Apple iPhone 5 Rumours: UK release date, features, price & latest news

Updated: iPhone 5 existence confirmed thanks to iOS 5.1 code

Fanboys may well be content with their current Apple smartphones of joy, but there are no doubt more than a few already looking to the future. Notably, an Apple iPhone 5-shaped future.

Google's Android continues to find its way into more handsets by the day, and while no one will doubt the brilliance of the Apple smartphone, delivering the goods has perhaps never been more crucial.

Talk of the 'iPhone 5' has noticeably gathered momentum in recent months, and as we anticipate how Apple will change the smartphone game once again, we've rummaged through the speculation, 'trusted sources' and patents piecing together how the iPhone 5 could take shape.

One of the most significant developments in the appearance of the iPhone 5 is the news that 9to5mac have discovered evidence of the iPhone 5 existing in the coding of the new iOS 5.1 beta release.

1/ Apple iPhone 5 to have 4-inch display?

While it's been reported below that the iPhone 5 is having displays built by Toshiba, there has been a new rumour from AppleInsider which suggests that in face Hitachi and Sony are making a 4-inch display, reportedly for a unspecified Apple device. Could this be the iPhone 5 or a brand-new iPod Touch? There's no confirmation either way but it certainly points towards Apple finally changing their screen size across the board.

Nikkei Business Daily announced last year that Toshiba was set to build a new factory in Ishikawa tasked with producing high-res LCD panels for Apple's upcoming ranges of iPhone and iPod Touch devices.

The new Japanese based factory, set to cost 100 billion Yen (£757 million) and be constructed during 2011, will double Toshiba's current monthly production capacity of 8.5 million units.

Part funded by Apple, the new factory will begin production this year with the Apple iPhone 5 expected to be one of the first devices catered for.

How likely? 2/5

2/ Apple iPhone 5: new design

The Wall Street Journal reported that its 'in-the-know' contact believes the iPhone 5 will feature a “different form factor”, adopting a brand new design following the antennagate issues that resulted in signal issues and dropped calls.

Since then Engadget has spoken to multiple sources who claim that a complete redesign of the handset body is on the cards and that the device is already being tested by staff at Apple HQ.

However, leaked designs and mold engineering images tell a different story, suggesting that the only aesthetic change for the iPhone 5 will be a larger display and smaller bezel.

Also on the cards for the iPhone 5 is an all-metal back, similar to that found on the original iPhone, reportedly in a bid to avoid the embarrassing antenna issues experienced on the iPhone 4.

The glass posterior of the iPhone 4 was also prone to unsightly cracks if treated roughly, and was rumoured to be the cause of the delay of the white model - a headache all round for Apple.

An Apple patent also points to the iPhone using smaller conductive nodes beneath the screen, allowing for the overall device to be slimmer. Tipped to also feature for the iPad 2, the new method could also use less power, giving you longer battery life from each charge of your iPhone 5.

Latest: The Wall Street Journal have once again claimed that the iPhone 5 will be “thinner and lighter” than previous models whilst sporting a widely expected 8-megapixel camera and September release date.

Quoting sources at component suppliers, WSJ suggest that in the midst of a legal battle with the Korean tech giant Apple's next-generation smartphone will do away with the current breed of Samsung CPUs instead opting for a Qualcomm produced processor.

How likely? 3/5

3/ Apple iPhone 5: A5 processor and Qualcomm chips

The Wall Street Journal was again amongst the first to report that “people familiar with the matter” had confirmed the iPhone was to receive an overhauled chipset in order to contend with a rise in competitive high-end smartphones running versions of the Google Android operating system.

Apple is tipped to ditch the 1GHz A4 processor found inside the iPhone 4 for the dual-core A5 CPU.

Apple used the same A4 chip in its iPhone 4 as in its original iPad, so repeating this trick with the A5 chip like they have for the iPad 2, would see the iPhone 5 in line with upcoming dual-core processor powerhouses like the Samsung Galaxy S2 and the HTC Sensation.

On the wireless chipset providers front, Infineon may make way for Qualcomm, likely in a bid to avoid connectivity issues previously faced with the iPhone 4.

How likely? 4/5

4/ Apple iPhone 5: Near Field Communication (NFC)

The year so far has seen a slew of handsets with NFC such as the Galaxy Nexus S or the range of Nokia phones that have featured NFC, with these handsets proving the success of the technology analysts predict that the proportion of NFC phones will rise to 50 per cent by 2012.

The same analysts believes this will be because major manufacturers like Apple are planning to make a NFC-enabled iPhone 5.

Successfully trialed by 02 in 2008, the appearance of NFC in Google's Android 2.3 update means it is likely to be on the radar for Apple as well.

Benjamin Vigier, Apple's new Mobile Commerce Manager joined the Apple ranks last year with his CV showing a lot of experience in the NFC field, having helped Starbucks create a bardcode-based way of paying for your morning coffee and even setting up Paypal Mobile.

Apple has already filed a string of patents regarding NFC appearing on the iPhone, and Vigier's appointment could well mean the iPhone 5 will see some of the action.

Its arrival would essentially mean turning your iPhone into a virtual credit card, allowing you to pay for everything from cake to clothes by waving your smartphone across a dedicated reader.

How likely? 4/5

5/ Apple iPhone 5: integrated SIM

To make purchasing your iPhone direct from Apple's online or highstreet stores a much easier process, reports suggest that the iPhone 5 will include an integrated SIM to do just that.

Allowing Apple to assign networks to individual handsets at customer's request, the integrated chip rumoured to feature on the next handset will carry subscriber identification information and ultimately see the end of the little plastic cards currently issued directly from network service providers.

With users able to pick a network provider at the point of sale, Apple could simply program the new device to that company's service eliminating the need for shoppers to wait for networks to activate the handset or for the arrival of the corresponding SIM.

How likely? 2/5

6/ Apple iPhone 5: FM radio receiver

Apple may bring AM, FM and Satellite radio to the upcoming iPhone 5 after the fruity tech giant filed a patent for radio mapping on its market leading handset late last year.

The patent would see the iPhone finally receive standard AM and FM radio capabilities with an FM radio receiver added to the top right corner of the device.

The Apple patent highlights the company's plans to introduce a unique radio station mapping system that would allow users to locate available stations and make their selections via the closest or strongest signal options.

How likely? 3/5

7/ Apple iPhone 5: Pictures

New design drawings of the iPhone 5 have apparently surfaced, showing off a very similar style to the current iPhone 4 model. You can check out the iPhone 5 design drawings here.

More recently, Chinese rumour-peddlar idealschina.com came into a handful of mold engineering drawings that reputedly show a near-identical form factor to the iPhone 4, with the exception of an enlarged screen and reduced bezel.

MORE: iPhone 5 pictures: Photos, images and design

8/ Apple iPhone 5: 8-megapixel camera

Courtesy of a Wall Street Journal interview with Sony CEO Howard Stringer, it seems the iPhone 5 could be primed for a decent camera once and for all.

Stringer let slip the info which adds credence to reports that OmniVision, the company that usually provides cameras for Apple products, suffered damage to its plant as a result of the recent tsunami in Japan.

This has apparently left Sony to pick up the slack, which may be good news to fanbois desperate for some serious snapping action.

Latest: Since the unveiling of iOS 5, possible details of the iPhone 5 camera have been unearthed which you can read about below.

How likely? 3/5

9/ Apple iPhone 5: 3D screen

Possibly following in the footsteps of the Nintendo 3DS, Japanese blog Macotakara suggests that a series of patents filed in recent years could see the iPhone get similar 3D treatment.

One of the patents refers to being able to adjust the display based on the user's position, and using the iPhone camera combined with the onboard gyroscope and other motion sensors, deliver a 3D projection. A leap too far? Possibly, but we wouldn't rule it out for future iPhone devices.

How likely? 1/5

10/ Apple iPhone 5: Solar powered charging system

Well known for its battery issues, one patent filed by the Cupertino company suggests the iPhone 5 could well boast a battery which is rechargeable by the sun.

The patent, which details ways of recharging the batteries found in portable phones, laptops and tablets, features a new power control circuit situated between the sun sapping solar cell and the device's battery that ensures a steady release of the absorbed power.

With the battery on Apple's market leading iPhone devices constantly under criticism, many users would no doubt value the inclusion of a mother-nature inspired power boost.

How likely? 1/5

11/ Apple iPhone 5: LED projector

Dreamt up not by the creative minds at Apple HQ, but designer Samuel Lee Kwon, this take on the new iPhone (which you can see more of here) suggests the device which straps to your wrist would allow uses to interact with a virtual image projected from the device's in-built LED bulb projector.

Although the wrist-residing unit does host a small touchscreen, most of the user functionality is carried out on the virtual palm display. iPhone 10 maybe?

How likely? 0/5

12/ Apple iPhone 5: Video

Chinese website M8cool claimed they snapped and filmed a device which they believe will be the iPhone 5. Looking little more than an amalgamation of the 3GS and 4, the leaked iPhone 5 clone features squared-off edges with a slightly curved rear shell.

You can take a look at the video below and judge for yourself if this is indeed the real deal.

13/ Apple iPhone 5: Storage

A video of what appears to be a prototype iPhone 4 was leaked onto the web with the handset boasting 64GB of storage (twice the capacity of the top release model's 32GB).

Clearly, no such device ever made it to market, but with the price of storage falling with time like everything else in the tech world, might Apple find the space for 64GB this time around, bringing the iPhone 5 in line with the iPad 2?

How likely? 3/5

14/ Apple iPhone 5: Laptop dock

Tipped by ITProPortal's “intelligence” the next generation could be set to join the Motorola Atrix with its very own dedicated laptop dock. The supposed iPhone 5 will let users slip the iPhone into a slot where a trackpad would normally sit.

The iPhone would then be used as a mouse, with the dock running the cell's iOS software and using its web connection.

It may have sounded ridiculous before the Atrix turned up, but there's a strong argument that the iPhone 5 could get its very own central computing hub.

How likely? 3/5

15/ Apple iPhone 5: Features revealed in iOS 5

Apple chose this year's WWDC not to reveal the iPhone 5 as many had hoped, but to reveal iOS 5 instead amongst other announcements

- iOS 5 features: What you need to know

The mobile operating system is to allow Full HD 1080p video to be exported, seemingly confirming that the iPhone 5 will feature an upgraded camera.

Whilst the iPhone 4 currently touts a 5-megapixel rear mounted camera capable of shooting HD video at 720p, it has been repeatedly rumoured that the iPhone 5 will come equipped with an 8-megapixel snapper, rumours that appear to have been confirmed by the last iOS 5 finding.

iOS 5 beta code has also revealed that panoramic shooting modes to add to its 8-megapixel snapping prowess. The code had initially revealed users would be able to take, save and cancel panoramic shots.

That has since been extended with new sections revealing that users will need to pan their device from left to right, “tap the Camera button to begin” and “keep the arrow on the center line” to make use of the update.

How likely? 4/5

16/ Apple iPhone 5: Phones

In a smartphone world where Google's army of Android phones continues to grow seemingly by the week, Chris Whitmore, an analyst with Deutsche Bank, suggested Apple could release two new iPhones in September.

Whitmore stated in a note to investors that "With Nokia and RIM struggling the time is right for Apple to aggressively penetrate the mid-range smartphone market (i.e. $300-500 category) to dramatically expand its [total addressable market] and market share."

Reigniting hope of an iPhone Nano Whitmore's claims hint at the iPhone 5 being joined by a mid-range, cheaper device that like its iPod siblings will feature reduced functionality but the same stunning aesthetical standard of its premium counterpart.

How likely? 2/5

17/ Apple iPhone 5: Update will be 'minor'

While we talk up the possibility of a new camera, new processor and more the iPhone 5, Taiwanese tech blog Digitimes suggests that the next-generation Apple handset which missed the company's usual annual product cycle and a WWDC unveiling last month, will pose only minor updates from its predecessor, the still hugely popular Apple iPhone 4.

Digitimes continues to be a major source of iPhone 5 rumours in recent months and suggest that “sources pointed out that as the iPhone 5, which does not seem to have any major update from iPhone 4, is already set for shipment in September.”

How likely? 3/5

18/ Apple iPhone 5: Release date

Apple has launched a new iPhone in June every year since its first release - except this year, of course, where the iPhone 5 failed to materialise. despite talk that it could arrive in August or September, official invites have now been sent out for an Apple event on October 4th with the words, 'Let's talk iPhone.' So we can expect to learn if the iPhone 5 is the real deal in one week's time. You can check out the iPhone 5 invite here.

19/ Apple iPhone 5: UK price

Apple has upped the price of all its products after VAT rose to 20 per cent here in the UK, so we can perhaps expect to pay a little more to snap up the Apple smartphone this time round. If the iPad 2 release has taught us anything though, it's that Jobs and Co. are keen to keep prices of their updated tech the same as the previous model at time of release.

That wisdom would put the cheapest model at either £510 or £612, depending on whether Apple keep the cheaper 16GB model as an option with the iPhone 5.

Tags