Rumors on a Japanese site suggest that a future iPhone model, allegedly called the iPhone 4S, is shipping sometime between late July and early August and will be a smaller step up from the currently available iPhone 4.

iPhone 4

According to this report, the next iPhone will have 3 or 4 antennas to accommodate both CDMA and GSM, for Verizon and AT&T respectively, which will help cut down manufacturing costs, since there would be a single iPhone for both carriers, and maybe others if Apple decides to sign more agreements. Apple currently makes two separate versions of the iPhone 4 for CDMA and GSM.

The most startling detail we’ve learned from this report was that the company looked into removing the SIM card. It’s no secret that Apple is always trying to cram more components into a tiny device, and when that’s not possible anymore, they look for components they could do without. Surprisingly enough, it seems Apple has been looking into removing the SIM card, essentially leaving the phone with an e-SIM, which would supposedly be stored on the phone’s memory. That said, it has also been said that Apple has decided against removing the SIM card this time around, due to the potential security problems that would entail, but who knows what can happen in the future. Let’s not forget they were the ones who first stopped bundling floppy drives with new Macs!

Rumors about a future iPhone have been ongoing ever since the previous one was released and have intensified over the last few weeks, suggesting a new one might be imminent. Last week, we reported on a leaked picture of an alleged back plate of a future iPhone. The plate looked almost identical to the one found on the current iPhone, except for the placement of the camera hole:

iPhone 4 back plate vs leaked plate

We speculated about the reason for the change, and the most plausible reason is the larger 8-megapixel camera, unlike the iPhone 4’s 5-megapixel camera.

The new iPhone 4S will also have hardware upgrades, with a new ARM Cortex-A9. We don’t yet know whether it will be a dual-core or single-core chip, but since many newer high-end Android phones already have dual-core chips, it would be silly of Apple to be left behind, unless it’s looking into reducing the headset’s price, which there’s no indication about.

In addition the iPhone 4S, we’ll also see an iPhone 5 around Spring next year, an unusual time frame for an iPhone release. Details about what such device will feature and still scarce.

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