Apple may be planning to release a refreshed, SIM-card-free version of the iPhone 4 with a new 8 megapixel camera sometime in August 2011.
There has been no shortage of whispers and rumors surrounding Apple’s fifth-generation of the iPhone, due for launch sometime in the upcoming months. The latest rumor, reported byMacotakara, suggests that the next iPhone won’t be a significant departure from the company’s iPhone 4, and the major changes will come in the form of an ARM Cortex-A9 based processor, an 8 megapixel camera, won’t require a SIM card, and will be “world phone” capable. It was unconfirmed as to whether or not the new processor would be dual-core or single.
If the rumors are correct, it would mean that a single model would be able to support both GSM networks, such as AT&T, and CDMA networks, such as Verizon. Qualcomm has been pegged as the supplier of the world phone chipsets, and they do have such an offering currently available. However, the “late July or early August” timeframe stated by the site goes against their earlier prediction of a “fiscal 2012 launch” that was made in March of this year.
Macotakara also suggests that the next “major new handset” from Apple won’t arrive until 2012 – sometime in the spring. This timeframe for the potential “iPhone 6” was leaked by a Japanese newspaper in April, saying that Apple had selected Sharp to supply the display technology for the new handset. It’s expected that Apple and Sharp are developing poly-silicon LCD displays that operate at a lower temperature than current models, allowing them to be thinner and lighter.
These recent rumors both agree with and contradict the other whispers that have been circulating around Apple’s newest handset. A Concord Securities analyst covering the iPhone recently reported that the handset will only have “slight modifications” from the iPhone 4, including “a new 8 megapixel rear camera”. Stephane Richard, CEO of Orange, was recently quoted as saying that carriers had been working with Apple to develop a “smaller and thinner SIM card” – which was to avoid using the embedded SIM technology that Macotakara thinks will be in the new iPhone. Carriers largely panned the idea, as they stand to lose quite a bit of control without the SIM card technology being a requirement.
A number of sources have commented on other changes to the rear camera, including moving the flash to the opposite side of the iPhone. This would improve picture quality and significantly diminish artifacts such as “red-eye”. No new rumors came from this report, but it would be a surprise if this plan was deviated from by Apple.
As to whether or not these latest rumors will prove true – Macotakara has been correct in the past. The site previously reported that the iPad 2 would launch with a smaller bezel, larger speaker and a flat back; all of these came true upon launch. Only time will tell if their predictions about Apple’s next iPhone come true as well.