With each passing year, the iPhone hype machine reaches a new pitch and intensity, as rumours and counter-rumours about Apple’s handset dominate the tech press.
"It really will be a radical revamp this time," we’re told by some shadowy insiders. "It’s just more of the same, but brawnier," reckon other so-called ‘trusted sources’. Who to believe, eh?
We can’t tell you that, alas. And we can’t even begin to tell you everything that’s in store for you with the iPhone 5S.
But to give you some idea of what to expect, uSwitch Tech, with the help of Sonny Dickson and Riki Baker of iPhone repair and customisation experts www.meanymi.com, has got hold of a fully assembled (albeit non-working) iPhone 5S ahead of the phone’s release. And we’ve filmed it for a hands-on video next to the iPhone 5.
Unfortunately, the 5S parts we pulled together from the outer reaches of the Apple supply chain included a white front panel and a rear shell in graphite grey, so the result is a kind of hybrid of the finished article.
But we think there’s still plenty to be gleaned from the clip.
As earlier leaks indicated, our side-by-side comparison confirms that there are scant differences between the phones cosmetically.
Not only is the screen the same size. Everything from the dock connector to the headphone jack and the volume rocker are in exactly the same place as before.
But there are differences elsewhere. Not least the new pill-shaped aperture for the camera that bears out forecasts that a dual flash is on board. And of course, it’s hard not to notice how much lighter the graphite grey rear panel is than the standard black iPhone 5.).
Once again, though, it’s a safe bet that it’s on the inside where the improvements are afoot.
As well as more processing power this time around, a higher res screen is expected to be present and correct. And there’s the entirely rethought iOS 7 operating system to look forward to too.
Even so, we were hoping Apple and His Royal Iveness might bring some fresh thinking to bear this time around and give us something that stands out amid the welter of identikit black slab smartphones.
But that's enough from us. We know we’re hard to please. What we really want is to know what you think.
Would you have preferred a major overhaul of the iPhone’s design?
Or are you happy with major improvements to software, the camera and processing power?