Try as you might, it’s impossible to escape the gossip about Apple’s much-hyped iPhone 5S right now.
Will it have a beefed-up screen? Is it just another iterative update? And can it handle the growing competition from Samsung?
Well, we’ve rounded up the five hottest rumours about the forthcoming blower for your perusal. Here goes…
1 It’ll be out this summer
Apple’s autumn release schedule for both the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 served to build up plenty of hype.
But it didn’t help PR–wise when Samsung’s Galaxy S3 outsold the iPhone in the months running up to the iPhone 5’s launch.
Apple now looks most likely to return to a summer release schedule. Why?
Well, mostly because sources at Chinese factories are said to have told blogs including Macotakara that production of the iPhone 5S has already started, pointing to an August launch.
2 Design tweaks unlikely
Just like the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4S before it, the iPhone 5S won’t involve a wholesale redesign.
Instead, it’s claimed that Apple will give its inner specs a revamp, ramping up speed and boosting the camera (more of that in a bit).
This could be a bad move from Apple, especially as gossip about a new look budget iPhone and large screen-toting iPhone 6 are also doing the rounds.
Punters have got used to plenty of screen real estate, so the iPhone 5S could feel like a step backwards.
3 A smart flash
The iPhone 5’s camera is excellent, supplemented by a slew of great editing apps. But its flash could use a boost, which is where Philips’ Smart LED effort comes in.
Gossip ahead of the release of the iPhone 5 on AppleInsider suggested Cupertino was readying this tech for its current handset, but it never materialised.
However, such a change could give the iPhone 5S a real edge and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see it included.
The flash is yellow and white, rather than white only, meaning it will limit overexposure. Better ambient light detection is also expected.
4 It’ll pack a fingerprint sensor
Smartphone security is becoming an increasingly important issue, one which simple pass codes and swipes can’t easily fix.
The iPhone 5S is said to come with a special fingerprint sensor, with the ability to access different apps depending on which finger you use, solving security problems and giving it a futuristic edge.
Ming Chu Kuo, a KGI Analyst, reckons this is nailed on. And what makes it even more likely is the fact that the makers of the feature, CrucialTec, told Stuff at Mobile World Congress that it was rolling out the tech in two big name smartphones this summer.
Surely, the iPhone 5S will be one of them.
5 It’ll land alongside a plastic, budget iPhone
This is the rumour that just won’t die, fuelled by tidbits from Apple execs who won’t rule out the idea of an affordable iPhone.
While the iPhone 5S will be the company’s 2013 flagship, Chinese tech blogs last week reported that Cupertino was plotting an August release of a cheap handset in conjunction with China Mobile.
It makes perfect sense: budget Android handsets are huge in China and Apple needs to make it big in the world’s most booming market.