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iPhone 5 rumor rollup for week ending Aug. 17

Fingerprint evidence, Korean LTE, pre-orders, and phony screws

By , Network World
August 17, 2012 11:26 AM ET
iPhone rumors

Network World - For the iOSphere, reading SEC documents is the modern equivalent of the ancient art of haruspicy, reading animal entrails, to learn the future of the Next iPhone. Much is revealed to the trained eye.

And what's revealed this time is that iPhone 5 will have a cool fingerprint sensor at the heart of a digital mobile wallet with NFC-enabled payments. And that's probably just to start with.

MORE: What the iPhone 5 may very well look like

Also this week, Korean confirmation of LTE, the promise of pre-orders on the same day as The Revelation itself, learning the difference between a hoax rumor and a, you know, real rumor, and photos of the iPhone 5 battery.

You read it here second.

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"An estimate would be that 90% [of readers who commented] regarded the screw [rumor] as a fact and based all the further opinion on that, only 10% were critical [as] to [its] accuracy." 
    -- Lukasz Lindell, of the Swedish Day4 blog (which created a deliberately false rumor, complete with 3D rendering, of an asymmetric screw developed by Apple for iPhone 5), on what makes the iOSphere go 'round.

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iPhone 5 will have AuthenTec's fingerprint sensor technology

And that will mean, it will also have an NFC-based "mobile wallet" capability.

This all based on the interpretations being applied to the latest SEC filing by AuthenTec (you can check out our full coverage of this story). The company makes a variety of smart sensors, identity management and embedded security products, including fingerprint sensors used in PCs and laptops. On July 27 AuthenTec announced it was being acquired by Apple for $356 million, Apple's biggest ever.

This month, AuthenTec filed required paperwork with the SEC, revealing new details of its talks with Apple. TheNextWeb's Matt Brian read the filing and concludes that Apple is likely to incorporate into iPhone 5 (and the "iPad Mini" if there is one) the company's recently announced 2D fingerprint sensor, and associated software, for NFC-equipped smartphones and tablets.

"Will we see fingerprint technology in the new iPhone (or iPad)?" Brian asks. "It seems almost certain. AuthenTec specializes in a number of security products and software that theoretically could have made their way into Apple's production line or code branches. Details are scarce but its desire to use the technology and see it developed quickly leads us to speculate that we could see it in just a matter of weeks."

MacDailyNews at once began the echo chamber amplification that exemplifies Apple rumoring, by adding in its headline a detail that Brian never mentioned: "Apple's iPhone 5 to include fingerprint sensor in Home button?

Essentially, the SEC document contains AuthenTec's account of its talks with Apple, which began in late 2011 when AuthenTec began trying to interest consumer electronics companies in a new technology still in development -- a 2D fingerprint sensor and associated software specifically for NFC-equipped mobile devices. It was formally announced in May 2012.

Brian interprets those details, probably accurately, as showing that Apple was determined very early on to get its hands on the mobile fingerprint technology. The company repeatedly insisted that AuthenTec continue development especially to adapt the sensor to Apple's specific requirements.

But Brian falls victim to the "what else could it be" mindset that permeates Apple rumoring. The negotiation details in the SEC filing, to Brian, are evidence of Apple's urgency. "If AuthenTec was developing a technology for Apple's new products, would the deal need to have been completed "quickly" if it wasn't going to be used in devices launching later this year (or mere months after negotiations began)?" Brian asks. What else could it be?

Brian clearly believes that Apple's desire to quickly consummate the deal reveals the AuthenTec fingerprint sensor will be included in the new iPhone and other Apple products expected to be announced this fall.

The Rollup is not convinced. You can read why in the full story about this matter here

iPhone 5 will have LTE because the Koreans are asking Apple for it

The Korea Times published, in English, a story headlined "SKT, KT in talks with Apple for LTE service," which explained fairly straightforwardly that the leading Korean mobile carriers are trying to convince Apple to support their LTE networks in the next iPhone.

The Korea Times cited "officials from the companies," but there's little information directly associated to an official. Most of the details apparently come from "one high-ranked industry source who is familiar with the situation."

The Consensus Rumor is that Apple boyhowdy fer shur will have LTE radios in iPhone 5, because if it doesn't, it will be a planetary disaster on a scale not seen since the Chicxulub asteroid collision 65 million years ago. If Apple does introduce LTE, that would mean the Koreans are trying to get support for their specific LTE networks, which would require different radios.

In any case, the iOSphere quickly amplified the implications. SlashGear's headline: "iPhone 5 LTE confirmed by Korean mobile carriers."

Chris Burn wrote: "This week it appears that the Korean mobile data carrier KT may have spilled the beans a bit early as they've been quoted speaking about the next-generation iPhone by the Korea Times. ... This of course means Korea's 4G LTE frequencies will be in play -- and that it's likely the USA will be connected with this data speed as well."

CNET's Lance Whitney was more circumspect, saying only that The Korea Times story was "yet another potential sign" of LTE support in iPhone 5.

"If Apple's upcoming iPhone again fails to support LTE bandwidths, then this would be a very disappointing scenario as LTE is everywhere in Korea," said a high-ranking SK Telecom executive, quoted in the original Korea Times story.

iPhone 5 pre-orders start on the day of announcement, Sept. 12

When Apple announces iPhone 5 on Sept. 12, would-be buyers will be able to place "pre-orders" for it that same day, according to iMore's Rene Ritchie, who cites "sources that have provided iMore with accurate iPhone related launch dates in the past."

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