Now that the new iPad is on store shelves across the country, attention is inevitably turning to the next Apple product waiting in the wings: the so-called iPhone 5.
Long a target of rampant speculation, despite a near-total lack of verifiable details, that next-generation device has been tagged iPhone 5 by pundits and media. Whether Apple picks that as the official name remains to be seen, although the companys refusal to name the new iPad something like iPad HD or iPad 3 makes it a bit more unlikely that the next iPhone will come with any sort of moniker whatsoever.
Amid that speculation comes a March 21 report from Reuters that the next iPhone will feature a 4.6-inch Retina Display and will launch in the second quarter of 2012. The news service drew that information from South Korean media, specifically the Maeil Business Newspaper, itself quoting an unnamed industry source.
Across the Web, various tech luminaries voiced skepticism at the prospect of an iPhone screen that large. No one seems to be pointing out that if its true, this new iPhone would need way more pixels than the current 960 x 640 iPhone display, John Gruber wrote on his blog Daring Fireball. That means every app in the App Store would need to be redesigned/resized.
Meanwhile, tech blog Gizmodo is arguing a total lack of need for Apple to resize something thats met with praise from customers and many reviewers. Theres just something optimal about 3.5 inches, blogger Sam Biddle argued in a March 22 posting. We know it, and Apple knows it. For a company with such a monastic dedication to consistency, this isnt a factor the company is likely to start screwing with.
That being said, this isnt the first time that rumors of a bigger screen have leaked onto the Internet. In January, Apple-centric blog 9to5Mac reported that the iPhone 5 would feature a larger display and redesigned casing. That report cited a reliable source at Foxconn in China, referring to the factory where iPhones are made.
Over the summer of 2011, analysts and pundits seemed certain the company would release an iPhone 5 with a radically altered design and powerful new hardware. In October, however, Apple executives unveiled the iPhone 4S, whose exterior seemed virtually identical to that of the iPhone 4. Despite that similarity, a collection of new featuresincluding Siri, a voice-activated digital personal assistantquickly helped the new smartphone become a bestseller.
Other rumors have suggested the next iPhone will support 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) connectivity, something that seems more likely now that Apples released an iPad with 4G support.