Photo: Jon Fawcett, Fuse Chicken
We’re now well past the halfway point in the iPhone 4S lifecycle. So it’s no surprise rumours about the next iPhone have been picking up.
Recently, we’ve been hearing a lot about a larger screen in the new iPhone, but what else is in store? We rounded up all the most important rumours for you right here.
All signs point to the next iPhone being a 4G LTE phone. LTE is the latest and greatest wireless technology that lets you download data at speeds that often rival your home's broadband connection.
AT&T and Verizon are currently the only carriers that offer LTE. Sprint will have LTE in several cities by the time the new iPhone launches this fall.
After two years with the same iPhone design, everyone is expecting the next model to look and feel completely different.
The latest rumours say the next iPhone could be 7.9 millimeters thick, which is about a millimetre thinner than the iPhone 4S.
There have been a recent string of reports claiming Apple is planning to make the next iPhone with a 4-inch screen. First, The Wall Street Journal reported Apple ordered larger screens for the device. Then 9to5Mac said Apple was testing an iPhone that has a taller, 4-inch screen.
The latter report seems to be the most common theory at the moment. The next iPhone's body will have the same footprint as the current model, but the screen ratio will change to 16:9. The mockup photo here gives you a good ideal what that'll look like.
According to some reports from Asia, Apple will use a new 'liquid metal' alloy to make the next iPhone's body, replacing the heavy duty glass used now.
We recently spoke to Atakan Peker, one of Liquidmetal's inventors. He said if Apple uses Liquidmetal, it'll have to be for a 'breakthrough' device. That could be the next iPhone.
While you wouldn't be able to guess from its advertising or marketing materials, T-Mobile is hurting because it doesn't offer the iPhone. The company has said as much in official statements and earnings reports.
T-Mobile can't have the iPhone right now because its network isn't compatible with the device. While you can use an unlocked iPhone on T-Mobile, you won't be able to get 3G data speeds.
But T-Mobile is taking matters into its own hands, altering its network so unlocked iPhones can access 3G speeds. That's good news if you want to buy the next iPhone unlocked at full price and run it on T-Mobile.
However, since the next iPhone is supposed to be compatible with advanced LTE networks, you'll still be out of luck if you want to remain a T-Mobile customer. T-Mobile's network won't have LTE until 2013, which means it'll likely miss the next iPhone launch this fall. If T-Mobile has any hope of getting the next iPhone, it probably won't happen until next year at the very earliest.
Apple's trend for iOS devices seems to be to introduce the fastest hardware and processor in the iPad, then adopt it in the iPhone later in the year. We saw it with the iPad 2/iPhone 4S, and we'll likely see it again with the next iPhone.
Reports say Apple is already testing the new iPhone's guts. It has the same A5X processor found in the new iPad. It's also said to have 1 GB of RAM. Those specs mean you'll get some incredible performance out of the next iPhone.
After making a trip to Asia to visit electronics suppliers, analyst Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets said the next iPhone will have a 'sleek' look thanks to a new unibody casing.
While we're almost positive the next iPhone will have a new look, we're not sure this is enough evidence to prove it'll have a unibody design.
Apple recently acquired Chomp, a company that made it easy to find new apps for your iPhone or iPad. That likely means Apple is planning a big update to the App store.
With tens of thousands of apps in the App Store, it can be tough to find the right one for you. The Chomp team could fix that.
Since the iPhone is expected to have a thinner design, Apple may shrink the size of its standard 30-pin dock connector in the new phone too.
Unfortunately, that'll mean you'll probably have to buy all new chargers and accessories if you upgrade from the iPhone 4 or 4S.
If the next iPhone is going to be thinner, Apple will have to alter its touchscreen technology to fit. According to Jeffries analyst Peter Misek, Apple will use a new screen in the next iPhone that is much more responsive.
It's the rumour that just won't die.
Every year we hear that Apple is working on a smaller, cheaper version of the iPhone. And every year the rumour is completely wrong.
Recent reports from Asia say Apple is working on a cheaper iPhone model to battle all those budget Android phones out there.
However, it's much more likely that Apple will stick with tradition and offer the iPhone 4 and 4S at a discount after the next iPhone launches.
Here's another rumour we hear every year: Apple may introduce a cheaper, pre-paid iPhone.
The latest report says the iPhone 3GS will stick around for yet another year, but be sold primarily as a pre-paid phone overseas.
Apple is working on a brand new Maps app for the next version of iOS. Instead of relying on Google Maps, Apple will use its own mapping software. It's very likely the maps will be powered by C3 Technologies, a company Apple bought several months ago. C3 Technologies specialises in gorgeous 3D maps like the one pictured here.