Home Making Sense of the “New iPhone” Rumors

Making Sense of the “New iPhone” Rumors

The new iPhone, expected to launch sometime in Q3 2011, will be “thinner and lighter” than the iPhone 4, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the situation. It will also include an 8-megapixel camera – a big step up from the 5-megapixel camera now in the iPhone 4, claims the paper.

While the 8-megapixel camera has been reported by numerous sources, the design itself is still in question. Last month, for example, Bloomberg said the new iPhone would “closely resemble” the iPhone 4. And in May, This is my Next… reported the iPhone would sport a teardrop-shaped design. What’s really going on?

What’s going on is that no one knows. New design, same design, thinner, lighter, teardrop-shaped? Everything’s in full “rumor” territory until Apple CEO Steve Jobs steps on stage and holds up the new device for the world to see.

That being said, when comparing all the reports in aggregate, some trends can be seen.

Biggest Rumors So Far

For starters, in the Journal report, an unnamed component supplier stated that Apple’s sales estimates for the next iPhone were aggressive – Apple told them to prepare for 25 million units by year end. But two other sources cautioned that the new iPhone is “complicated and difficult to assemble,” which could prove challenging for Hon Hai, the global assembler for Apple products. And what makes a phone complicated to assemble? Hon Hai Chairman Terry Gou said it was because some of the devices it handles are “so thin,” explains The Journal, referring to something Gou said at the company’s annual meeting in June.

For what it’s worth, the iPhone 5 (if that’s what it will be called) described by The Journal could confirm both the This is my Next… report of a teardrop-shaped phone as well as an earlier BGR report which states that the next iPhone will not be “an upgraded iPhone 4 as had been previously rumored.” Instead, said BGR, it will sport a “radical new case design.”

At the time, BGR didn’t have any news on what that case design would be, but referenced the This is my Next… blog post as one possibility.  And Joshua Topolsky of This is my Next.., formerly of Engadget, had reported all the way back in January that the next iPhone would be “completely redesigned,” according to his sources.

While it’s entirely possible that all the sources referenced are just the machinations of Apple PR, the trend does seem to point to a new look for the new iPhone. At least, that’s what we’re hoping for, especially considering all the drama over “antennagate” with the iPhone 4. Oh, had you all forgotten that? But of course the new iPhone will be redesigned – Apple doesn’t want to go through that again!

Image credit, mockup: This is My Next…

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