iPhone 5 rumors: ‘camera specs’ + new features

‘Next Gen’ iPhone?

We resisted as long as we could … but no more. Time to join iPhone 5 rumor parade. It is likely that a new model iPhone 5 (or whatever the ‘next gen’ iPhone will be called) will be released around October 2012, and curious minds want to know what to expect … inside and out.

Q: Who really knows the full design/specs of the new model?! A: Only a very small community of Apple employees and partners. Everyone else is just guessing or sleuthing. Hence, anything we post here about the forthcoming iPhone is speculation, and not confirmed, despite hundreds of convincing reports that include ‘actual’ (*ahem* so they say) iPhone 5 casing photos, specs, diagrams, etc. Even if the aforementioned exhibits prove to be ‘Apple’ creations, we know from experience that Apple prototypes can be kept under wraps for years, or never go into production. Recall in early 2009 the proliferation of ‘iPhone Mini‘ rumors. Several Chinese case manufacturers published ‘proof’ (photos, diagrams & specs) that a so called iPhone Mini would soon be launched. This buzz led to the creation of Shanzhai (pirated ‘knock offs’) iPhone Minis which soon showed up in street markets and electronics stores across Asia. It has been 3 years and we have yet to see a real ‘Apple’ iPhone Mini come off Foxconn’s assembly lines … and don’t hold your breath!

Despite the aforementioned caveat to be ‘weary of Apple product rumors,’ here is our own contribution, with special focus on the camera. If these iPhone 5 rumors are repeated often enough, they become truth … right? ;)

iPhone 5 casing next to iPhone 4S

According to the echo chamber of rumors surrounding the new iPhone:

  • It’s Bigger: According to an Apple Insider source the new iPhone “is likely to increase the size of the display on its next iPhone to 4.08 inches, with a resolution of 1,136 x 640 pixels and a ratio of 16:9.” 
  • It’s Thinner: In addition to having a larger screen, the new iPhone purportedly has a thinner new design with an aluminum back.
  • Smaller Port: It has a smaller European Union (EU) compatible 19-pin (vs 30 pin) micro USB connector. “TechCrunch has independently verified that Apple is working on adding a 19-pin port, replacing the current 30-pin port, to the new iPhone.”

    iPhone 5 (darker) vs iPhone 4S

  • Earphone Port Shift: Audio jack shifts to the iPhone bottom.
  • AirShare Data Transfers: Includes unseen iOS 6 features that Apple didn’t introduce at the June 2012 WWDC event. One of such feature is AirShare that allows users to rapidly transfer (share) data with other Macs and iPhones.
  • Wave-to-Pay Chip: Comes with a NFC chip enabling “wave to pay” e-commerce that will allow iPhone owners to pay for coffee, train tickets, lunch, etc. simply by waiving their iPhones over an NFC ready payment terminal. NOTE: Mobile payments via NFC enabled smartphones is commonplace in much of Asia, particularly in Japan and South Korea.

Now we come to some juicy buzz (again, just rumors) about the camera technology packed into the new iPhone. According to a report via AppleInsider (sourcing KGI analyst Mingchi Kuo), the next gen iPhone could include:

  • An HD Camera: The new iPhone has a front-facing camera capable of HD (high definition) resolution.
  • Front-Facing Camera ‘Centered': Apple Insider quotes KGI: “He (KGI analyst Mingchi Kuo) believes Apple will also employ a flip-chip (FC) solution for the front-facing camera on the upcoming iPhone. The camera’s position would be moved to the middle … and would better suit the 4-inch display.”
  • Retains an 8 Megapixel Rear-Facing Camera: Siting KGI’s report, Apple Insider explains that the rear-facing camera will likely retain the current iPhone 4S 8-megapixel benchmark but with improved aperture range “up to f/2.2.” (The iPhone 4S has a maximum aperture of f/2.4).
  • Thin Camera Design: KGI’s report also predicts that the new rear camera will be noticeably thinner, “making it the most challenging iPhone design yet.” Kuo speculates that the new iPhone’s rear camera will have a CCM of 5.55mm and a lens TTL of 4mm, down from 6mm and 4.8mm on the iPhone 4S. Apple’s suppliers will reportedly face “unprecedented challenges” producing the rear camera component because of the changes to the design.

But wait, there’s more buzz…

  • New 3D Camera: According to a tipster’s whisperings to iTechPost, you can take “really cool” 3D photos with the new iPhone. According to the tipster/tester (who claims to have ‘hands on’ time with the new iPhone) when you tap the “3D button” it displays two options — a camera and map. When the tipster snapped a photo of some flowers, a map icon appeared along with a list of nearby flower shops. According to the tipster; “My iPhone 4 runs iOS 6 beta, but when I used ‘maps’ it never did this!” (i.e. photos interacting with maps/e-commerce).

There are many other iPhone 5 rumors floating out there, including suggestions that the new model will support LTE 4G and even TD-SCDMA 3G (for China Mobile), but we will leave that rumor roundup for another day.


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