For the iOSsphere, it's like the iPhone 4S never happened. The fever of speculation around the Next Apple iPhone rises and ebbs like a great tide, ever restless.

This week: questioning Apple's supremacy, LTE or Die, the rise in iPhone 5 Facebook scams, and why Apple turned a deaf ear and a blind eye to the strong call from the faithful for NFC.

You read it here second.

"So, it's probably not unreasonable to expect the iPhone 5 to be a 'complete redesign,' as the source said--meaning both externally and internally, though probably less so internally when compared with pronounced user-facing changes like the display size."~ Brooke Crothers, CNET.com

iPhone 5 better have LTE…or else!


It was a headline sure to iGnite iPhanatics's iRe: "TeliaSonera exec questions Apple's supremacy."

The exec in question is Tommy Ljunggren, senior vice president and head of system development for mobility services at TeliaSonera, that famous, big, important mobile carrier…in Sweden.  And boy did he question it, in an interview at Telecoms.com

"If you asked me two years ago I would have said Apple would be very important," he said. "But now it will be a bad mistake not to include LTE in the iPhone 5 as otherwise they will really be run over by the others."

Ljunggren went on to say, according to Telecoms, that:

* competitors are quickly catching up with Apple* the company's supremacy in the handset space is coming into question* "They are not unique enough and there is disappointment over the 4S – it was too small a step for them."

That did not sit well with 9to5Mac's Christian Zibreg.  "Ljunggren, of course, is confused and here's why," Zibreg said. But Zibreg doesn't actually explain why. He just lays out numbers that show Apple's success to date in the smartphone and tablet market worldwide. Of course it's had considerable success. Apparently the idea is that Apple is Too Successful to Fail. An idea which many people had until recently said about companies like, say, Nokia and RIM.

TeliaSonera isn't exactly in the forefront of LTE deployment. Ljunggren admitted the carrier doesn't currently support any LTE smartphones. TeliaSonera is waiting for "true LTE smartphones…not the ones that the US has right now with two radios." That sounds like he's questioning U.S. supremacy in…something.

The fake U.S. LTE smartphones "drain the batteries flat very quickly as they have one LTE terminal for data and a CDMA voice terminal. It's basically a dongle and phone that they glue together. They work – just not for long!" That's pretty good point, and Zibreg is spot-on to note that it's a point Apple has been making for months: waiting for silicon that's highly integrated, and power efficient, because it's all about the User Experience.

iPhone 5 causing increase in Facebook scams and spams

ITWorld's Dan Tynan explains in his blog post how he received a Facebook message pointing to an allegedly faulty website that was "giving away an iphone5 to persons which are at face book for free…all they ask is your own thoughts and opinions about the I Phone5 and you can keep it permanently." Tynan got a screen capture of the message

Grammar and other issues aside, that's quite a deal, eh? Clicking on the included link brought you to a website offering to let you test the iPhone 5. And all you have to do is fill in some blank fields with your email address and shipping address.

"At best, sites like this suck down your data via  phony giveaways and then sell your info to lead gen companies," Tynan writes. "Given the Russian pedigree (and the nonexistent product it was hawking), though, I'm betting it was a malware infection site. Just a hunch."

Near Field Communications (NFC) on iPhone 5 is doomed by stupid people

Michael Nace, at iPhone5NewBlog, believes that Google Wallet and Visa and Isis and other "NFC payment platforms" have "put digital wallet technology on the map."

But.

"But a lack of consumer knowledge and interest in paying for goods with their smartphone may mean no NFC on the 2012 iPhone 5," he writes

If only smart people could make the important decisions. "[W]hile avid smartphone enthusiasts are well aware of NFC, average smartphone users are either wary or unaware of the digital wallet concept," Nace writes.

Nace has mastered use of the passive tense to make rumors and speculation seem unimpeachable. "With the advent of Google Wallet, it was assumed that Apple would answer in turn with its own proprietary digital wallet," he writes. And why not, indeed?

Yet.

"Yet, by the end of the WWDC [Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in June], the unveiling of iOS 5 and iCloud seemed to have pushed away the strong call from iPhone users for NFC."

A strong call from iPhone users. Yes. We can. Hope and Change. The Hallelujah NFC Chorus sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. To which Apple, incomprehensibly, turned a deaf ear.

Maybe they were listening instead to folks like Laura Chambers, senior director of PayPal Mobile, whom Nace quotes in the story. She "warned during a panel discussion at GigaOM's Mobilize 2011 conference last week that merchants have already been burned by the experience of paying for terminals to support NFC chips on credit cards, and only a miniscule portion of the population is actually using them nationwide."

"It has to be assumed that Cupertino has kept an eye on these developments and, as a result, may see NFC adoption as a minefield," Nace concluded.

That's what we assume.

iPhone 5: a cult classic because it was Steve Jobs' baby. And completely redesigned.

Here's the reason why iPhone 4S is so lame: Steve Jobs wasn't interested in it. He knew he was dying so he focused on the…iPhone 5. Which is going to be a complete redesign, and awesome and "will establish the high water mark for iPhone [sales] volumes."

That's the conclusion by Brooke Crothers, at CNET, quoting from a rumor note….sorry: a "research note" by one Ashok Kumar, an analyst at Rodman & Renshaw, and citing information from another source "who claims to have knowledge of the redesign."

Kumar says the Next iPhone "was the last project that Steve Jobs was intimately involved with from concept to final design." Which makes it special. So it will become a "cult classic," he says. Crothers' source says the Next iPhone "is a very large project that Steve dedicated all of his time to. He was not that involved in the 4S because his time was limited."

"So, it's probably not unreasonable to expect the iPhone 5 to be a 'complete redesign,' as the source said--meaning both externally and internally, though probably less so internally when compared with pronounced user-facing changes like the display size," Crothers concludes.

So, it's likely probably not unreasonable to not disbelieve someone who claims to know (after all why would he lie?) that the outside will be completely redesigned though the inside will be probably perhaps incompletely redesigned.

One thing we know for sure. The Next iPhone will be different from the current iPhone.

iPhone 5 will have a 4-inch screen AND Retina Display.

A Korea Times report, picked up by ITProPortal among others, assures the iOSsphere that the iPhone 5 screen will be 0.3 inches or so bigger and support Apple's pixel-dense Retina Display technology.

But it won't support OLED, according to the KT story, citing as its source an "industry executive," because of brightness and power consumption issues.

ITProPortal editor Desire Athow isn't buying that last rumor. "That's a slight contradiction given that OLED displays are known to be power sipping rather than power gulping and Apple will have to up the resolution on a 4-inch display in order to keep up with the retina display pixel density, which currently stands at 326ppi."

KT also says iPhone 5 and iPad 3 will be released in the Spring of 2012; and the Next iPhone will have a quad-core processor.