Welcome back to my weekly Apple rumor roundup. This week’s Apple rumors brings us all the latest news and leaks, and even an “expected” announcement date (September 10th). So let’s dive straight in and take a look at all the top headlines coming from the Apple world.
Read below for all of the details and my breakdown of whats likely fact and fiction.
Apple to hold September 10th iPhone event
Rumor: Sources have told the tech blog site AllThingsD that Apple is set to unveil the newest version of the iPhone at event on September 10th of this year. There is no word if the event will feature two new models, including a cheaper iPhone 5C, or just one 5S. An Apple representative declined to comment on the timing of any upcoming events.
Fact or Fiction: I am calling fact. The WSJ has been known to be an unofficial voice for Apple regarding dates and news in the past. It was also confirmed by Jim Dalrymple who is often referred to as an “inside source,” and has an impeccable track record on confirming Apple dates. So mark your calendars now as September 10th looks to be Apple’s big day in 2013.
iPhone 5S to have a sapphire fingerprint reader
Rumor: pple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has stated the next iPhone will have a convex home button with a space for a fingerprint sensor. He also claims the traditional concave home button will be replaced by a convex home button made of sapphire glass, which does not scratch as easily. Sapphire glass is often used in high-end watches to prevent marks on the face.
Fact or Fiction: This analyst has a great track record on Apple news, so I am saying fact – sort of. I am not sure the button will be convex or be made out of sapphire; but I do believe the iPhone 5S will have a fingerprint reader either on the screen or home button. To stay relevant, Apple needs add another unique feature to the iPhone. A quick swipe of your finger to unlock your device could give Apple an edge over the competition when it comes to both security and coolness.
iPhone 5S will be limited to 3-4 million units in Q3
Rumor: Supply rumors pop up about a month before the release of the iPhone almost every year. This time they are saying the new iPhone will be in short supply thanks to a shortage of the fingerprint scanners. Mass production of the fingerprint sensors were scheduled to begin in May at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company and then to be packaged at Xintec corporation.
Fact or Fiction: This supply chain rumor is fiction. It seems these rumors happen every year just to drive hype and demand for the new model. I don’t believe Apple would allow this to happen considering they sold 5 million 5S units in the first weekend last year.
iPhone 5S to come in gold color option
(image courtesy of Macotakara)
Rumor: There’s yet another rumor claiming the new iPhone will come in a Gold color option. This rumor started back in July, and just does not seem to die. So does this make it true? Probably not, but this time the rumor comes from the wildly unpredictable Japanese tech blog Macotakara.
Fact or Fiction: Different color combinations are some of the most common fakes you see around the web. The aftermarket colored parts for current devices in China is probably a billion dollar market. I call fiction on the gold iPhone 5S, but I do still think we will see some flashy colors on the low-cost 5C.
iPhone 5C will lack Siri and replace the 4S
Rumor: Apple Analyst Gene Munster from Piper Jaffray predicts that the iPhone 5C will not come with Siri. Munster feels by leaving out a key feature like Siri, it will not allow for the 5C to cannibalize sales of the more powerful 5S. Munster also claim the new 5C model will replace the iPhone 4S at the bottom of the iPhone lineup.
Fact or Fiction: I am calling fiction on the lack or Siri, but fact on the 5C replacing the 4S. Munster has not had a perfect track record over the years when it comes to Apple rumors, and this claim to me seems a step backwards for Apple. The fact that Apple is pushing all its newest products to have similar features (4″ screen & lightning port), points to the 5C including Siri.
More iPhone 5C parts leak out
(image courtesy of Sonny Dickson)
Rumor: More iPhone 5C images from Australian Apple blogger, Sonny Dickson, hit the web on Wednesday. The photos show leaked buttons (mute switch, power and volume keys) in a pill shape form not used by any current iPhone model. The obvious different color options also make these unique parts.
Fact or Fiction: Millions of part leaks seem to happen every day in China through various tech blogs; but the fact they come from a reliable source make this one a bit more believable. The iPhone 5C is rumored to come in new colors (yellow, red, blue, green, white). I say fact on this part leak, guys.
iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C to be released on October 20th
Rumor: Greek tech site, Techmaniacs, claims the iPhone (both 5S and 5C) will not launch until late October. The site happens to be the same source that apparently (and accurately) forecasted last year’s release date for the iPhone 5. The reason for the delay is said to be caused by the heavy work flow brought on by the upcoming iPad releases.
Fact or Fiction: I call fiction on this one, with a fat capital F. Apple has never let the release date slip past 10 days. The fact the source claims the reason is caused by the increase in iPad production is ludicrous. Sources out of China have sited Foxconn has hired an additional 90,000 workers to handle the iPhone. I would still count on a September 20th release date for both devices.
New photos of iPhone 5S chassis surface
(image courtesy of nowhereelse.fr)
Rumor: French tech site, nowhereelse, has unveiled images of the iPhone 5S chassis. They show the iPhone 5S chassis alongside the iPhone 5 chassis and highlight some of the changes. The big discrepancy is the size of the home button, which is rumored to house a fingerprint reader on the 5S. The camera on the 5S has also taken on a new shape, and is said to support a pill shaped dual-led flash. The English version of this post can be seen in full here, via AppleInsider.
Fact or Fiction: This French tech site does have a decent record when it comes to rumors, and they have had a convincing camera leak last week. For me, this looks like fact. A chassis leak with this much detail normally tends to hold up well. The fact that all three modification spots match up with previous rumors on the web, most likely make this an actual iPhone 5S chassis.
Release Dates & Prices
iPhone: When it comes to price I am still sticking to my gut this week and predicting the new 5S will just slot right into the current spot of the iPhone 5. The 16GB model will go for $199 with a 2-year plan, or $650 contract free. I am thinking around the $450 price mark (unlocked) for the iPhone 5C, with a 2-year contract coming in at FREE, effectively replacing the current 4S pricing scheme. Dates: We now know the event will be held on September 10th. We should see the event invite go out about a week before on September 3rd or 4th. As for when the models will become available, I am saying September 20th.
iPad: Release date and pricing options on the iPad remain unchanged from last week’s rumor roundup which can be found here.