iPhone 5 rumor roll-up for the week ending Dec. 2

A long 2012, a longer iPhone, invisible ink, LTE, stupid teardrops

The iOSsphere is nothing if not detail oriented. Perhaps "detailed obsessed" is more accurate.

So this week, we sift rumors of a new iPhone what will be 8 millimeters longer; of a patent that promises invisible ink, next-generation cameras and data sharing; of the increasingly stupid teardrop design; and LTE iPhones ... for Japan.

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And a bold prediction that iPhone 5 will be announced sometime between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2012.

You read it here second.

"If the iPhone 5 doesn't make it out in March, other reports suggest a summer, or late fall 2012 release. But either way, most experts agree it is coming out in 2012." ~ staff reporter, IBTimes.com

iPhone 5 will be 8 mm longer. Seriously

For the metrically challenged that would be 0.314 inches longer. "Mine's bigger than yours."

On top of that, so to speak, it will have 4-inch display and feature a metal casing "probably aluminum" says Jeremy Horwitz, editor in chief of iLounge.com, who is relying on "our most reliable source" for these telling details.

Of course, a lot of could change since the OMRS also tells Horwitz that the Next iPhone is "still in the engineering phase nearly production." And that, in turn, means the phone "is track to be introduced in summer of 2012."

Horwitz "suspects" that the previous iPhone 5 prototype was "doomed" by poor battery life, though he doesn't bother to tell us on what his suspicion is based. Maybe, like a Good Journalist, he's naturally suspicious of everything. He also suspects that the current prototype "is being built with LTE-ready battery drain in mind."

We suspect that's true, given the fact that Apple has pretty much been obsessed with mobile battery life since at least the first iPhone.

iLounge's OMRS went on to reveal details of the iPad 3 and the next MacBook Pro.

But StupidAppleRumors.com was not impressed. "Does anyone really believe that a 'source' who would be high up enough to know details on these three different product categories would be enough of a weasel to squeal to iLounge," it notes disdainfully.

The iPhone 5 release date: March 2012. Unless it's later

Raising copy-and-paste journalism standards to a new high, IBTimes.com says that "the highly-anticipated iPhone 5 release date is March 2012, according to reports."

"Reports" refers to other rumors and rumor sites. But these are "fresh reports" not those old, stale, familiar reports that have been, basically, saying the same thing since Oct. 4, when Apple stunned and shocked the iOSsphere by announcing the iPhone 4S.

But IBTimes is not 100% sure about the date.

"If the iPhone 5 doesn't make it out in March, other reports suggest a summer, or late fall 2012 release," the website announces authoritatively. "But either way, most experts agree it is coming out in 2012."

We suspect if it doesn't come out in March, or summer, or late fall 2012, it will come out before Dec. 31 for sure. According to fresh reports from experts.

iPhone 5 will have advanced cameras, invisible ink, for really cool data sharing. Or something

This rumor started out as a straightforward report at PatentlyApple.com about a newly released Apple patent application. The headline: "Apple Invents Digital Device Handshake using Next-Gen Cameras & Invisible Inks."

PatentlyApple does this all the time. It summarized the technique as being "an all new way of sharing data quickly and securely between two or more devices in consumer, retail and/or enterprise applications .... And to top it all off, the new system will allow users to quickly log in to other devices using their iPhone - which sounds very cool indeed."

The story was picked up by other sites, like SlashGear, which headlined its account, "Apple patent reveals device data sharing via camera-based handshakes and invisible inks." "If you're trying to see which company is pushing the boundaries between device-based data sharing, Apple certainly makes a compelling statement with this patent filed today," gushed Paul Fang.

"Pushing the boundaries" is, or should be, a hint. Thank heavens someone finally connected the dots. The headline at Recombu: "Apple patent could reveal new iPhone 5 feature."

Well, of course. "If installed on iPhones in the future, this hardware/software combination could see your iPhone camera being used for purchases, security unlocking and more general data sharing," enthused Thomas Newton.

Maybe it's just Friday Afternoon Brain Freeze Syndrome, but reading these accounts it's hard to shake the suspicion that none of these guys actually have any idea what this patent is really about or how it would affect the User Experience. And we don't either.

"It's early days yet, but chances are, we haven't heard the last of Apple's Digital Handshake," Newton writes.

If only we were that lucky.

Apple agrees to deliver LTE enabled iOS devices in 2012! In Japan

"This is quite possibly one of the most interesting rumors I've heard regarding both iPhone 5 and iPad 3," James Isabel announces at Appera.

He must not get out very often. For much of 2011, the iOSphere was a storm of rumors over whether the Next iPhone would have or could have LTE.

But from Nikkei Business via MacRumors, he now learns that "Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo has reached an agreement with Apple that will see an LTE-enabled version of the iPad launch next summer, with an LTE iPhone to follow in the fall."

The Google Translate version of the Japanese original is a bit more iffy: "Under the agreement DoCoMo, high-speed communication standards next summer first 'LTE' The Japanese market that supports the iPad is expected to launch LTE-enabled iPhone by fall."

Most of us, of course, don't live in Japan, so Isabel speculates on the implications. "LTE is one of the few features Android has an edge over iOS. Verizon is one of the leaders in building their LTE technology, so don't be surprised if they're the only company to offer such feature in 2012," he says.

That is, unless AT&T and Sprint offer it, too. "I'd assume AT&T and Sprint will try to get there as well, and we may even see LTE as the cornerstone feature of iPhone 5 and iPad 3 just like Siri is to the 4S," says Isabel, covering every major carrier except T-Mobile.

Teardrop iPhone 5 design looking increasing stupid

Sorry to hurt your feelings, but that's the blunt assessment of Michael Nace at iPhone5Newsblog, where he took a break from rhapsodizing about the rumors of the wondrous IGZO screen technology ("it now seems apparent that Apple is going to do something dramatic with the iPhone 5's screen," he predicts).

The teardrop looks "increasingly stupid," in part because of the previously mentioned iLounge story, complete with suspicions and "our most reliable source."

But more important, it looks increasing stupid because Nace panned the whole idea way back in October. "Some renderings of the teardrop design actually show it to be a curved back but flat front," Nace wrote then. "If Apple were to adopt this preposterous design, the iPhone 5 user would end up getting the worst of both worlds: they get a flat front that doesn't curve with their face, and a wobbly back."

John Cox covers wireless networking and mobile computing for Network World.http://twitter.com/johnwcoxnwwjohn_cox@nww.comhttp://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/2989/feed



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