Things are about to hot up in smartphone land. The rumour volcano is near ready to explode, pouring juicy specs over iPhone fans like an Apple-fuelled Vesuvius. The queuers are getting ready and the phone contracts coming to an end. So when is the iPhone 5 coming? It's that time of year again - it's iPhone 5 launch time.
So what do we know? Right now pretty much nothing is concrete, but you can guarantee that a lot of rumour will come true. So here we have it, everything we know about the new iPhone 5.
iPhone 5 release date?
Pinning down a release date on the iPhone 5 isn't easy. If we look to previous handset launches, the iPhone 4 came in June and the 4S in October. Current whispers of an iPad mini mean that if the new tablet should come to fruition, Apple will likely shift the new iPhone's launch.
There was no mention of the device at WWDC, which was more about iOS 6. The first real indicator that the phone was due to arrive is a gradual slowing of current gen iPhone orders. According to analyst Shaw Wu, this is exactly what is happening.
Then we were guessing a September-October timeframe for the iPhone 5 launch, which is most likely, even though a source talking to KnowYourMobile started to point to August 7 for a keynote speech. Another website, Macotakara, which has been reliable in Mac rumours and releases in the past, also said the handset is already in production and, according to a Chinese source, will be due out in August. However, they both now look highly unlikely.
More probable is the news that a Chinese accessory manufacturer is now claiming to have been given a heads up by Apple that the new iPhone 5 will be released to the general public on 21 September. It's a rumour that is gaining gravitas from a number of other sources too. Many now believe that it will be announced by Apple on 12 September, released on 21 of the same month.
iPhone 5 design
Apple works in design pairs; the iPhone 3G and the 3GS; the iPhone 4 and the 4GS. This time then things should be different on the design front. People need something fresh to feel excited about and no doubt Apple will deliver.
Right now there is plenty to go on in terms of design rumours for the iPhone 5. Most point to a larger screen, with the latest set of leaks showing a bigger screen in widescreen format. Website Kitguru even had leaked shots of the phone - which were eventually taken down, adding to the the likelihood of their being real. No surprise here but it also looks like there will be a white version of the new iPhone, with a front plate image appearing on Apple.pro
Before these leaked images - which show a very similar design to the 4S albeit with a grey colour antenna wraparound - there were some slightly different looking shots. Sadly these were nothing more than high-quality renders, so can be ignored.
We don't have any weight specifics yet, but expect things to be getting thinner and lighter, they nearly always do. In terms of size, pictures of a backplate have emerged showing the phone measuring 12 x 6cm. Also any leaked shots can always vary massively from the final design: don't forget how the iPhone 4 was found with a 3G style wraparound.
There's also speculation that we'll see a a new-look dock connector, which will no doubt be causing all sorts of fun for accessories manufacturers. Dropping the traditional 30 pin connector and going for something smaller could help save on space internally, which might translate to things such as bigger batteries.
What's more, could we see the 3.5mm headset port moved from the top of the phone to the bottom? After all this would make it easier to read a text message or check a caller ID with a more natural movement when removing the phone from your pocket while the headphones are plugged in.
One thing's for sure, the screens are already built, with Sharp CEO Takashi Okuda claiming that the company is ready to ship finished Retina displays to Apple this month (August).
iPhone 5 specifications
It's looking like Apple will opt for a 3.95-inch screen with the new iPhone. This means a resolution jump in order to maintain the Retina Display resolution, with a screen of perhaps 1136 x 640 res. Expect this jump to come along with fresh app updates for all of Apple's core iOS applications, likely alongside iSO 6, with which the phone will ship.
The iPhone 5 could also house a thinner display to its predecessors thanks to new technology from Sharp. In-cell technology integrates touch sensors into an LCD display meaning no additional touch sensitive layer is needed.
As for the processor, quad-core is possible, all though we expect it to be similar if not the same as the A5X sat inside the iPad. Apple traditionally hasn't liked to be first to the fore with the processor speed game, so the new iPhone may dodge the quad-core thing in order to save on battery.
The lack of concrete specs on the iPhone means anything else is pretty much guess work. Like most iPhone updates, you should be expecting a better camera, screen, processor and the rest. We just don't know exactly what they are going to be yet.
Where can you get it?
Here's a bit of fun: a Chinese website called TaoBao is already advertising the phone for sale at around £749, despite there being no specifications or even a release date.
Expect every major network to start carrying the iPhone from launch, as per normal, as well as insane numbers of pre-orders and day one queues. We also expect PC World and Currys to be stocking it, given its listing of a "mystery Apple product" at a recent Christmas in July event.
Naturally, the moment we have details on who is stocking the iPhone, we will be putting out info faster than you can read it. Until then, hold tight, the iPhone 5 is coming, as evidenced to somebody out in the wide world already having one in their possession - at least, if an anonymous site's server logs are anything to go by.
Smallest ever Sim?
According to reports, the new iPhone 5 will, for the first time use a nano-Sim. Operators are said to be stockpiling the smallest ever Sim card ahead of launch so as to be able to deliver working devices as soon as they arrive in store.
© copyright Pocket-lint 2012