First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
UPDATED: Everything we know about the iPhone 5 launch date, specifications, features
- — 08 August, 2012 12:14
Rumours are hotting up as we near the launch of Apple's upcoming iPhone, dubbed the iPhone 5, so we've rounded up all of the latest in one place to keep you up to date with what's expected when the popular smartphone launches.
We'll regularly update this story as new information comes in about Apple's upcoming iPhone
When will the next iPhone launch?
It looks likely that the iPhone 5 will launch on the 12 September, and could be available to buy on 21 September.
iLounge was first to report that Apple would be holding a special event on that date, citing "sources who have proven accurate in the past," who also believe we could see an iPad mini and a new iPod launch at the event.
Following that report, more evidence of a 12 September event flooded in from publications such as The Verge, The New York Times, Reuters, Bloomberg and AllThingsD. Each publication reported that their sources had given the same 12 September launch date for the iPhone.
Reports are suggesting that Apple has purposefully leaked the news of the iPhone 5 launch, and potentially bought the launch forward in the hope of it impacting the next quarter's financial results.
Since the rumours of the 12 September launch, eBay has seen a 70 per cent increase in iPhone 4S trade-ins, as owners rush to sell their devices before the next model arrives.
There has been no official word from Apple on the launch date, but, at its third quarter earnings report on 24 July, Apple's CFO Peter Oppenhiemer said that Apple "could not be more confident" in its new product line, and mentioned a "fall transition," which is expected to be a reference to the next iPhone's launch. This transition was brought up in the Q&A after the presentation, which Oppenhiemer responded with: "It's not something that we're going to talk about in any level of detail today."
Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets, said Apple would be smart to ship its new iPhone in September, especially after recent concerns around the June quarter weakness in the iPhone.
It is believed that Sharp will begin shipping screens for the iPhone 5 in August, and it has also been reported that Pegatron has begun production of the new iPhone in preparation for a September launch. Japanese Mac blog MacOtakara has agreed that Chinese manufacturers are beginning to ramp up production of the sixth-generation iPhone.
Taobao, the Chinese equivalent of Amazon, began accepting pre-orders for the iPhone 5, listing the device along with purported mock-up images and technical specifications.
According to analyst research, Apple expects to sell more than 263 million iPhone 5 units.
What will the iPhone 5 look like?
At the end of July, a fully assembled iPhone was constructed from components leaked from the Chinese suppliers, and photographs of the device were published online.
Apple was granted a patent for a smaller dock connector in July. It is expected that Apple will reduce the size from the current 30-pin design to a 19-pin or possibly even 8-pin design. However, it has also emerged that a high school student started one of the smaller dock connector rumours as part of a school project.
In early August, a detailed hands-on video of the iPhone 5 front panel hit the web. Watch it here.
What other features will the iPhone 5 have?
Data from alleged iPhone 5 prototypes has led to the speculation that Apple will implement Near Field Communication (NFC) in the device. An Apple patent also suggests that a NFC chip will be introduced in the iPhone 5, enabling users to quickly send iTunes gifts to one another.
Another patent indicates that Apple could use an NFC chip in future iPhones to control digital devices around the home, including other Apple products, games consoles, digital cameras, or even sprinkler systems and thermostats.
It is expected that the iPhone 5 will launch with iOS 6, Apple's next mobile operating system. iOS 6 will introduce a raft of new features to the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, including Apple-designed 3D maps, Siri improvements, 3G FaceTime and Shared Photo Stream.
When Apple launched iOS 6 beta 4 to developers on 6 August, it emerged that the company is dropping Google's YouTube app from the operating system. This, and the omission of Google's Maps app, indicates a very public break-up between Apple and Google. See: 4 things Apple will emliminate with iPhone 5 and iOS 6.
European mobile operators have reportedly been stocking up on nano-SIMs, the smaller SIM card design set to be used in Apple's next iPhone.
Of course, it's largely possible that Apple will not launch an iPhone 5 at all. It's sure to launch a sixth-generation iPhone but it is expected that the company could follow the naming conventions of its new iPad, dropping the number altogether.