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Gadgets & Gizmos

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Off course and adrift in a sea of iPhone 5 rumors

15

August

iphone5.jpgWe're in uncharted waters with the iPhone 5 right now, off course and adrift in a foggy sea of rumors and no familiar markers with which to find the next horizon. We know it's out there, but where? When?

The latest rumors point to a Sept. 7 release and persistent rumors say we'll see an iPhone that is slimmer and with a larger screen but in the same basic form-factor. There have been leaks and leaks of leaks and artist's renderings with renderings of those renderings. A recent patent request for apple showed MacBooks, iPads and iPhones with embedded pico projectors. There also have been rumors about a less-expensive iPhone with a plastic back for $99. Today BGR (Boy Genius Report) and other sources are reporting a 4G LTE iPhone 5 is currently being tested by the wireless carriers. This information is based on some code found in the firmware of a test build of iOS that was being used by one of the carriers.

For months I've been saying it doesn't make sense to release the next iPhone unless it's a 4G LTE phone. Nearly all the latest Android phones are now coming out as 4G phones and the iPhone 5 will not be able to compete as effectively if it remains at 3G speeds for another year. I really hope this leaked information is true.

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The rumor about the pico projectors came from Patently Apple, a site that tracks Apple patent requests and product developments, and it seems like more than a rumor since it's based on actual documents filed by Apple. While embedded projectors in mobile devices would be welcome and useful for some (business travelers, for instance) I don't think most people would want such a feature embedded in their iPhone. It mike make sense for iPads as part of a mobile entertainment and gaming system and an Apple-branded projector for use with MacBooks, as shown in the patent diagram, probably would be popular. Putting a projector is an iPhone also would present some serious battery challenges and battery life already is one of the weak points with the iPhone 4. External projectors that can be connected to an iPhone or iPad already are available for about $110. I doubt we'll see embedded projectors in the iPhone 5.

[Last modified: Monday, August 15, 2011 8:07pm]

    

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