The New Year has brought a whole new batch of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) rumors, many revolving around the next generation of iPhone. Developers in touch with the NextWeb report references to a new iPhone identifier—iPhone6,1—and the next major operating system update for both smartphone and tablet devices—iOS 7—expected to launch mid-year. The identifiers for the iPhone 5 are iPhone6,1 and iPhone6,2 depending on the handset model and 4G band on which it operates.
The NextWeb believes the developer logs are app requests originating from an IP address at Apple’s Cuperinto, Calif. headquarters and suggest Apple’s software development and app teams are testing compatibility with the next-gen model and some of the popular apps currently being sold in the App Store. Based on the IP address, the NextWeb believes the leaked developer logs are valid, however they do not provide any specific information regarding hardware or software.
According to the Washington Post, Apple is expected to unveil iOS7 mid-year at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference. And based on recent history, it’s a strong possibility the identifiers iPhone6,1 and iPhone6,2 could refer to an iPhone 5s model, which will make smaller changes to the device released in September. The company has followed up major smartphone releases with smaller upgrades since the released of the iPhone 3GS.
In fact, MacRumors recently reported a Topeka Capital Markets analysts’ report that the next iPhone, the 5S, will launch in March or April and will be available in a variety of colors and screen sizes.
“Our checks indicate that the next iPhone will have more choices for customers,” Topeka Capital’s Brian White said. “This entails an expansion in both the color patterns and screen sizes with the next iPhone (i.e., likely called the iPhone 5S) that we currently believe will be launched in May/June with certain supply production starting in March/April.”
White believes offering a new model in multiple screen sizes will allow it to penetrate lower-income markets.
“Although Apple offers a 4-inch screen on the iPhone 5 and a 3.5-inch screen on the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4, the company has never offered multiple screen sizes for a single model,” White added. “We believe this is about to change with the next iPhone offering different screen sizes that we believe will allow Apple to better bifurcate the market and expand its reach. This eventually opens up the possibility for a lower-priced iPhone (i.e., iPhone mini) with a smaller screen size that could allow Apple to further penetrate markets such as China and open up opportunities in India. At the same time, Apple could unveil a larger screen size compared to the recently updated 4-inch screen on the iPhone 5.”
Not only may Apple offer more than one choice when it comes to iPhone screen size, but it may offer a screen even larger than the 4-incher on the iPhone 5, according to White. Other analysts, however, find that an unlikely concept given that a larger screen would surely mean more pixels and cause issues with developers who would have to recalibrate their apps. Still, anything is possible considering DigiTimes and Apple analyst Horace Dediu have both reported Apple’s significant investment in Sharp’s ultra-thin IGZO display, which is not only thin and durable, but can also handle a display density exceeding 330 ppi—far and above even the new iPad 4’s display of 264 ppi.
Of course at this point all of the next gen iPhone rumors are mere speculation. And any leaks that may be reliable are simply testing rumors. In fact, just as blogger Michael Westin recently posted, the true news would be if Apple wasn’t testing a new product.
“Is Apple testing the iPhone 6? Of course. … Just like Samsung is testing the Galaxy S IV, LG is testing the Optimus…H?, HTC is testing the Two X, and so on.”