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iPhone 5 rumor roll-up for the week ending July 22

No NFC, September is the The Month, next iPhone will be iPhone 3GS

By , Network World
July 22, 2011 10:42 AM ET

Network World - Perhaps it's the heat, but this week's crop of iOSsphere rumors is pretty lackluster.

No short-range NFC radio after all, unofficial official confirmation of a September release date, bizzaro logic that concludes the next iPhone will be an existing model that is already two years old, and some other cotton candy rumors that seem to melt away as soon as you've read them.

Perhaps it can all be explained by iPhone heat exhaustion.

Forget near-field communication for iPhone 5.

Near-field communication (NFC) technology has been, for years, one of those innovations that seems perpetually to be ready to bloom. It's been rumored for months that Apple would introduce it in iPhone 5, for mobile wallet and similar applications.

ANALYSIS: Broadcom sees NFC in 10% of phones next year

But Apple is far more likely to go with the low-power Bluetooth 4.0 spec for short-range wireless, according to Desire Athow, writing at ITPortal.com

He points out that barely a year after the 4.0 spec was adopted by the Bluetooth Special Internet Group, and just two months after Apple took a seat on its board, the company introduced the first mainstream implementation of the spec, in the new MacBook Air models and the 2011 edition of the Mac Mini.

"[I]t looks likely that Apple fast-tracked Bluetooth 4.0's adoption so that the forthcoming iPhone 5 can use this technology with at least one Apple product, which could mean that the manufacturer is considering giving up on NFC altogether," Athow argues.

Bluetooth 4.0 introduces something called Bluetooth Low Energy, or BLE, which lets the radio consume about half the power of the previous generation. It was designed from the outset, Athow notes, for battery-powered handheld devices.

But the data transfer rate is slower, as slow as one-tenth that of traditional Bluetooth. That's offset by the fact a 4.0 radio can toggle between low and high power modes, according to Athow.

With Bluetooth 4.0, Apple eliminates the need for a second chip or chipset, and would still be able to shift to a higher speed connection when needed. "This more elegant solution would save space, decrease power usage and allow peripheral partners to slash their time-to-market," Athow says.

It's official: iPhone 5 coming in September.

A number of tech blogs and news sites picked up on deliberately vague comment by Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer during this week's earnings call. It's being interpreted as "confirming" that Apple will start selling iPhone 5 in September. Here's the comment, as carried by iPhone5gBlog.com:

"As we announced at WWDC [the annual developers conference in June], we have a lot going on in the fall with the introduction of iOS 5 and iCloud. We also have a future product transition that we're not going to talk about today, and these things will impact our September quarter."

COMING SOON: 3 things you need to know about Apple iCloud

Based on that, iPhone5gBlog concludes that Oppenheimer "confirmed the upcoming sales of the next generation by the end of third quarter." This confirmation leads to "speculation that the iPhone 5 will be hitting the store shelves in September."

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