This Week’s Apple Rumors, Ranked From Dumbest to Most Plausible
Each week, there are dozens of rumors, reports, and patent filings that hint at what’s coming out of Cupertino next. Some are legit, but many are totally bogus. As we’re nearing the launch of the next iPhone, we’re starting to see lots of parts leaks. As always, we’ve parsed the rumors, ranking them in order from “utterly ridiculous” to “duh, of course.” First up…
ASK AGAIN LATER: Photos of iPhone 6 Backplate, Camera Emerge
Sonny Dickson, another repeat Apple leaker whose photos have proven accurate in the past, posted images of the next iPhone’s backplate. The camera looks like it will be raised from the rest of the rear surface, and otherwise, the design matches what we’ve seen in previous leaks. A separate leak this week spotlights the camera and shows that a dual LED True Tone flash could still fit in the round (as opposed to the currently pill-shaped) flash component in these images. As we’re so close to the iPhone’s reported launch date, it’s more likely that the parts we see could be legit.
ASK AGAIN LATER: Photos of the iPhone 6 Display Panel and Other Parts
But wait, there’s more! Feld & Volk, a luxury iPhone modder, published more photos of what it claims to be iPhone 6 parts. This time we see the front display panel, the front edges (which taper into a curve), and closeups of the mute and power buttons.
ASK AGAIN LATER: Audio System for Thin Devices Could Appear in Next iPhone
Patently Apple uncovered a patent filing Thursday that details an audio system designed specifically for ‘thin’ devices. It uses a rectangular design and a mobile magnetic piston to create more dynamic audio for music and notifications, and also low frequency vibrations for tactile alerts. This could be something Apple might employ on a future iPhone, perhaps even the iPhone 6.
SIGNS POINT TO YES: Apple Details Fraud Detection System That Could Be Used in iTunes, iWallet
An Apple patent for fraud detection for identity management systems surfaced today from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In it, Apple explains how a centralized system could detect, in real-time or near real-time, fraudulent network events based on things like device and network signatures (like IP address, device IP, device ID, timestamp, or geolocation), account information, and the velocity of requests. Something like this could already be in place in iTunes, and could also be used in Apple’s anticipated mobile wallet service.
SIGNS POINT TO YES: Sapphire May Only Be Used on Higher-End iPhones
We’ve been hearing repeatedly about Apple’s troubles with producing quality sapphire displays at volume, along with conflicting reports that, yes, the next iPhone will still feature a sapphire display. A report from The Wall Street Journalmay finally explain the discrepancy: Apple may use super tough sapphire displays only on more expensive iPhone models this time around. The report says that would apply to both the 4.7- and the 5.5-inch models.
SIGNS POINT TO YES: New iPad Production Underway
A new 9.7-inch iPad Air is currently in production, with a new 7.9-inch iPad mini beginning mass production soon, according to Bloomberg. The larger model could be ready as soon as the end of this quarter, while the Mini should be ready by the end of the year. Bloomberg also says the Air model could feature an anti-reflective coating, which would make reading easier. I hope that means we’ll get anti-reflective coatings on future MacBooks and Cinema Displays, too.
WITHOUT A DOUBT: Apple’s Next iPhone Entering Final Stages of Production
First reported on Weibo, a Chinese social media site, the iPhone 6 is now in thefinal stages of mass production, called the “product validation test.” The report says that yields are at 90 percent, which puts it on track for an early September release. Just as expected.