iPhone 5 rumour rollup for week ending August 17

iPhone 5 rumour rollup for week ending August 17

Reading animal entrails - well, not exactly - reveals much

For the iOSphere, reading SEC documents is the modern equivalent of the ancient art of haruspicy, reading animal entrails, to learn the future of the Next iPhone. Much is revealed to the trained eye.

And what's revealed this time is that iPhone 5 will have a cool fingerprint sensor at the heart of a digital mobile wallet with NFC-enabled payments. And that's probably just to start with.

MORE: What the iPhone 5 may very well look like

Also this week, Korean confirmation of LTE, the promise of pre-orders on the same day as The Revelation itself, learning the difference between a hoax rumor and a, you know, real rumor, and photos of the iPhone 5 battery.

You read it here second.


"An estimate would be that 90% [of readers who commented] regarded the screw [rumor] as a fact and based all the further opinion on that, only 10% were critical [as] to [its] accuracy."     -- Lukasz Lindell, of the Swedish Day4 blog (which created a deliberately false rumor, complete with 3D rendering, of an asymmetric screw developed by Apple for iPhone 5), on what makes the iOSphere go 'round.


iPhone 5 will have AuthenTec's fingerprint sensor technology

And that will mean, it will also have an NFC-based "mobile wallet" capability.

This all based on the interpretations being applied to the latest SEC filing by AuthenTec (you can check out our full coverage of this story). The company makes a variety of smart sensors, identity management and embedded security products, including fingerprint sensors used in PCs and laptops. On July 27 AuthenTec announced it was being acquired by Apple for $356 million, Apple's biggest ever.

This month, AuthenTec filed required paperwork with the SEC, revealing new details of its talks with Apple. TheNextWeb's Matt Brian read the filing and concludes that Apple is likely to incorporate into iPhone 5 (and the "iPad Mini" if there is one) the company's recently announced 2D fingerprint sensor, and associated software, for NFC-equipped smartphones and tablets.

"Will we see fingerprint technology in the new iPhone (or iPad)?" Brian asks. "It seems almost certain. AuthenTec specializes in a number of security products and software that theoretically could have made their way into Apple's production line or code branches. Details are scarce but its desire to use the technology and see it developed quickly leads us to speculate that we could see it in just a matter of weeks."

MacDailyNews at once began the echo chamber amplification that exemplifies Apple rumoring, by adding in its headline a detail that Brian never mentioned: "Apple's iPhone 5 to include fingerprint sensor in Home button?

Essentially, the SEC document contains AuthenTec's account of its talks with Apple, which began in late 2011 when AuthenTec began trying to interest consumer electronics companies in a new technology still in development -- a 2D fingerprint sensor and associated software specifically for NFC-equipped mobile devices. It was formally announced in May 2012.

Brian interprets those details, probably accurately, as showing that Apple was determined very early on to get its hands on the mobile fingerprint technology. The company repeatedly insisted that AuthenTec continue development especially to adapt the sensor to Apple's specific requirements.

But Brian falls victim to the "what else could it be" mindset that permeates Apple rumoring. The negotiation details in the SEC filing, to Brian, are evidence of Apple's urgency. "If AuthenTec was developing a technology for Apple's new products, would the deal need to have been completed "quickly" if it wasn't going to be used in devices launching later this year (or mere months after negotiations began)?" Brian asks. What else could it be?

Brian clearly believes that Apple's desire to quickly consummate the deal reveals the AuthenTec fingerprint sensor will be included in the new iPhone and other Apple products expected to be announced this fall.

The Rollup is not convinced. You can read why in the full story about this matter here

iPhone 5 will have LTE because the Koreans are asking Apple for it

The Korea Times published, in English, a story headlined "SKT, KT in talks with Apple for LTE service," which explained fairly straightforwardly that the leading Korean mobile carriers are trying to convince Apple to support their LTE networks in the next iPhone.

The Korea Times cited "officials from the companies," but there's little information directly associated to an official. Most of the details apparently come from "one high-ranked industry source who is familiar with the situation."

The Consensus Rumor is that Apple boyhowdy fer shur will have LTE radios in iPhone 5, because if it doesn't, it will be a planetary disaster on a scale not seen since the Chicxulub asteroid collision 65 million years ago. If Apple does introduce LTE, that would mean the Koreans are trying to get support for their specific LTE networks, which would require different radios.

In any case, the iOSphere quickly amplified the implications. SlashGear's headline: "iPhone 5 LTE confirmed by Korean mobile carriers."

Chris Burn wrote: "This week it appears that the Korean mobile data carrier KT may have spilled the beans a bit early as they've been quoted speaking about the next-generation iPhone by the Korea Times. ... This of course means Korea's 4G LTE frequencies will be in play -- and that it's likely the USA will be connected with this data speed as well."

CNET's Lance Whitney was more circumspect, saying only that The Korea Times story was "yet another potential sign" of LTE support in iPhone 5.

"If Apple's upcoming iPhone again fails to support LTE bandwidths, then this would be a very disappointing scenario as LTE is everywhere in Korea," said a high-ranking SK Telecom executive, quoted in the original Korea Times story.

iPhone 5 pre-orders start on the day of announcement, Sept. 12

When Apple announces iPhone 5 on Sept. 12, would-be buyers will be able to place "pre-orders" for it that same day, according to iMore's Rene Ritchie, who cites "sources that have provided iMore with accurate iPhone related launch dates in the past."

A "pre-order" is one of those conceptually garbled catch-phrases that never fails to inspire confidence the writer knows what he's talking about. Technically, it means that you can "reserve" a product before it officially goes on sale. iMore says, presumably from the same sources, that iPhone will go on sale -- be released, be available -- on Oct. 14.

iPhone 5 won't use weird screws after all because the screws were a hoax

Some websites and blogs repeated a recent rumor that Apple was introducing in iPhone 5 a special screw that would make it much harder for third-party and do-it-yourself repairs.

It turns out we don't have to worry about that because the screw rumor was a deliberate hoax, distinct from the unintended hoaxes so common in the iOSphere, perpetrated by Lukasz Lindell of the Swedish Day4 blog. And we know this because Lindell described the plot in a blog post, "How we screwed (almost) the whole Apple community."

"Less than 12 hours later [after the initial post, complete with elaborate 3D rendering of the new screw] it had happened," Lindell writes. "First came Apple blog Cult of Mac, who reported 'Apple May Be Working On A Top Secret Asymmetric Screw To Lock You Out Of Your Devices Forever' and then it just went on. More and more blogs wrote about the alleged leaks from Apple headquarters in Cupertino, USA. Yahoo, Wired and MacWorld jumped on. On Twitter, numerous posts raged about the issue. On YouTube, people made video blogs about the new screw. Google+ talked about it page after page."

Perhaps typical of the iOSphere, Boy Genius Report carried a brief account of the rumor, when it surfaced on Reddit, describing a "picture of dubious veracity showing that Apple is purportedly redesigning its screws to have asymmetric heads."

Lindell noticed two intriguing patterns in the reactions. "[T]he blogs and newspapers that reported on the screw all fell back on that this was a vague rumor, unconfirmed, but yet discussed what impact the screw could get for the Mac world if it was in use," he noted.

Readers of these posts reacted in a binary fashion: "Either they perceived the news as truth, or called it fake, no grey zone in between," Lindell wrote. "The split between the two camps [of readers-commenters], was quite unequal. An estimate would be that 90% regarded the screw as a fact and based all the further opinion on that, only 10% were critical to accuracy." The "further" from the original story, the more likely it was that readers simply accepted the story as true, according to Lindell.

Now, even more of the news and rumor sites are covering the revelation of the exposure, such as AppleInsider, which pointedly notes that it for one "declined to cover" the original rumor.

iPhone 5 will have a bigger battery

iPhone 5 will ship with a bigger battery, based on photos published by 9to5Mac. But the extra oomph seems a bit underwhelming if writer Mark Gurman is correct about the battery's specifications.

The photos come from a "reliable parts source (via 9to5Mac contributor Sonny Dickson)," Gurman writes. It's not quite clear what this means: Is the parts source reliable because it's fed 9to5Mac reliable information in the past, or because Dickson claims that the source is reliable?

The iOSphere Consensus Rumor is that iPhone 5 will have LTE wireless, a larger screen with more pixels, and possibly a new or at least improved CPU. All of which will increase demand on the battery. A bigger battery may be possible because of the expected larger vertical length of the New iPhone.

According to Gurman's story, the battery shown in the supplied photos has a capacity of 1440 mAh (up from 1430 mAh in the iPhone 4S), voltage of 3.8 (up from 3.7), and watts-per-hour of 5.45 (up a whopping 0.1 wHr, from 5.25).

A drop in battery performance for iPhone 5 would be a big problem. The Rollup recently summarized some informed speculation on Apple's iPhone 5 battery challenges, by Noam Kedem, vice president of marketing for Leyden Energy, a Fremont, Calif.-based battery maker for consumer electronics, electric vehicles and storage applications.

Kedem doesn't expect a battery breakthrough in iPhone 5, but does expect Apple to make every effort to optimize the phone's power use by various components, stress power efficiency in selecting components such as LTE radio chipsets, and increase battery size wherever and however possible. More radical battery technologies may find their way into "iPhone 6."

John Cox covers wireless networking and mobile computing for Network World. Twitter: Email: Blog RSS feed:

Read more about anti-malware in Network World's Anti-malware section.

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