With the iPad release cycle well and truly behind us for another year, the focus of the tech industry is now firmly toward the Cupertino company’s other big iDevice release, which is, of course, the next iPhone.
Information has been scarce hitherto, however information gathered by the folks of 9to5mac suggests Apple is already internally testing a next-gen iPhone. Although the design is expected to eventually deviate from the current iPhone 4(S) form factor, the prototypes are shelled to look identical to the current range – throwing the eager tech world off the scent.
It seems a foregone conclusion that the next iPhone will include LTE, as implemented within its larger cousin released last month. We can never be 100% certain – particularly with an unannounced Apple product, but if there was no 4G on the fruit company’s sixth iPhone installment, it would be one of the most puzzling moves in tech history.
According to the report, the iPhone prototype is being used primarily to test an A5X chip. Benchmarked as boasting 1GB of RAM, it would speed up an already responsive device, although as the report also correctly points out, the new A5X processor in the new iPad was created especially for the resource-hogging Retina display, so, as-is, wouldn’t really bring much to an iPhone.
Therefore, the iPhone prototypes house a modified iteration of the A5X’s S5L8945X architecture. It’s currently operating under the N96 codename – similar to the N95 name used in the run up to the release last October of the iPhone 4S. As with last time, the name isn’t likely to be used at brand level – no less since Nokia has used that name on a past device.
Meanwhile, the iPod touch hasn’t seen upgrades – cosmetic or otherwise – since 2010, and the future has looked bleak for Apple’s "iPhone without the ‘phone’ part". However, as my colleague Oliver has pointed out, it’s an important product for those looking for an iOS experience on a budget.
An internal iOS 5.1 build contains a file which suggests Apple is plotting a fifth-gen touch, currently being referred to as iPod 5,1 internally. The current iPod is internally known as 4,1, which suggests some significant changes. Being such a target for the causal gamer, the chances of a dual-core processor like the one seen in the current iPhone 4S would seem a realistic implementation.