The iOSsphere got its groove back this last week, as reason and unreason alike fueled a spate of rumors.
Included: concept art for iPhone 5 reached a new high, or low, depending on how you view it; Gorilla Glass 2 may appear on iPhone 5; the hidden number 3 shows the 5 will have 4; and the Next iPhone will be as radical as we hope.
You read it here second.
"He has managed to make a concept [image] so beautiful and realistic, that it makes you want to ask Apple to make the next iPhone based on it." ~ Sid, iJailbreak.com.
LITERARY FUN: If William Shakespeare wrote an Apple rumor blog
iPhone will, or should, look like these cool Italian images
The iOSsphere equivalent of "Girls of Maxim" or, for older generation, Playboy's Playmate of the Month, is iPhone 5 "concept art." And the response to the latter is pretty close to the response to the former.
Antonio De Rosa, of Italy-based ADR Studio, has released his latest photo-realistic imaginings of what he calls the "iPhone SJ" for "Steve Jobs." Think of airbrushed smartphones. The response has been nearly orgasmic.
"The iPhone SJ is a stunning concept and certainly one of the best we've seen," gushes Hannah Bouckley at Recombu, an online mobile phone seller.
"This iPhone SJ Concept Render Will Likely Blow Your Mind" is the headline for Ben Reid's Redmond Pie post, using a phrase that dates to the late 1960's to sum up the impact of hallucinatory drugs. Not a bad metaphor for iPhone rumors.
Reid does have one nit to pick, though. "Although [De Rosa] hasn't really given the design ... much in the way of technical specs except the to-be-expected A6 dual core processor, and an improved 10-megapixel camera."
That might be because De Rosa is, you know, a marketing communications designer and not an actual software or hardware engineer. That in turn might explain De Rosa's reference to Apple's anticipated A6 chip as dual-core; every reference we could find expects the A6 to be a quad-core processor. The iPad 2 and iPhone 4S currently are the first to use the dual-core A5.
"He has managed to make a concept so beautiful and realistic, that it makes you want to ask Apple to make the next iPhone based on it," according to Sid at iJailbreak.com. "Do you hope that the next iPhone, whatever it's called, will be something like this?"
If iJailbreak means by "something like this" a phone what's a thin, roughly oblong object with a touch screen, then you betcha!
But as the iOSsphere knows, God, or the devil, is in the details; or more accurately in the really, really detailed details. In a comment on Sid's post, Kyle Huang notes, "I don't think that they should have the Apple logo on the top front. They should replace that with the front viewing camera. Also, instead of the regular square for the home button, they should have the logo there. Otherwise, it looks just like a smart smartphone."
But perhaps Sayfulalam's comment sums it all up best: "I love the wallpaper. Where can I get it from?"
iPhone 5 will have Gorilla Glass 2, which will be ... better
Corning announced last week that it will announce this week, at the Consumer Electronics Show, Gorilla Glass 2.
And since iPhones and other iDevices use Gorilla Glass 1, you know what that means.
In a press release, quoted at 9to5 Mac, the company said it will "showcase the critical role of highly engineered specialty glass in addressing emerging trends."
"Although not confirmed, it is worth speculating whether Corning supplied Apple, before today's announcement, with Gorilla Glass 2 for iOS device production," speculates Elyse Betters at 9to5 Mac. "The idea does not seem far-fetched considering the nature of both companies' relationship ..."
That would be the relationship where Apple's CEO Steve Jobs was so impressed by the qualities of Gorilla Glass [check out this two-minute YouTube video posted by Betters] that he "offered to buy out all the Gorilla Glass that Corning could supply, but Corning's plants were not capable of manufacturing the glass," writes Betters. "In typical Jobs' fashion, the Apple CEO persisted and forced Corning to divert resources on Gorilla Glass to meet his demand in less than six months."
Presumably, "typical fashion" means ranting, insulting, bullying and intimidating. Or perhaps he "forced" Corning's CEO at gunpoint to personally revamp the company's plants. In any case, the rest is history, or maybe legend.
iPhone 5 will have a quad-core processor
At least, it's reasonable that it will have one, according to Marc Gurman's post at 9to5 Mac.
"Hidden deep inside the latest iOS 5.1 beta is updated processing-core management software that not only supports the dual-core processing enabled by the A5 iPhone and iPad chip, but also quad-core processing," he reveals.
These cryptic references are buried in the beta firmware in a "hidden panel that describes cores that are supported by iOS device hardware. The updated core management software includes an option of "/cores/core.3," and this represents a fourth available processing core.
Now, to the uninitiated "3" seems different from "4," but fortunately "extremely reliable and knowledgeable people familiar with iOS's inner workings explained to me that core references begin at '0,'" Gurman writes. So one core, 0; two cores, 1 ... well, you do the math.
There's even a screen capture of the hidden panel, with the revealing numerals circled in red. How much more evidence to you need, apart from the iPhone 5 itself?
"Apple leaving references to quad-core chips in the iOS 5.1 beta is notable because iOS 5.1 is the software currently being tested against the third-generation iPad," Gurman explains. "In addition, as we previously revealed, Apple is currently testing an unreleased 'iPhone 5.1' against the iOS 5.1-beta software. We cannot conclude that due to iOS 5.1 including quad-core processor references, Apple's next-generation iPad and iPhone will include a quad-core chip, but it seems reasonable ..."
Of course, in the iOSsphere there's no hard and fast rule about what constitutes "reasonable."
Forget "major" redesign. iPhone 5 will have a "radical" redesign
Wall Street analyst Shaw Wu, with Sterne Agee, got digital ink when bloggers and rumor sites, among them Boy Genius Report, picked up on a recent "note to client" that noted among other things how important iPhone is to Apple's revenues, and how important iPhone 5 will be, too.
And, citing anonymous sources among Apple's suppliers, he predicted that iPhone 5 will have a "radical" redesign.
That's why analysts get paid the big bucks. BGR noted that "the analyst claims that Apple's next-generation iPhone 5 will feature a 'radical' redesign including a thinner case with a sleeker form factor, a slightly larger display and compatibility with faster 4G LTE networks."
That triggered a gush of snark from Macgasm's Joshua Schnell. "The findings aren't exactly unexpected," he sniffed. "Anyone with an Apple blog and a traffic analyzer could tell you that the iPhone and iPad provide far more traffic than news about desktops, televisions, and other Apple products."
"Rumor posts about the yet-to-be-announced iPhone or iPad can bring an explosion of traffic," Schnell went on, perhaps further than he intended. "So far we've yet to see a similar response for an Apple television post here on Macgasm."
Could it be that Apple rumors are created for gain? Perhaps anyone with an Apple blog and a traffic analyzer could tell us.
John Cox covers wireless networking and mobile computing for Network World. Twitter: http://twitter.com/johnwcoxnwwEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org Blog RSS feed: http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/2989/feed
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