through NFC technology.
However, a newer set of alleged leaked pictures show otherwise. The set of images recently shared by Phone Arena are depicting what looks like the iPhone 5S home button. Interestingly enough, the alleged home button of the 5S lacks any indication that a fingerprint scanner is embedded within.
Nevertheless, if this type of technology is in Apple’s plans then we might get to see it on the iPhone 6. Or not. It may simply be the case of one rumor refusing to die even after having been refuted numerous times.
According to the majority of rumors concerning the iPhone 5S, Apple will not focus on changing the handset’s design too much. In exchange, the 5S will benefit from updated hardware, software and a better main camera.
Despite that theory, a couple of so-called “leaked” pictures have recently surfaced, indicating that the iPhone 5S might come with a curved display and a completely different overall design. With regard to home buttons, these images are depicting a device that completely lacks this particular feature – which would mean no fingerprint scanner or home button to begin with.
Although the idea of a button-less iPhone has been mentioned before, and while these pictures look genuine (or not necessarily faked), the more reasonable theory is the one claiming that the iPhone 5S will not introduce any major changes, at least not when talking about the smartphone’s design. However, this is still speculation and anything could change.
Release Date Rumors
Possible hardware specs aside, Apple fans are keen to learn when they will be able to buy the upcoming iPhone 5S. Evidently, rumors have not been missing in regards to the handset’s availability. The latest however, comes from the Japanese magazine that goes by the name of “Mac Fan.” According to their claims, Apple will hold an event on June 20th when the iPhone 5S will be unveiled in all its glory. Following the aforementioned event, the handset will supposedly hit the shelves in July.
Apple A7 Processor, iPhone 6 and a Flexible Display
With all of the rumors and speculation surrounding the iPhone 5S, there has also been a fair amount of stargazing regarding the iPhone 6. The latter is supposed to be a bigger step forward than the 5S, and evidently, newer technology is expected to be found under its hood.
According to a set of rumors and judging by a chain of events, Apple’s next powerhouse processor (which is currently known as the A7) might not end up powering the iPhone 5S. Instead, the new chip will be reserved for the upcoming iPhone 6. The main reason for this is that, allegedly, the revamped CPU will not go into production earlier than 2014. Supposedly, the legal disputes between Apple and Samsung Electronics (the company responsible of producing Apple A6 and A6X processors) might have determined the company headquartered in Cupertino to look for a new collaboration in order to produce the next chip. As such, the A7-equipped iPhone 6 might not hit the market this year.
Furthermore, there has been speculation based on an Apple job posting (that has been removed in the meantime), supporting the theory that the iPhone 6 might feature a flexible display. In short, Apple Inc. was looking for a Display Specialist that would have the necessary skills to “lead the investigation on emerging display technologies such as […] flexible display…”. This doesn’t say much about the iPhone 6 itself, but that is consistent with how the rumor mill continues to churn out new ideas and angles.
Once again, please take this speculation with a dose of skepticism, as nothing has been confirmed thus far. On the other hand, don’t hesitate to share your opinions via the comments section below.
Vlad Andrici is editor for gforgames.com and writes about technology issues.