iPhone 5: The Sixth Generation Apple iPhoneIn the case of Apple’s existing iPhone 4S, people didn't experience anything new from the device's look as it was pretty much identical to its predecessor, the iPhone 4. And that has probably paved the way for growing rumors that Apple will bring some change to the form factor of its flagship smartphone's next iteration. Some earlier rumors suggested that Apple's sixth generation smartphone would adopt a teardrop design. If recent rumors are to be believed, the new iPhone would be symmetrical in shape with an aluminum rear panel reinforced by a glossy plastic or rubberized bezel. The new rumor goes that the next Apple iPhone will sport a new form factor that "could employ a single unibody frame reminiscent of the company's MacBook lineup," AppleInsider reported. Given that the new iPad has Retina display with a groundbreaking 2048 x 1536 resolution, the next iPhone is also expected to feature something higher in terms of its display. While some recent reports suggest that the phone will sport a large 4.6-inch screen, reports surfaced last week said that Apple would consider the current 3.5-inch screen size. Some other sources also said that the device will sport Quantum Dot LED curved glass edge-to-edge display with 1280 x 720 resolutions (367ppi). There are reports that suggest that the new iPhone will have an edge-to-edge display, making the smartphone even more appealing for Apple fans. Considering Android smartphones are increasingly coming with 8 megapixel camera, the iPhone 5 is also expected to feature something similar or even higher. Some speak about an 8 megapixel or even 10 megapixel camera and the possibility of taking pictures in the panorama mode. Rumors also suggest that the iPhone 5 will have a 2 megapixel front-facing camera for video chatting. In March, a DigiTimes report cited unnamed sources within the Taiwan-based smartphone manufacturer, who claimed that the next generation iPhone would "very likely" contain an embedded 4G LTE radio. Given that the new iPad came with 4G LTE support, the probability of LTE technology being incorporated in Apple's next iPhone cannot be ignored right away. Many reports said that the NFC technology would also be featured in the upcoming Apple phone. A recent report by the Insane Planet said that the NFC technology on the iPhone 5 "is becoming a huge possibility." The report cited a Patently Apple post regarding an Apple patent application about "iWallet" and NFC and said that Apple had "granted a patent for iWallet to payments via NFC and diagrams passed from Apple to the Patent & Trademark Office in the US shows an iPhone which may possibly be the iPhone 5." Rumors are also rife that an A6 processor will power the next iPhone. It will be a superfast 1.2 to 1.5 GHz processor with 1GB or more of RAM to offer amazing processing capabilities to the smartphone. As far as the operating system is concerned, iOS 6 is highly anticipated. Apple released iOS 5.1, an incremental update to iOS 5 on March 7. The current iPhone 4S and the new iPad will run the latest iOS update, says Apple. Since every new Apple device comes with an upgraded version of the company's mobile operating system, speculations are rife that an update to iOS 6.0 is possible by the time of the iPhone 5 release. Apple fans are also hoping for an improvised battery to be incorporated in the iPhone 5. As per the rumor, the phone will have a better battery life than the Li-Po 1420 mAh battery in iPhone 4S that gives up to 8 hours of talk time on 3G and up to 14 hours on 2G (GSM). As per the release goes, some earlier reports said Apple would launch iPhone 5 at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June this year. The reports suggested that the June launch of the next iPhone would bring an end to an eight-month-long life span of the current iPhone 4S. However, recent rumors suggested that Apple might launch the device in the second half of 2012. The Cupertino tech giant might abandon mid-year launches and consider a 12-month iPhone upgrade cycle starting in the fall. While there is no official word on when the upcoming iteration of the Apple iPhone is finally arriving, chances of a fall launch look stronger than that of a summer launch. Apple would be inclined to pull the trigger on a June iPhone 5 release, had there been a decrease in the iPhone 4S sales, but there's hardly any sign of that so far, say reports. In its fiscal first quarter ending Dec. 31, 2011, Apple reported iPhone sales of 37 million, an increase of 128 percent year-over-year, and the iPhone 4S was only released in some markets as recently as January. In addition, unlike a summer release, the fall release of the next iPhone would ensure that the owners of the current iPhone 4S have completed at least a year into their carrier contracts, according to iDownload Blog. It will "allow most of them to purchase a new iPhone at the subsidized price." Releasing the new iPhone before the holidays would also help Apple record good sales.
iOS 6With Apple's yearly pilgrimage for developers - the World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) - highly rumored to begin June 11 in San Francisco's Moscone West, speculations are rife that the Cupertino tech giant may take the wraps off its iOS 6 and its sixth generation iPhone during the event. According to iOS 6 News Blog, WWDC has been the venue for the release of Apple's new iOS versions for years, making it quite easy to guess a general timeframe for iOS 6. "Unless Apple really surprises us and decides to only release an iOS 5.2, we would expect to see the new iOS 6 in June." It doesn't matter whether iOS 6 and iPhone 5 debut at WWDC this year, one thing is certain that the update Apple OS will be a key feature to accompany the next generation iPhone. So what could iOS 6 have in store for us? According to AppAdvice, ever since the App Store launched in 2008, handling of apps by iOS has remained pretty much the same. The apps are arranged in line across the screen, with positions determined by the user. Although Apple is not expected to "reinvent the wheel here, it would be nice to see some improvements to how iOS handles apps," said the report. For example, a folder for the frequently accessed apps, a weather splash for accessing the latest outside temperatures easily and alerts for new app updates offered by iOS itself. In addition, an improved Siri is also expected to come with iOS 6. When Apple launched iPhone 4S, one of the most talked about features was Siri and the array of tasks the personal voice assistant was able to do. But the application was available only on iPhone 4S and has remained so till date, at least officially. "Apple should open this up for other developers," said an AppAdvice report. "For example, have ESPN tell use the baseball games scheduled for this weekend; or have the iTunes Movie Trailers app tell us what's showing at our local multiplex." Recent rumors said that the Dolphin browser, a popular third-party browser for Android and the iPhone, recently launched a new voice command system called "Sonar" that could hint at new Siri developments for iOS 6. The feature can be activated by pushing a button or shaking the phone. It helps users to search websites, navigate the browser, or directly share a link on Facebook or Twitter with just a voice command. "The reason why the launch of Dolphn's Sonar is significant is that it may indicate that Apple will open up Siri to third-party developers, allowing them to leverage for other apps and functions," iOS 6 News Blog reported. Apart from these, there are some more features that are expected to be included in the upcoming iOS 6 - Facebook integration, App Store shopping cart, quick toggles in notification center, multi-user login, better multitasking, more inbuilt apps, turn-by-turn directions voice and more cloud integration, to name a few.
Apple's next-generation MacBook ProAlthough there have not been any official words regarding the release of the new MacBook Pro, rumors are rife that the device would be a 15-inch revamped model and will launch as early as May. According to Cult of Mac, earlier rumors suggested that “slimmer, Air-like MacBook Pros with an optical drive” would be released early in May, “and now How To Arena says that the chips needed for the new 15-inch Pros will become available on April 29th.” That said, the May release of the new MacBook Pro looks likely, “especially since multiple third-party resellers are already showing limited stock or are sold out of 15-inch MacBook Pros, while MacMall is having blow-out sales on many 15-inch Pro models, presumably to clear inventory,” the report said. If rumors are to be believed, the 15- inch MacBook Pro will feature Intel's Core i5 and Core i7 Ivy Bridge chipset. Apart from that, the device is also expected to sport an anti-glare retina display. Rumors suggest that the 13-inch MacBook Pro will also get refreshment in June, followed by another 17-inch model later this year.
Apple Smart TV: iPanelAccording to Jefferies analyst Peter Misek, Apple will launch a smart TV in the fourth quarter of this year and it will be called “iPanel”, instead of “iTV” as earlier rumors suggested. “We now believe the iTV could be called “iPanel” as it is far more than a TV; it is a display, gaming center, media hub, computer, home automator, etc. Also, Apple would likely have difficulty getting naming rights from the UK TV network ITV,” Misek said in a research note quoted by CNET. According to him, his Asia supply chain sources expect that the device’s commercial production would begin in May/June with 2 million to 5 million builds likely. "We believe Sharp and Apple have modified the IGZO (indium, gallium, zinc) technology to make much-improved HD displays. The Sharp relationship will enable Apple to diversify away from Samsung and gain additional display capacity with leading-edge technology,” Misek said, mentioning the recent investment in Sharp by Hon Hai. However, ZDNet’s Adrian Kingsley-Hughes looked a bit doubtful with the Apple TV rumors. “The seed for a number of these TV rumors comes from another rumor that Apple is buying up 32-inch LCD panels. My betting is that these panels will end up in 32-incj iMac units and not TVs,” Hughes said.
iTunes 11According to a recent report in 9to5Mac, Apple has already begun seeding iTunes 11 internally. The report stated that work on iTunes 11 started even before the release of iTunes 10.6, “and the development of the new software product… is currently focused on under-the-hood changes, rather than cosmetic changes.” “Apple is working on iTunes 11 as a version of iTunes that supports their upcoming iOS 6 release and future devices,” said the report. “While iTunes 11 is built as an iOS 6 compatible-release, according to sources, iTunes 11 could very well be a release coming farther down the road, and Apple could very well release another iTunes 10.x point update as a simple iOS-6-compatiblity release. One source calls that the more likely situation.” As per the report, the key features likely to be included in iTunes 11 are the software’s integration with iCloud and support for iOS 6. In addition, the report also said that “a full iTunes Store and App Store revamp is underway for a launch between this summer and the fall.”
Most tech products in general and Apple products in particular see a lot of chatter in the press before they're finally announced. The rumors and speculations try to envisage what the products will offer and when they will finally land on the users' hands.
As far as Apple is concerned, the Cupertino tech giant is expected to release a plethora of new products in 2012. The company has already started the party with the release of the new iPad and new Apple TV in March and now the focus is on another set of products ranging from new devices to significant software upgrades.
Yes, a flurry of rumors does precede each and every Apple product release. However, only a few of them turn out to be true while majority of them continue to be a part of the fancied rumor mill. But that hasn't stopped people's imaginations. That hasn't stopped them from hankering after something new from Apple.
Here's a compilation of rumored releases from Apple for 2012 that includes the next generation iPhone aka iPhone 5, the next version of iOS - iOS 6, MacBook Pro, a smart TV rumored as iPanel and iTunes 11. Start the slideshow to find out what the upcoming Apple products are expected to offer.