iPhone 5S Rumor Roundup: Here’s What We Expect

Apple is expected to unveil the hotly anticipated next generation iPhone at the media event on Tuesday, September 10, which will finally put an end to the rumors and speculations.

We take a close look at all the new features, specs and improvements coming to the new iPhone based on the rumors and leaked parts.

Name

We gave it away in the title of the post. We expect Apple to call the 7th generation iPhone, iPhone 5S.

Ever since the launch of iPhone 3GS, Apple has followed the strategy of launching an “S” model every alternate year, which looks like the previous generation iPhone, but with improved internals.

The strategy has been very successful for Apple, with every new iPhone setting sales records, so there is no reason to believe Apple will change that strategy this year.

Display

When Apple launched the iPhone 4 in 2010 with the gorgeous Retina Display at an incredible 326 pixels-per-inch (ppi) in 2010, it blew away competition.

But that was almost three years back and a lot has changed since then. We’re already seeing devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S4Sony Xperia Z that come with 440+ ppi displays and have taken the pixel-density crown from Apple.

According to some rumors, the new iPhone will sport a Retina 2 display with higher pixel density (489 ppi), but we highly doubt Apple will launch a “S” model with higher resolution display.

So the new iPhone will feature the same taller 4-inch display like iPhone 5. There have been rumors of an iPhone with a bigger screen, but it is unlikely to be launched this year.

iPhone-5-Display

Design

Don’t expect the iPhone 5S to feature an all-new design. The new iPhone will look very similar to the iPhone 5, which means it will come with anodized aluminum back plate with inlays along the top and bottom made of ceramic glass (on the white and silver model) or pigmented glass (on the black and slate model), which gives it the two-tone effect. It could come in new colors, but we’ll discuss that in more detail a little later.

iphone5-front-back

A7 Chip

The new iPhone is likely to be powered by Apple’s next generation A7 system-on-chip. While it is quite obvious that it will be faster, rumors indicate it will be 31% faster than the A6 chip, which powers iPhone 5.

The A6 chip was twice as fast as the A5 chip, so we would be disappointed if the A7 chip is just 31% faster. There have been some reports that the A7 chip will come with a dual-core processor (just like iPhone 5’s A6 chip) and not a quad-core processor, but it could be 64-bit. The 64-bit processor could make animations, transparencies and other graphical effects introduced in iOS 7 a lot smoother than current iOS devices.

RAM

While there have been some reports of 2GB RAM, it looks like iPhone 5S will come with only 1GB RAM like iPhone 5.

Apple typically hasn’t increased the RAM in “S” models. The only reason Apple could bump up the RAM is iOS 7’s smart multitasking feature, which will work a lot better with double the RAM.

Battery

Leaked photos and videos of iPhone 5S internals have revealed that Apple may have managed to make more room for the battery by making the logic board narrower.

The leaked photo also revealed that the battery has a capacity of 5.92 Whr compared to the 5.45 Whr capacity of the iPhone 5′s battery. It remains to be seen if the higher capacity battery will ultimately result in longer battery life, or it is to compensate for the faster processor and other features.

iphone_5s_interior

Camera

Initially there were rumors that iPhone 5S will come with a 12-megapixel camera. However, recent reports suggest that it will come with a 8-megapixel camera, same as the iPhone 5, but with larger f/2.0 aperature, which should improve low-light performance.

Leaked parts of iPhone 5S have also revealed that it will come with a dual-LED flash for improved low-light capabilities.

iphone-5S-black-gold

iPhone 5S may also feature a slow-motion camera. According to code references found in iOS 7 beta, it might be an option to record videos at an incredible high frame rate — 120 fps — that could enable an all new “slow motion” video category on mobile phones.

iOS 7 includes references to “Mogul,” a possible codename for the feature that will live as a separate “mode” in the iOS 7 camera app, alongside other camera modes like Panorama, square, standard, video and live filters. Further corroborating a high frame rate recording option is a new iOS 7 API that let developers record videos with frame rates as high as 60fps on iOS devices compared to the normal rate of 24fps.

The new iPhone may also come with a dedicated chip for motion tracking. We, however, do not know yet how it could be used to improve the camera system.

Fingerprint Sensor

It is speculated that one of the killer features of the new iPhone will be the fingerprint sensor, which will allow users to unlock it without entering a passcode. While we haven’t seen leaked parts that have confirmed it, code references found in iOS 7 beta and several rumors indicate that fingerprint sensor will be included in the next iPhone.

The fingerprint sensor will most likely be embedded in the Home button rather than the display. And contrary to rumors, the next iPhone is unlikely to come with a convex Home button. The shape may change, but the tweaked Home button with fingerprint sensor will look quite similar to the Home button that has been used since the launch of the iPhone. Users will have to press and hold down on the Home button rather than swipe on it to authenticate and unlock their iPhone.

Apple plans to use iPhone 5S’ fingerprint sensor for payments, but it won’t be introduced this year.

Storage Capacities

The new iPhone will be available with storage capacities of 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and possibly even a high-end 128-GB model.

Colors

One of the most talked about aspects of the new iPhone has been the new color options. It is almost certain that iPhone 5S will be available in a new gold color, along with the White & Silver and Black & Slate colors. According to some leaked photos and videos, iPhone 5S may come in a new graphite color as well.

The new gold color will be an elegant gold tone. Think: less “gold”, and more “champagne”. The glass inlays of the gold iPhone 5S will be white in color, but the antenna bands around the sides and chamfered edges could be in gold.

iPhone-5S-gold

This video of leaked iPhone 5S back panel gives the detailed look of what the gold iPhone 5S will loook like:

4G/LTE Support

When Apple launched the iPhone 5 with 4G LTE support, some carriers were left out as it was impractical to design chips with multiple radio antennas needed to support all of the 36 LTE bands around the world.

But with advancement in technology, there have been speculations that the new iPhone will support more LTE bands and may support networks operating on 800 MHz, which will make it compatible with a number of 4G LTE networks in UK, China and other countries.

iOS 7

ios-7-logo

Apple’s new iPhone will come pre-installed with iOS 7, which was previewed at the WWDC 2013 Keynote.

Apple’s next generation mobile operating system sports an all-new user interface, and includes new features such as the Control Center, smart multitasking, all-new Camera app with filters, AirDrop for iOS, iTunes Radio, Find my iPhone with Activation Lock and lots more.

One more thing:

  • iPhone 5S is unlikely to include a NFC chip, as Apple can accomplish the same functionality using a combination of WiFi, Bluetooth and the accelerometer.

Pricing

iPhone 5S will be available at the same price points as iPhone 5. So iPhone 5S will be available for $199/$299/$399/$499 for 16GB/32GB/64GB/128GB model with a 2-year contract and $649/$749/$849/$949 for 16GB/32GB/64GB/128GB model.

Availability

Apple is widely expected to unveil the new iPhone at the rumored media event on September 10, followed by the launch on September 20.

iPhone 5 was launched in 9 countries including US, Canada, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, France, Germany and UK. We also expect Apple to launch iPhone 5S in more than 9 countries this year.

Final comments:

It will be interesting to see which of these rumored features and improvements will make it to Apple’s 7th generation iPhone and if Apple has any other major surprises under its sleeve, though all signs seem to suggest that the leaked information is accurate.

Do you plan to buy or upgrade to the new iPhone if most of these features make it to the official specs list?

Note: As we get closer to Apple’s iPhone event, we expect a lot more details to be leaked, so we will continue to update this post with the latest rumors.