In the iOSsphere calendar, Valentine's Day 2012 will be in June. Bring your sweetheart to San Francisco.
This week, the iOSsphere swoons over an analyst's guess that iPhone 5 will be unveiled in June, because Apple execs are in a rage over Samsung's Super Bowl ad; hackers and ethicists could delay iPhone 5, but that's a Good Thing; what's in a name, or a number?; LTE is a certainty because ... lots of people are certain about it.
You read it here second.
"But if iPhone 4S is considered as iPhone 5, probably this fake iPhone has come out just in time or ahead of its time. And, as even the fake version of iPhone is drawing attention, it is high time Apple unveiled iPhone 5 or iPhone 6 to the world."
~ Surojit Chatterjee, International Business Times, on why a manifestly fraudulent photograph of a purported iPhone 6 nevertheless reveals that "iPhone 5" has already been announced as "iPhone 4S" and the Next iPhone will be "iPhone 6."
iPhone 5 will be announced at Apple's devcon in June
So what happens when a stock analyst says that he thinks Apple could announce iPhone 5 at its WorldWide Developers Conference this June?
The iOSsphere goes bonkers, apparently forgetting that Apple has used the same opportunity three times in the past to do just that.
MORE SCUTTLEBUTT: iPad 3 rumor roundup for week of Feb. 7
The bonkers trigger was a tiny post in International Business Times, which referenced a post in the Chinese-language Commercial Times, which quoted a Daiwa Securities analyst. That's all you need, really.
At iPhoneFAQ.org, Bob Bhatnagar generously used the words "report" and "analysis" to describe this sequence of references. "This would bring Apple back to its tradition of mid-year iPhone releases. The shift back to a summer release would mark a departure from last year's October iPhone 4S launch, leaving just eight months between the two generations of smartphones," he explained helpfully.
Meaning that the June 2012 announcement will be a departure from Apple's departure, apparently.
Of course, three of anything in three years could be considered a "tradition," if your benchmark is, say, Justin Bieber's discography release dates.
The "tradition" of iPhone announcement dates, and venues, is as follows:
iPhone 1, Jan. 9, 2007, Macworld, San Francisco iPhone 3G, June 9, 2008, WWDC, San Francisco iPhone 3GS, June 8, 2009, WWDC, San Francisco iPhone 4, June 7, 20120, WWDC, San Francisco iPhone 4S, Oct. 4, 2011, Apple HQ, Cupertino
Not everyone in on board with this. At ITProPortal, Radu Tyrsina questions the traditional interpretation of The Tradition. "Some might think the Worldwide Developers Conference would provide a high profile setting for a significant discussion about iPhone 5," he writes, ominously. "However, this would not be in the good Apple tradition."
One has to distinguish between the Good Apple Tradition and the Bad Apple Tradition.
"A device that raises such a high level of anticipation as an iPhone, is generally given its own event by Apple so that it doesn't share the limelight with, or indeed steal the limelight from, other releases," he concludes. Other releases, like a new iPod Nano, or an improved Apple Digital AV Adapter.
No one has really explained "why" Apple would depart from its departure from The Tradition and announce iPhone 5 at June's WWDC. Into this chasm, Beatweek has stepped with characteristic assurance and incoherence: The reason Apple is going to announce iPhone 5 in June is that company executives are hopping mad at Samsung's Super Bowl TV ad, which dared to suggest that young people waiting in line for the Next iPhone might like the Samsung Galaxy Note instead.
"The implication [of the ad] is that Apple customers are boring sheep, and it's one which likely has Apple ready to shove the iPhone 5 down Samsung's throat as soon as it can muster up a release date," writes Bill Palmer. "That means June at the WWDC conference, which marks a return to summer iPhone launch dates ..."
If we're lucky, they're so PO'd they'll switch dates with iPad 3, and announce iPhone 5 in March or April, and the next tablet in June!
iPhone 5 will be delayed by hackers and ethicists
Ethicists bearing petitions and hackers doing what they do want Apple and its suppliers to clean up their act, improve working conditions at Foxconn's Chinese factories making Apple products, and create an "ethical iPhone 5."
Which, depending on how "clean up your act" is defined, could push back the release of the currently Unethical Next iPhone.
Members of the "watchdog group" SumOfUs, spiffily attired as iPhones, delivered petitions in a box yesterday to Apple's retail store in NYC's Grand Central Station. Apparently digital content doesn't have the same capacity for spectacle and theater as ye olde paper petition.
The group claims that two petitions have collected 250,000 signatures, according to a story by CNET's Josh Lensohn. The one by SumOfUs claimed 55,000, of whom 20,000 claimed they were iPhone users; the second, by Change.org, rounded up 194,000 signatures.
In its petition, SumOfUs asks Apple to "overhaul the way its suppliers treat their workers" before the release of iPhone 5 this year. "Can Apple do this? Absolutely. According to an anonymous Apple executive quoted in The New York Times, [where a pair of recent real news stories looked at labor practices and conditions in the China-based assembly plants] all Apple has to do is demand it, and it'll happen."
Apple spoke. And it was so.
More ominously, and potentially far more effective than petitions hand-delivered by costumed activists, is the real action by a hacker group which claims to have penetrated Foxconn computer systems.
Doug Aamoth, writing at Time's Techland blog, summarizes the claims by Swagg Security. "The group uploaded a collection of files to the Pirate Bay website that, once downloaded and uncompressed, measured almost 16 megabytes in size and contained around 25 spreadsheets along with a handful of text documents," Aamoth writes.
"One document titled 'Company_Sensitive_information.txt' contains what the group claims are login credentials that 'could allow individuals to make fraudulent orders under big companies like Microsoft, Apple, IBM, Intel, and Dell.'"
He also linked to the group's manifesto, which can be summed up as "boys just want to have fun." Here's the explanation for the hack, instantly understandable to any seventh grader:
"Although we are considerably disappointed of the conditions of Foxconn, we are not hacking a corporation for such a reason and although we are slightly interested in the existence of an Iphone 5, we are not hacking for this reason.
"We hack for the cyberspace who share a few common viewpoints and philosophies. We enjoy exposing governments and corporations, but the more prominent reason, is the hilarity that ensues when compromising and destroying an infrastructure. How unethical right?
"Perhaps for the layman who has conformed to a society raised by the government that actively seeks to maintain power and quell threats to their ventures. But to us and many others, the destruction of an infrastructure, the act of destruction that does not affect an individual, brings a sense of newfound content, a unique feeling, along with a new chance to start your own venture. ... Only when embracing what society has taught you to hinder, is when you realize your own identity."
iPhone 5 will be called "iPhone 6"
International Business Times saw something somewhere on the sprawling China-based Baidu Web portal, including a photograph purporting to be "iPhone 6." Despite identifying the photo as a fake, which to be honest did not require a deep knowledge of imaging forensics, IBT's Surojit Chatterjee then made a leap of imagination only possible in the iOSsphere, where the gravitational pull of logic is suspended.
"Everyone can assume that this is a knockoff version of iPhone 6," he writes. "But, where is iPhone 5? iPhone 4S is the latest official handset from Apple and the whole world is waiting for iPhone 5, busily sharing their expectations and imagination of its design and features."
But. "But" is the key to the iOSsphere Imaginative Leap (iOIL).
"But if iPhone 4S is considered as iPhone 5, probably this fake iPhone has come out just in time or ahead of its time," Chatterjee writes. "And, as even the fake version of iPhone is drawing attention, it is high time Apple unveiled iPhone 5 or iPhone 6 to the world."
If Apple CEO Tim Cook is reading this, please, please, please announce iPhone Whatever and. Make. It. Stop.
iPhone 5 with LTE is "almost certain"
We know this because a lot of people are sure about it and there are a lot of rumors about it.
This insight comes from the aptly named Planet Insane, where Delaon writes, "With certainty, many people are already saying that iPhone 5 will indeed come with support for LTE. This is backed by the many rumors about LTE coming from different places as well as from Apple insiders themselves."
If Apple insiders are spreading rumors, they must be right.
"The main reason as to why Apple was not able to include LTE in its earlier devices because the feature needs some great battery power," Delaon explains. "Since a high powered battery usually comes in big sizes, Apple does not find it fitting to include it in its slender phone."
It's not fitting to fit a big battery into a slender phone.
"However, to be able to ensure that LTE will be a part of iPhone 5, Apple will reshape the size of its battery in such a way that it will be able to provide high power without compromising the slim frame of the device."
So Apple, actually, will fit the battery into the phone, apparently by making a larger battery kind of smaller by making it a different size. Or something.
The problem with these breezy generalities, which is what passes for much iOSsphere analysis, is that it's incomplete, where it's not wrong.
Our iPhone 5 rumor rollup has referenced before the thorough iPhone LTE analyses by Anand Lal Shimpi, at AnandTech, including this post just after the announcement of iPhone 4S. The power-demand of the current generation of chips is indeed one issue, although the more active use of demanding applications, made possible with an LTE connection, also affects battery life.
But another issue is that to support voice and data over LTE today requires two rather large-ish chips, something Apple's Cook last year identified as a major problem for Apple's internal iPhone design. That apparently will be overcome by mid-2012, when Qualcomm introduces its next-generation LTE silicon, using a smaller die process, and therefore less power in the finished handset, and requiring just one chip.