iPhone 7 rumor rollup: Siri-powered voicemail killer, phoney phones & 4 inches of nothing

iPhone 7 rumor rollup: Siri-powered voicemail killer, phoney phones & 4 inches of nothing
Methodshop.com (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The pressure at home is mounting from teen #2 about getting ahold of my iPhone 5. His argument has been laid out pretty well, but the card I have in my pocket is that I need to wait until the next iPhone is announced in order to upgrade to a cheaper iPhone 6. But the clock is ticking for me, with rumors of the iPhone 6S or iPhone 7 coming in September.

In the meantime, here are the latest findings from the iPhone rumor mill….

Apple’s voicemail killer

Rumor has it that Apple is prepping an iCloud Voicemail service that employs Siri to read your voicemails and convert the into texts that you receive via the cloud. Speculation is that this service won’t be available until 2016, so we’re most likely talking about this being an iPhone 7 feature.

Business Insider says Apple employees have been guinea pigs for the budding service.

Apple's proposed solution is both incredibly simple and incredibly clever: People like to leave voicemails (it's often quicker to orally deliver your information than it is to type it in a text message). But they don't like to receive voicemails (it's a lot quicker to read a text than it is to listen to the person talking to you).

Not everyone is excited about the news: One Forbes fuddy-duddy says he’d rather listen to voicemails than read texts of voicemails.

The Daily Mail has a more positive take, implying that it has to be an improvement on a similar service offered via Google Voice, and describes iCloud Voicemail as a likely component of a new Apple personal assistant technology making its debut in iOS 9.

Apple TV to steal show?

With expectations for an iPhone 6S and 6S Plus in September being rather subdued, the real excitement could swirl around new Apple TV technology.

Popular Science has compiled a comprehensive guide to what it would like to see in such a technology, including use of Siri for filtering through shows and movies. PopSci would also like to see fingerprint-based profiles, 4K support and the ability to watch live TV in an easy and enjoyable way.

Buzzfeed, which got speculation flying earlier this year about a new Apple TV set-top box to be introduced in June at Apple’s Worldwide Developers’ Conference, backed off that report after learning the vendor would focus that event on Apple Music instead. But Buzzfeed is back with fresh speculation that Apple will plug a new TV offering in September. Buzzfeed notes that this would mark the first big upgrade since 2012:

Crucially, the new Apple TV will debut alongside a long-awaited App Store and the software development kit developers need to populate it.

iPhone fakers busted in China

Reuters reported that police in Beijing shuttered an iPhone counterfeiting operation that cranked out 41,000-plus smartphones worth as much as $19 million. Nine people were arrested including married masterminds behind the scheme.

Hundreds worked on the phoney phones, which were cobbled together using second-hand parts, according to the report.

Whether iPhone 6S and iPhone 7 rumors were also concocted at the factory, we just don’t know…

Smaller iPhones inched out

New reports have surfaced that Apple has bagged the idea of rolling out a new 4-inch iPhone 6 (the iPhone 6c?) alongside its new smartphones this September.

Business Insider quotes financial analyst Timothy Arcuri , who claims to have seen evidence of 4-inch models in Apple’s supply chain, only to have noticed them disappearing of late. Strong sales of the larger iPhone 6 might have convinced Apple that there was no need to go back to a more streamlined – and cheaper—version of its phone.

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.
Must read: 10 new UI features coming to Windows 10