By Frank Ling
Remember last year when smartphone fans around the world were anxiously living on rumors and tidbits about Apple’s new iPhone 5? It seemed as though every theory, story, and conjecture, no matter how far-fetched, was taken at face value and accepted as the truth.
But as we all know now, virtually all of the rumors failed to launch, so to speak, and Apple fans saw the reveal of the iPhone 4S in October 2011, instead.
Although it’s hard to believe, the Apple rumor mill has begun to crank out more stories about the next model of the iPhone. Some have already tagged it as the iPhone 5, while others believe Apple will throw another curve ball at the public and name it something else.
Most bets are on Apple naming its new product the “Next iPhone.”
One of the main weaknesses and complaints about the iPhone series are the glass backs – drop your iPhone and the fragile case shatters. But according to some sources within the industry, Apple may be incorporating a new material for its cases with something called Liquidmetal.
The new substance, manufactured by Liquidmetal Technologies, is an alloy comprised of titanium, nickel, copper, zirconium, and other materials, which makes Liquidmetal very light in weight, highly resistant to impact, and very smooth to the touch. If the rumor is true, it will give a lot of next-gen iPhone owners some real peace of mind.
Supply chain partners for Apple have indicated that the company has put in big orders for larger mobile phone screens that measure 4.3-inches. The present iPhone screens measure 3.5-inches diagonally. The resulting logic is that the new screens are slated for the upcoming iPhone 5/Next iPhone. This makes sense as the iPhone form factor hasn’t changed since its introduction in 2007, and is way overdue for a makeover.
Thin smartphones seem to be in at the moment and some believe that Apple’s next iPhone may be headed in this direction as well. Industry sources believe that new innovations in touch screen technology will make their way into the next-gen iPhone. The new panels will be thinner in profile and will reduce the overall thickness of the iPhone.
So in a nutshell, according to the most recent rumors, the iPhone 5/Next iPhone will be thinner, tougher, and bigger. This sort of sounds like the old Six Million Dollar Man TV show, doesn’t it?
Oh, and one last rumor; some believe that the next iPhone will be coming sometime during the fall, and that’s a wrap for now.
Frank Ling is the SF Gadgets Examiner and has been a writer, professional photographer, video producer, video game QA trainer, and video editor.