back to article 'Unibody' iPhone 5 said to debut in October

Apple's next iPhone will be released in October, not June, and it will have a unibody construction similar to that of the MacBook Pro – that is, if you believe the latest crop of rumors. Last week, the word on the street – the Taiyuan streets outside of the iPhone-assembling Foxconn plant in China's Shanxi province, at least …

COMMENTS

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  1. miknik

    a more-compelling reason to upgrade might be the next iPhone's almost-certain LTE capability

    Au contraire.

    As the first incarnation didn't do 3g yet still flew off the shelves I can only surmise that looking pretty is what sells iPhones to the masses, not data connectivity speeds.

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: a more-compelling reason to upgrade might be the next iPhone's almost-certain LTE capability

      As the first incarnation didn't do 3g yet still flew off the shelves I can only surmise that looking pretty is what sells iPhones to the masses, not data connectivity speeds.

      I wouldn't use the word pretty, more consumer-friendly design. The iPhone was one heck of a game changer for mobile phones.

      Geeks may lament the way Apple lock you in and restrict your choices, but Apple isn't aiming for geeks. Apple are aiming for the mass-market consumer - and they seem to be doing pretty darn well following this strategy.

      1. miknik
        FAIL

        Re: a more-compelling reason to upgrade might be the next iPhone's almost-certain LTE capability

        Po-tay-tow/Po-tat-oh

        I like my barmaids pretty, you like them with a more consumer friendly design. My use of the word pretty extended beyond the physical manifestation of the phone itself and to the front end of the operating system.also.

        My point is that if you look at the spec the original iPhone lagged behind the competition in several areas of hardware but by presenting the experience in a nice package it sold significantly better. As you say the strategy has worked well, so why should LTE be a factor to getting upgrades now?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: a more-compelling reason to upgrade might be the next iPhone's almost-certain LTE capability

          What alternate universe are you living in that the iPhone lagged behind anything?

          Aside from the fact that only a small percentage of people even had smartphones in 2007, check out which ones were considered the best at the time: Palm Centro, BlackBerry Curve, AT&T Tilt, Nokia N95...

          With some exceptions, your standard high-end smartphone in 2007 had a 320x240 (non touch-)screen with 16 bit color, 64MB RAM, ~300MHz processor, and 1.3 megapixel camera. Compare this to the iPhone's 320x480 32-bit screen, 128MB RAM, 400MHz processor, 2 megapixel camera, and accelerometer. The only things it lacked vs. a couple competitors was 3G and GPS, which was "fixed" a year later.

          For whatever reason Apple has a reputation as being the company for hipster douches so some people assume they aren't good technically but the iPhone was a technical tour de force at the time it was released.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: a more-compelling reason to upgrade might be the next iPhone's almost-certain LTE capability

            'the only things it lacked'

            So, basically, it wasn't lagging behind because it was missing the leading edge features of some of its competitiors, it was a 'tour de force' and leading the pack?

            And thus history is re-written/defined again by the fanbois..

            I often wonder how I managed to use Windows with my inferior single button Microsoft mouse until the benevolent Mr Jobs invented the two button wonder mouse and redefined the world....

            1. Dan 55 Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Re: a more-compelling reason to upgrade might be the next iPhone's almost-certain LTE capability

              I tried to use an iPhone 4 to use Bluetooth to send a file to another phone. After 15 minutes I gave up.

              Then I spent 15 minutes searching on the Internet and it turns out that Apple still haven't got round to implementing more than three Bluetooth profiles, even on the 4S. That's in five years (plus the time they've had designing the thing before the first one was launched). According to the fanbois on the Apple discussion site this was by design and not a problem.

              But at least it's shiny.

              1. Swarthy Silver badge

                Re: a more-compelling reason to upgrade might be the next iPhone's almost-certain LTE capability

                And then there's the bit about not having MMS capability, or Copy/Paste on the original iPhone (Or the 3G).

                But they weren't lagging at all.. no....

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: a more-compelling reason to upgrade might be the next iPhone's almost-certain LTE capability

                  With you on the copy/paste, but MMS was and still is a red herring. In the early days one of the biggest selling points was email over all-you-can-eat data plans which wasn't a limited (and still isn't) as MMS. To this day I haven't sent or received MMS on my iPhone and the same is true for my missus who has an HTC Wildfire. Why? Email...

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: a more-compelling reason to upgrade might be the next iPhone's almost-certain LTE capability

              >>So, basically, it wasn't lagging behind because it was missing the leading edge features of some of its competitiors, it was a 'tour de force' and leading the pack?

              That's some extreme mental gymnastics, to see that the iPhone was massively better than all of its competition in almost every regard, except for two features of debatable significance, and come to the conclusion that it was lagging behind. That's some serious reverse-fanboyism.

              >>And then there's the bit about not having MMS capability, or Copy/Paste on the original iPhone (Or the 3G).

              The debate was about hardware, not software. Check miknik's post again.

              >>I tried to use an iPhone 4 to use Bluetooth to send a file to another phone. After 15 minutes I gave up.

              GMail is free, buddy.

              1. Dan 55 Silver badge
                Gimp

                Re: a more-compelling reason to upgrade might be the next iPhone's almost-certain LTE capability

                @AC 17:43:

                Indeed. I'm sure a free e-mail address supplied by another company almost excuses what must be a deliberately nobbled Bluetooth stack after half-a-decade. You only need to jailbreak and void the guarantee it to have functionality found on PAYG phones which can be bought for 20 GBP.

                Now that El Reg doesn't allow anonymous cowards to have icons, I've included the one you should have had.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: a more-compelling reason to upgrade might be the next iPhone's almost-certain LTE capability

                  >>Indeed. I'm sure a free e-mail address supplied by another company almost excuses what must be a deliberately nobbled Bluetooth stack after half-a-decade. You only need to jailbreak and void the guarantee it to have functionality found on PAYG phones which can be bought for 20 GBP.

                  I'm sure Apple didn't deliberately remove the Bluetooth profile, but if they did, I'm sure they had their reasons. Apple often disables functionality for commercial reasons but in this case you are alleging that they've done something purely to spite their customers which doesn't make any sense from any standpoint. (Unless you are so rabidly anti-Apple that you think they just do things to inconvenience their customers for absolutely no reason...?)

                  As for the iPhone not having XYZ functionality than some PAYG phones have, whatever. No device is going to be everything to everybody. If the iPhone literally had everything you wanted and worked exactly how you wanted, I'm sure you would complain that it didn't flip open/closed as many PAYG phones do.

                  1. Dan 55 Silver badge
                    FAIL

                    Re: a more-compelling reason to upgrade might be the next iPhone's almost-certain LTE capability

                    Why does no other manufacturer find the need to have so few Bluetooth profiles? The ones that are missing oddly enough are useful for file transfer, exploring the file system, using the phone as a standard modem, and similar.

                    There's just enough to enable audio, vCards, and transfer to another iPhone via PAN (if you download the same program from the store on both phones).

                    It's called lock in.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: a more-compelling reason to upgrade might be the next iPhone's almost-certain LTE capability

          > I like my barmaids pretty, you like them with a more consumer friendly design.

          I go to a pub for good beer, not for the barmaid.

  2. cosmo the enlightened
    Megaphone

    Treadmill

    I am continuously underwhelmed with the what's apple doing next rumour treadmill. Minutes after 4G all we get well what is 5 going to be and look like? could we have some kind of reporting quiet period or something?

    It gets a little wearing all this conflicting speculation. I feel that we sometimes are feeding the analysts and the market shareprice more than actually thinking about technology; I mean a unibody and 4 inscreen is hardly "news worthy".

    1. Bullseyed

      Re: Treadmill

      "I mean a unibody and 4 inscreen is hardly "news worthy"."

      It is big news when the Apple product due for release in 6 months is catching up to phone specs from a year ago.

  3. Silverburn
    Thumb Down

    Unibody?

    How's that gonna work with the antennas? You'll have an ugly "transparent" plastic bit like on the iPad 3G?

    Nah - I vote this rumor as (<--- see icon).

    On the humorous side, it could add a whole new dimension to the "you're hold it wrong" cliche...

    1. Tom 35 Silver badge

      Re: Unibody?

      They could event some kind of external antenna. Apple would be the only one with an external antenna and could sue anyone who tried to copy them.

    2. ItsNotMe
      Thumb Up

      Re: Unibody?

      "How's that gonna work with the antennas?" Precisely my first thought.

      Can't wait to hear all the whining, after Apple releases yet another device not fully tested in the real world...and the Lemmings can't get a reliable signal. Going to be a hoot!

    3. bazza Silver badge

      Re: Unibody?

      I normally criticise Apple for their 'Form over Function' approach, but hang on. Didn't the original iPhone have an aluminium back? Not having owned one I don't know for sure, but I recall complaints of its reception not being very good...

      And it's not like it's going to have an aluminium front either, because that'll mostly be screen.

      I wonder if Apple have let their RF guys see where the aerials are going this time, instead of repeating their iPhone 4 debacle?

  4. Chris 171
    Thumb Up

    Finger sharpeners

    Needed for your Blackberry for sure... Touchscreens not so much thanks to Swype.

    Oh... Feel the typing pain for a while yet fanbois.

  5. The BigYin

    I wonder...

    ...how many kidneys an iPhone 5 will cost?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I wonder...

      I think the kidney needs to be added to the El-Reg set of standard measures..

      1. Arctic fox
        Joke

        Re:"I think the kidney needs to be added to the El-Reg set of standard measures."

        How many kidneys are the equivalent of an "arm and a leg"?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I think the kidney needs to be added to the El-Reg set of standard measures."

          the standard rate of exchange is probably around one set of kidneys for two lots of arms and legs (good job the iPhone has Siri, it'd be a bugger to operate without arms and legs)

          1. Arctic fox
            Trollface

            Re: "good job the iPhone has Siri,...........

            ............. it'd be a bugger to operate without arms and legs"

            Won't help you if you are a multiple amputee from Glasgow.

            1. PsychoHippy
              Joke

              Re: "good job the iPhone has Siri,...........

              They don't call me 'clever dick' for nothing.

              1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
                Coat

                Re: "good job the iPhone has Siri,...........

                > They don't call me 'clever dick' for nothing.

                Now you've done it. Next thing we know, Apple will be patenting that, err, user interface. I wonder if that's why Mac mice only have one button?

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: "good job the iPhone has Siri,...........

                  Surely it's only a matter of time now...

                  http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/01/26/ipad_fleshlight_design/

  6. Mike Moyle Silver badge
    Coat

    "(...) any attempt to reach Foxconn's HR headman about the October rumor would be futile. They tried and were rebuffed – he had gone "on vacation", they were told."

    "...on vacation..." I'm not up on the latest PRC-speak: Is that the current term for "sent for re-education" or for "taken out back and shot"?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Tut tut.. This is the new humane Foxconn, he was given a nice cup of tea, some biscuits, a chat with the lovely gentleman from corporate security and then take out back and shot.

  7. npo4

    Polycarbonate?

    Perhaps it could be something similar to the Nokia Lumia 800 and the HTC One X, made from one piece of polycarbonate material.

  8. Jon Green
    Holmes

    4G on an iPhone? I can't wait!

    ...until UK networks roll out LTE.

    Sometime next decade.

    Hmph.

    At last, Apple plans an iPhone that UK fanbois _won't_ bother queuing around the block to buy. Nah, my mistake, they're still that dumb.

    1. Si 1
      Unhappy

      Re: 4G on an iPhone? I can't wait!

      Is it so hard for you to believe some people buy iPhones because they're good pieces of kit? Why do you feel the need to tar all iPhone owners as people who would buy anything with an Apple logo?

      1. Sean Timarco Baggaley

        Re: 4G on an iPhone? I can't wait!

        He's just trying to justify buying one of those phones running Google's OS.

        You know: the one that rips off Apple's OS. The one built by the company that has made no secret of wanting to know [i]everything[/i] about you in order to sell that information to their [i]actual[/i] customers: advertisers. The company that has even [i]lobbied governments[/i] to get at your private data.

        Google's endless attempts to peek and peer through the windows of the public scare the f*ck out of me a damned sight more than Apple's KISS design philosophy. Google make even [i]Microsoft's[/i] less than stellar past look downright saintly by comparison.

        1. Peter 48
          Stop

          Re: 4G on an iPhone? I can't wait!

          have you actually ever bothered to read apple's privacy statement and T&Cs? they are just as bad as google.

          1. Armando 123

            Re: 4G on an iPhone? I can't wait!

            I just read through one. It said something about "first born and a large order of fries", which didn't bother me. I'm on a low starch diet and don't have a child.

            OTOH, that bit about "a little piece of your hair and a little piece of your shirt" is worrying.

          2. Bullseyed

            Re: 4G on an iPhone? I can't wait!

            "have you actually ever bothered to read apple's privacy statement and T&Cs? they are just as bad as google."

            We all know Apple users cannot read.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 4G on an iPhone? I can't wait!

          This would be the same Apple that logs GPS co-ordinates 'for quality purposes' in hidden and protected files and actively tries to brick *your* device if you dare to try and take it outside the walled garden?

          Yeah, much nicer and far less scary than Google.

          1. Bullseyed

            Re: 4G on an iPhone? I can't wait!

            "This would be the same Apple that logs GPS co-ordinates 'for quality purposes' in hidden and protected files and actively tries to brick *your* device if you dare to try and take it outside the walled garden?

            Yeah, much nicer and far less scary than Google."

            You must remember, you don't actually own any Apple product. You have to pay for the honor to borrow it from Steve Jobs.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @AC 12:19

            "This would be the same Apple that logs GPS co-ordinates 'for quality purposes' in hidden and protected files and actively tries to brick *your* device if you dare to try and take it outside the walled garden?"

            Sorry, but that's absolute tosh. Going further, one iOS update meant that if you did brick your phone by jailbreaking, you were able to restore it if you had made a back-up - this wasn't previously available, so it was either added by accident by Apple, or it was done on purpose.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 4G on an iPhone? I can't wait!

          Careful, you don't want to upset the Googtards or hardcore fandroids, they make the latter day 'fanbois' look positively rational.

      2. Bullseyed

        Re: 4G on an iPhone? I can't wait!

        "Is it so hard for you to believe some people buy iPhones because they're good pieces of kit? Why do you feel the need to tar all iPhone owners as people who would buy anything with an Apple logo?"

        Because if you forget "brand $$$$" Apple products are inferior to all other products.

  9. Spud2go
    Pint

    "This new, sleek look will be the most important reason that consumers decide to upgrade."

    If that's the projected incentive, I'm not interested. Form above function never made it in my books, especially in the case of disposable consumer tech.

    1. Bullseyed

      Re: "This new, sleek look will be the most important reason that consumers decide to upgrade."

      The sleek look was the reason for the iPhone sales in the first place.

  10. Ian Prickett

    Oh yes Mr analyst nobody, let me share my main customer's most closely guarded secrets with you....

    NOT!

  11. Arctic fox
    Trollface

    Chinese whispers?

    Or in this case Chinese/Japanese/Korean whispers. Slow Easter Monday Rick?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    yay

    A unibody case like the one pioneered by the HTC Hero.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    you can say

    I'm guilty of reflecting on the past with rose-tinted spectacles if you like. But I'm certain I recall a time when a defining feature of new Apple products (aside from the design) was the latest and greatest tech available. These days it seems - especially with the iPhone - that they're always playing catch-up with the competition.

    Every time I'd buy into an Apple product in the recent past it felt like it was a matter of months before they'd release a new version which had the tech advances the previous generation should've had. So much so that now when I think about buying any Apple product my ringpiece begins to twitch. I'm sure this is a subconcious memo from my brain reminding me of the last time I got screwed like a ten dollar whore by the corporate dick of Apple. Maybe I'll wait for the iPhone 8...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: you can say

      Who do you think Apple is playing catch-up to? I guess some of the Android phones have bigger screens (the iPhone's screen is smaller on purpose) and some have a few more MHz or megapixels or LTE or whatever, but these are just minor incremental improvements that I'm sure Apple will address if they feel like it in the near future. I'm not seeing anything game changing coming out of any other camp.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: you can say

        Well it would hardly be an accident that the iPhone's screen is smaller, it's not as if somebody slipped on a wet soapy factory floor and ended up with it jammed up their ar.. oops, sorry, a smaller screen is it...

        'Minor incremental improvements'

        Yeah, like the 4S getting a decent lens for the camera, finally getting *one* of the 'premium' features that other phones have had for years.

        'I'm sure Apple will address if they feel like it'

        So, they'll play catch up if they feel like it then?

        Face it fanboi, the smartphone market is all about 'minor incremental improvements' these days as most of the innovation has already been done and Apple are behind the curve.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: you can say

          except for software, which is shit.

      2. Bullseyed
        FAIL

        Re: you can say

        "Who do you think Apple is playing catch-up to?"

        Samsung. But since Samsung designs and produces most of Apple's hardware it is a useless effort. Thanks Samsung for designing the retina display!

        "I guess some of the Android phones have bigger screens (the iPhone's screen is smaller on purpose)"

        And blue screens are a design feature of Windows to encourage users to save files often and reboot regularly. You're a troll.

        "and some have a few more MHz or megapixels or LTE or whatever,"

        AKA Design features. The Apple car only have 3 wheels but how often do you use wheels anyway? Look at how soft this seat is! Who cares if every other car for the last five years has had four wheels?

        "but these are just minor incremental improvements that I'm sure Apple will address if they feel like it in the near future. I'm not seeing anything game changing coming out of any other camp."

        I lol'd. Also Apple seems to see a lot coming out of the other camp given how they've ramped up their release cycle to copy more Android features.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: you can say

          >>"I guess some of the Android phones have bigger screens (the iPhone's screen is smaller on purpose)"

          And blue screens are a design feature of Windows to encourage users to save files often and reboot regularly. You're a troll.<<

          That's a bad case of schizophrenia where, in one breath, you point out that Apple gets all of its components (and particular the screen) from Samsung, but in the next breath you claim that Apple doesn't have the technology to make bigger screens.

          Really? Apple doesn't have the technology to simply order a different part from Samsung?

          Which is it?

          And you call me a troll...

  14. Andre Carneiro
    Thumb Down

    LTE? Really...

    Well, if the "New iPad" is anything to go by, then I can't see the appeal of LTE. In fact, it would completely put me off upgrading. What use it is for a phone to have LTE on a different set of frequencies which are unlikely to ever be used in the UK anyway?

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Re: LTE? Really...

      Why be fussed over a mere issue of branding. As long as an LTE capable iPhone actually means LTE (+ existing 3G + 2G) capability without compromising on anything else (battery life etc) what's the issue?

      The new iPads girth and weight "issues" are solely driven by the new display and it's power requirements boding well for any LTE equipped iPhone 5. Even if it's LTE-ness is essentially irrelevant in the uk market as a credible UK LTE rollout is 2+ years away.

      Besides the only advantage LTE has for the consumer is that small minority using phones as modems. I can't quote any accepted figures but from personal experience that's a max of 8-10 people per rail 50+?person carriage.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: LTE? Really...

        According to my hazy memory of the Engadget review, using LTE on the iPad cuts its battery life down by about half an hour, out of 10.

        While that's not much percentage-wise for the iPad, being able to run that giant screen for half an hour would be a pretty giant feat for a cell phone battery.

        Considering, I'm not sure how it would be possible to get LTE into the next phone...

  15. pcsupport

    How many times will El Reg publish stories along the lines of this one?

    Release date found! The iPhone X (insert model number here) will be released in Y (insert random month here) according to our Z (insert spies, sources, HR staff, the local village idiot)

    Please stop it. All that you are doing is continuing to prove to every man and his dog that you don't actually know anything and you're the digital equivalent of the wee fish wifie leaning over her fence spreading stupid and useless gossip.

    1. Ed 11

      How many times with El Reg readers publish comments along the lines of this one?

      An Apple iPhone article! The iPhone X (insert model number here) which I have no interest in ever purchasing due to (lack of function, an excess of form, popularity, because I'm 'special', because I'm odd, because I worship at the altar of a different corporation). However inspite of my aforementioned extenuating circumstances (which, I hope made suitably clear to you dear reader, mean I don't like Apple) not only did I have the urge to read the Apple iPhone article, but write a faux angry comment!

      Please stop it. All that you are doing is continuing to prove to every man and his dog people care more about Apple articles (and speculation) than for other manufacturers. My page impression and associated comment in no way prove that your 'digital entertainment' are a vital source of page hits and revenue. I urge you to cease and dessist.

      1. Hooksie

        Sorry dude, but I respectfully disagree with yourself and agree whole-heartedly with the original poster. I have had 3 iPhones (3G, 3GS and 4) and 2 HTC phones, my preference is the HTC. But that's not to say I've totally written off the iPhone and if they do a device that looks better and has a bigger screen then I'd be interested. So, like our original poster, I read the article only to find out that once again it was a waste of server space and a waste of my time.

        El Reg has definitely gone down-hill over the last few months and has gone from being a reliable source of technical infomation to a techie equivalent of the Sunday Sport. Anyone suggest a proper technology website I can check out instead?

  16. Jedit
    Boffin

    "Not 4.6 inches? - Ed"

    Of course not. Apple likes to keep its users in their comfort zone, and comfort includes how things fit in your hand. Apple users are used to having 0.6 inches less to hold than users of other phones, so Apple design accordingly.

    ... what? I'm talking about the screen.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Not 4.6 inches? - Ed"

      but they're likely to be holding it far more often.

  17. forger
    FAIL

    Sandpaper your fingers

    So you need to sandpaper your fingers for a 7.x inch Pad but not a 3.x inch phone?

  18. tommy060289
    Facepalm

    Im really looking forward to upgrading my 3GS to a 5

    But seriously, do we really need a 'news' story every five minutes about how the iPhone release data is ping-ponging between june and october because of a rumour from a friend of a friends mothers sisters cousin-twice-removed dog has said.

    Any betting man with a reasonable amount of sense would put the money on an october release data. Apple likes annual release schedules, they moved the iPhone to october because it spreads out their release cycle towards christmas and away from other updates.

    THERE! DONE! MOST LIKELY RELEASE DATE SORTED!

  19. S2S
    Joke

    Prediction

    worst phone ever

  20. Alan Esworthy

    queue

    Any bets on when the first fanbois set up camp outside Apple stores waiting for the iPhone 5?

    ...or am I already too late?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Trollface

      Re: queue

      "...or am I already too late?" Yes, 2008 wants it's meme back.

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