iPhone 5S Rumors: What Apple Can Integrate in the Next iPhone
Over the past week or so, there have been some murmurings on the possible early release of the iPhone 5S alongside iOS 7. Supposedly, test manufacturing runs of the new handset may take place before the year is out, and some of Apple’s upstream component suppliers have forecast a strong first quarter 2013, hinting at a major product release within the first half of next year.
As such, it might be a good idea to look at what Apple can do with the next iPhone. Naturally, these rumors may turn out to be nothing but mere speculation, and the iPhone 5S could make its appearance during its regularly-scheduled late third quarter or early fourth quarter release window. The new device could also very well be a minor refresh of the current model, in line with Apple’s previous practice regarding its “S” tagged iPhones.
Still, there are plenty of good things that the Cupertino-based firm could do in the next iPhone with the current technology deals that they have.
First up is the usage of LiquidMetal materials for the phone’s back plate. These alloys are supposedly very scratch-resistant and easy to manipulate on the manufacturing side, so it seems to be a perfect fit for the iPhone 5S, especially considering the presence of scuffing on a number of brand-new iPhone 5 units. Apple has about a year and a half left of a new exclusivity deal with LiquidMetal that would supposedly be used for a “breakthrough product.”
Another interesting element is Apple’s acquisition of security firm AuthenTec, which could potentially underpin stronger hardware security features for the next iPhone. Some fans have even asserted that the “S” in iPhone 5S will stand for “security.” One area where such capabilities will be remarkably valuable is if Apple throws its weight behind NFC-based no-contact payments through Passbook.
The iPhone 5 didn’t include NFC, but this feature has been speculated on for a few years now, and Apple could finally decide to add it to the next iteration of its smartphone.
On the matter of wireless capabilities, there’s also a possibility that Apple would include a wireless charging feature in the iPhone 5S, given that some of its top-end competitors already come out-of-the-box with such abilities. While the usage of a metallic back and Apple’s stringent thickness and size requirements may preclude wireless charging applications in the short term, the needed induction coils for wireless charging are getting smaller and smaller, and may finally reach the point where no significant size penalty would be incurred by adding them into a device.