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Improved antenna, 4-inch screen, NFC e-wallet rumored for Apple's iPhone 5

post #1 of 129
Thread Starter 
A new report from a Far East newspaper reiterates rumors that Apple will sell a next-generation "iPhone 5" this summer with an improved antenna design, a larger 4-inch display, and integrated near-field communications chip for wireless e-wallet transactions.

China Times reported Tuesday (via Google Translate) that Apple's so-called iPhone 5 is now in its "trial production stage." It also said that the new device, which will allegedly have a "metal chassis" for an improved antenna design, will launch in the third quarter of 2011.

The new design would apparently be to address issues that arose with the iPhone 4, when it was discovered that covering the bottom left corner of the handset could cause some signal attenuation. The metal band on the perimeter of the iPhone 4 doubles as the device's antennas, saving space inside the handset.

The report also reiterated recurring rumors that the iPhone 5 will include an NFC chip for an e-wallet service, allowing handset owners to use their device to authorize credit card transactions. Rumors of NFC support have persisted for months, and on Monday The New York Times cited two anonymous sources in saying that Apple planned to add an NFC chip to a future iPhone, but could not confirm whether it would be the iPhone 5.

Tuesday's report also added support to rumors that Apple plans to expand the screen size of the iPhone to 4 inches with the fifth-generation device anticipated this year. Rumors have suggested that Apple could increase the display from its current size of 3.5 inches without increasing the physical size of the device, utilizing an edge-to-edge screen.

Finally, the report also indicated that the next iPhone will, as expected, include Apple's new dual-core, custom built A5 processor. The A5, which offers twice the processing power and up to 9 times the graphical power of its A4 predecessor, debuted earlier this month inside the iPad 2.

China Times also noted that strong demand for Apple products, particularly the iPhone and iPad, has prompted Apple's manufacturing partner, Foxconn, to plan a new facility in Sao Paulo, Brazil. It was said that the new plant will be specifically to build Apple products, and production will start in 2013.
post #2 of 129
I am skipping the upgrade of my iPad to an iPad 2 to fund an iPhone 5, so am hoping it will be worth it
post #3 of 129
Definitely planning on upgrading from my 3GS to the 5 this summer. Just wondering if the slide out keyboard rumor is true or not. Also wondering if there is going to be any faster or broader frequency support for data.

Seems to be an exciting tech summer for me. Upgrading to Lion on the Mac Pro and new MBP. New iPhone, and love the idea of a larger screen.

Fun stuff. I'd be wishing it were June now if we didn't have a cruise coming up in May.
post #4 of 129
I don't believe the 4 inch rumor. Apple isn't going to change the height/width ratio of the screen. I think at most the display will change from a 2" x 3" to a 2 1/8" x 3 3/16". Update: making it a 3.831 inch screen, not a 4 inch screen.
post #5 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by svnipp View Post

Definitely planning on upgrading from my 3GS to the 5 this summer. Just wondering if the slide out keyboard rumor is true or not. Also wondering if there is going to be any faster or broader frequency support for data.

Seems to be an exciting tech summer for me. Upgrading to Lion on the Mac Pro and new MBP. New iPhone, and love the idea of a larger screen.

Fun stuff. I'd be wishing it were June now if we didn't have a cruise coming up in May.

Slide out keyboard???

I prefer the rumor it has the built in ability to deliver a high voltage shock to anyone applying a death grip.
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post #6 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by svnipp View Post

Just wondering if the slide out keyboard rumor is true or not.

No... the third party manufacturers had it wrong... the keyboard is actually for the upcoming Microsoft Zune phone... in brown...
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post #7 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctwise View Post

I don't believe the 4 inch rumor. Apple isn't going to change the height/width ratio of the screen. I think at most the display will change from a 2" x 3" to a 2 1/8" x 3 3/16". Update: making it a 3.831 inch screen, not a 4 inch screen.

I think they can safely call that a 4in screen.
post #8 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by svnipp View Post

Definitely planning on upgrading from my 3GS to the 5 this summer. Just wondering if the slide out keyboard rumor is true or not. Also wondering if there is going to be any faster or broader frequency support for data.

Seems to be an exciting tech summer for me. Upgrading to Lion on the Mac Pro and new MBP. New iPhone, and love the idea of a larger screen.

Fun stuff. I'd be wishing it were June now if we didn't have a cruise coming up in May.

God I hope there is no slide out keyboard. I cannot imagine it turning out well, not even for Apple. As for the display, I think the current size is perfect and I don't really need a larger screen. However, if Apple can somehow fit a bigger screen but keep the same size form factor, then I would be okay with this. On the other hand, if it turns out to be slightly too large for my pocket, or makes my pockets feel obese, then this is a deal breaker for me.

Mainly I just want improved antennas and a non-glass back.
post #9 of 129
How can an "all metal back" help improve the antenna?

I would think it would just:

1. Using metal would *BLOCK* the signal. (not help it)

2. If the metal *IS* the antenna... now we have to not-touch the entire back (instead of just the edges.)
post #10 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctwise View Post

I don't believe the 4 inch rumor. Apple isn't going to change the height/width ratio of the screen. I think at most the display will change from a 2" x 3" to a 2 1/8" x 3 3/16". Update: making it a 3.831 inch screen, not a 4 inch screen.

I agree about them not changing the aspect ratio, especially not to something that diverges even farther from the iPad's aspect ratio. But it depends on what they mean by "without increasing the overall size" of the iPhone. They could increase the width by a few mm and decrease the height a few mm (meaning the overall case, not the screen) to maintain the same mm^2 area of the face. Then shrink the non-display area were the home button and earpiece are located to make room for the bigger screen. That could get them closer to a 4" screen.

Then again, half the time when we hear these rumors I think the larger display is aimed for the iPod touch, not the iPhone. They could make the touch bigger and then create a new iPod to replace the venerable iPod classic. It would be smaller than the current touch and only limited functionality (ie, not much more than a PIM). Keep it simple enough to be able to cram lots of flash storage into it without jacking up the price so it can take the place of the HD-based classic.
post #11 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by TammyT View Post

How can an "all metal back" help improve the antenna?

I would think it would just:

1. Using metal would *BLOCK* the signal. (not help it)

2. If the metal *IS* the antenna... now we have to not-touch the entire back (instead of just the edges.)

I think the 'problem' (as far as you can actually call it a problem in real life) with the iPhone 4 antenna is not so much that your hands touch it (GSM signals go straight through them), but that by touching the small bands between the antenna parts you bridge them, which does distort the signal since it changes electrical properties of the antenna part used for the GSM signal.
post #12 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by svnipp View Post

Just wondering if the slide out keyboard rumor is true or not.

A software keyboard can do MANY things that a physical keyboard never can:
\tWork in landscape AND portrait modes.
\tWork in 200 different language without having to ever manufacture ANY different keyboards.
\tLighter.
\tCheaper.
\tNo slider to break.
\tNo keys to break.
\tThinner device.
\tThe keys can resize themselves and get bigger, when needed. (Landscape mode.)
post #13 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by svnipp View Post

Definitely planning on upgrading from my 3GS to the 5 this summer. Just wondering if the slide out keyboard rumor is true or not. ...

Sliding keyboards are essentially dead, they will just take a little longer to disappear. Not only will Apple not be making anything of the sort (why would they?), most other manufacturers are moving away from them.

IMO it's very similar to when mice came out. Several manufacturers offered some kind of ball or pointer control device built into the keyboard as an alternative. The reason was some people had "trouble" with mice and it was considered that mice "weren't for everyone." Since the keyboard was king at that time, the focus was instead on fancier and fancier keyboards (with integrated pointers and other gee-gaws). At the same time, many experimental "alternatives" to the mouse were floated.

Soon however, it became apparent that most everyone *could* actually use a mouse if they just gave it a good try, keyboards went back to being much more basic and all the alternative mice faded away. The slide-out keyboard is the same kind of beast. In a few years they will be hard to find and people will call you grampa if you use one because only the "old folks" will still have trouble with virtual keyboards.
post #14 of 129
"The new design would apparently be to address issues that arose with the iPhone 4"

Or maybe the new design is simply to support the NFC, which is really just one more wireless standard.
post #15 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by svnipp View Post

Just wondering if the slide out keyboard rumor is true or not.

It's more likely to have a slide-out antenna.

And even though we don't really know, we know it will not have these things.
post #16 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by TammyT View Post

How can an "all metal back" help improve the antenna?

I would think it would just:

1. Using metal would *BLOCK* the signal. (not help it)

2. If the metal *IS* the antenna... now we have to not-touch the entire back (instead of just the edges.)

How do you think Mac laptops get a WiFi signal? The antenna would be in the Apple logo.
post #17 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

I agree about them not changing the aspect ratio, especially not to something that diverges even farther from the iPad's aspect ratio. But it depends on what they mean by "without increasing the overall size" of the iPhone. They could increase the width by a few mm and decrease the height a few mm (meaning the overall case, not the screen) to maintain the same mm^2 area of the face. Then shrink the non-display area were the home button and earpiece are located to make room for the bigger screen. That could get them closer to a 4" screen.

Then again, half the time when we hear these rumors I think the larger display is aimed for the iPod touch, not the iPhone. They could make the touch bigger and then create a new iPod to replace the venerable iPod classic. It would be smaller than the current touch and only limited functionality (ie, not much more than a PIM). Keep it simple enough to be able to cram lots of flash storage into it without jacking up the price so it can take the place of the HD-based classic.

But how much bigger could they make the display while still keeping the same case design? I dont think 4 is possible within that footprint if they stick with the same aspect ratio. I also dont think Apple will include an entirely new UI for developers for a quarter inch. Just look at how long they kept the iPhones display resolution until they could double the pixels in each direction.

This will be the 5th version of the iPhone so I think that Apple is working on expanding the product line to include more than one model type. It also seems that the display is the biggest hold up for these devices so dividing it there could help maintain component supplies as their need grows.

So maybe well see the same 3.5 iPhone and a new 4+ iPhone using the same aspect ratio and resolution of the 3.5 iPhone, just with less pixel density, though still well above the minimum for calling it Retina.

This additional size would help Apple compete with Android phones who have gone to the large size because they couldnt compete with Apple on price, and dont have the engineering know-how to make a compact modern cellphone the way Apple can. This would allow Apple to get the customers that want a larger display while allowing Apple to add features like LTE sooner rather than later due to the increased space for chips and the battery.
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post #18 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

How do you think Mac laptops get a WiFi signal? The antenna would be in the Apple logo.

So this means Apple has to put the antenna "inside" the phone, rather than "around" the phone. Hope they can keep shrinking those components then. (and yet, you'll still be covering the antenna window with your hand)
post #19 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by d-range View Post

I think the 'problem' (as far as you can actually call it a problem in real life) with the iPhone 4 antenna is not so much that your hands touch it (GSM signals go straight through them), but that by touching the small bands between the antenna parts you bridge them, which does distort the signal since it changes electrical properties of the antenna part used for the GSM signal.

It's not touching the separation bands themselves, per se. It's connecting the two different antennas together (bridging) across the that gap. If you touch the separator band, your finger will then, also be touching both antennas at the same time. You do the same thing if you touch one antenna with your index finger, and the other antenna with your middle finger.
post #20 of 129
It's about time they fixed that damn antenna!
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post #21 of 129
i see a nano sized fat boy shaped iphone coming soon

with a cheaper price and super mass production possible .

look to 4 countries that would buy a ton of these cheaper phones
russia china india singapore




just saying



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post #22 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

It's about time they fixed that damn antenna!

my verizon i phone has big issues .

if i keep my hands off the sides of the i-phone completely
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post #23 of 129
So no rumors on 4G and/or glassless 3D?
No putting them in iPhone-5 will mean that Apple is going to be at least one year behind some of the Android competition.
post #24 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post

So this means Apple has to put the antenna "inside" the phone, rather than "around" the phone. Hope they can keep shrinking those components then. (and yet, you'll still be covering the antenna window with your hand)

The antenna has always been covered by something, whether it's your hand or a piece of plastic. The difference is that you wouldn't be directly touching it, and unlike plastic, you are a conductive surface that either directly or indirectly alters the antenna's characteristics.

Rarely is a cell phone signal not passing through something, so your hand isn't that much of a concern.
post #25 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

So no rumors on 4G and/or glassless 3D?
No putting them in iPhone-5 will mean that Apple is going to be at least one year behind some of the Android competition.

I think theyll manage just fine without 3D. \
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post #26 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

But how much bigger could they make the display while still keeping the same case design? I dont think 4 is possible within that footprint if they stick with the same aspect ratio. I also dont think Apple will include an entirely new UI for developers for a quarter inch. Just look at how long they kept the iPhones display resolution until they could double the pixels in each direction.

This will be the 5th version of the iPhone so I think that Apple is working on expanding the product line to include more than one model type. It also seems that the display is the biggest hold up for these devices so dividing it there could help maintain component supplies as their need grows.

So maybe well see the same 3.5 iPhone and a new 4+ iPhone using the same aspect ratio and resolution of the 3.5 iPhone, just with less pixel density, though still well above the minimum for calling it Retina.
This additional size would help Apple compete with Android phones who have gone to the large size because they couldnt compete with Apple on price, and dont have the engineering know-how to make a compact modern cellphone the way Apple can. This would allow Apple to get the customers that want a larger display while allowing Apple to add features like LTE sooner rather than later due to the increased space for chips and the battery.

Why would they need a new UI? It's a small increase in screen size with the same resolution, so everything is just a wee bit bigger on the screen. The apps would be the same, but it woule be a little bit easier from a usability standpoint. I think that little bit of extra space would make typing on the keyboard a lot easier.

As you state in your 4+" example, it would still be a "Retina display". Although, I actually think anyting bigger than 4" with the same resolution would most certainly NOT be a high enough pixel density to still be called that.
post #27 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I think theyll manage just fine without 3D. \

I agree completely. I don't have any use for a 3D display on an iPhone. Seems very gimmick-y to me, and I'm not sure why some people clamor for this feature.
post #28 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

I agree about them not changing the aspect ratio, especially not to something that diverges even farther from the iPad's aspect ratio. But it depends on what they mean by "without increasing the overall size" of the iPhone. They could increase the width by a few mm and decrease the height a few mm (meaning the overall case, not the screen) to maintain the same mm^2 area of the face. Then shrink the non-display area were the home button and earpiece are located to make room for the bigger screen. That could get them closer to a 4" screen.

Then again, half the time when we hear these rumors I think the larger display is aimed for the iPod touch, not the iPhone. They could make the touch bigger and then create a new iPod to replace the venerable iPod classic. It would be smaller than the current touch and only limited functionality (ie, not much more than a PIM). Keep it simple enough to be able to cram lots of flash storage into it without jacking up the price so it can take the place of the HD-based classic.

The new design LCD that allows the screen to almost reach from edge to edge will help. Apple isn't locked into this exact size phone either. The 4 is a bit longer than the early models. A couple of mm wider won't matter if that's all they need.

I'd like a bigger screen as long as the phone isn't significantly bigger as some other phones are.

As far as the metal back goes, well, that's another problem. Originally, they went to plastic because of 3G and GPS. Whether they can go back to metal is a good question. But time marches on, and possibly they've found a way to do it.
post #29 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

How do you think Mac laptops get a WiFi signal? The antenna would be in the Apple logo.

Look at the size of the Apple logo on a notebook, and look at the size on the phone. Signals require the same size antenna, no matter what size the receiving device is.
post #30 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

China Times also noted that strong demand for Apple products, particularly the iPhone and iPad, has prompted Apple's manufacturing partner, Foxconn, to plan a new facility in Sao Paulo, Brazil. It was said that the new plant will be specifically to build Apple products, and production will start in 2013.

Production of the plant will begin or product-production?
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post #31 of 129
Not that I wouldn't mind a slightly larger screen on the iPhone, but I'm not understanding the persistence of this rumor considering that the Retina Display is the best on the market already and screen size hasn't been a complaint about the iPhone. What would Apple's motivation be to increase the screen size?

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post #32 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

How do you think Mac laptops get a WiFi signal? The antenna would be in the Apple logo.

Err, in the plastic strip along the hinge...
post #33 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

A couple of mm wider won't matter if that's all they need.

It won't "matter", but it will be annoying and would put me personally off the phone. The 3G and the 3G S for example were too wide for my liking. Whereas the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 1 (the one I currently own) are much nicer to hold because of their width. IMO it would be mistake from a usability and consumer-standpoint to widen the phone even a little bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I'd like a bigger screen as long as the phone isn't significantly bigger as some other phones are.

Did you read the story? The whole rumor is that the phone wouldn't be wider. That's the whole point of going edge-to-egde - to get a bigger screen in a device the same size.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

As far as the metal back goes, well, that's another problem. Whether they can go back to metal is a good question. But time marches on, and possibly they've found a way to do it.

Hope so. The aluminum design of the first iPhone is still the best design of all the iPhones, besides the plastic buttons. The metal buttons on the iPhone 4 really are much nicer/better, and have a nicer click-y-ness too.
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post #34 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by svnipp View Post

... Just wondering if the slide out keyboard rumor is true or not...

This "rumor" needs to die. Apple is not going to add extra hardware, which means adding more weight, complexity, and steer away from their minimalistic style.

You can already get a slide-out keyboard for the iPhone. Here's two options after 15 seconds of using Google:

http://www.amazon.com/BoxWave-Keyboa.../dp/B004L0K3KW

http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/cellphone/e66e/

Have at it!
post #35 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

Why would they need a new UI? It's a small increase in screen size with the same resolution, so everything is just a wee bit bigger on the screen. The apps would be the same, but it woule be a little bit easier from a usability standpoint. I think that little bit of extra space would make typing on the keyboard a lot easier.

As you state in your 4+" example, it would still be a "Retina display". Although, I actually think anyting bigger than 4" with the same resolution would most certainly NOT be a high enough pixel density to still be called that.

If this wasn’t Apple that wouldn’t matter to them, but it is Apple. You don’t simply enlarge the pixel sizes and not account for that in the UI. They painstakingly make sure all the elements fit the device.

Remember, that your fingers aren’t getting "just a wee bit bigger” when it touches the screen. Also note there are plenty of apps that have measurements built in that would be out of whack if the pixel size changed.

Again, remember this is the company that sat on the same 480x320 resolution for 3 full years before upping the resolution because they wanted to wait until they could get 4 pixels to exactly represent what was previously 1 pixel so that there would be absolutely no degradation in the quality of the UI experience when they made the change.

Yes, Apple could easily call it Retina Display and still be within the parameters of what we colloquially call “perfect vision”.
960 x 640 = 288.4ppi for a 4” display.
3438 * (1 / 288.4) = 11.92” from your eyes if you have 20/20 vision.


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post #36 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

So no rumors on 4G and/or glassless 3D?
No putting them in iPhone-5 will mean that Apple is going to be at least one year behind some of the Android competition.

Yeah. And where's the thing for getting a stone out of a horse's hoof? I hear the next LG will have one of those...
post #37 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

So no rumors on 4G and/or glassless 3D?
No putting them in iPhone-5 will mean that Apple is going to be at least one year behind some of the Android competition.

Sure, as though we'll see a useful 3D phone now. And so far, 4G isn't doing too well. I'm always amused when I read a review of a 4G phone, and one of the first tips they give for preserving battery life is to keep 4G turned off.

It's really useful when it's turned off. So, you need a data connection. You take out your phone, and go to wherever you need to turn 4 G on. Then it takes from what's been said, 30 seconds to a minute to acquire the network. Then you go do what you need to for the 20 seconds or so it takes. Then you go and turn it off again.

Considering the actual speeds this so called 4G delivers, which is usually no more than 50% faster than 3G, and sometimes lower, it's just faster to take out my iPhone4 and get the info right away. I've read some really funny posts on other forums about how iPhone users need to have things so simple that they don't need to "manage" their phones. That's a real laugh. So, we should have to "manage" our phones because of some badly working feature that isn't needed most of the time anyway? That kind of feature we don't need.

I think I can say pretty certainly, that when Apple finds 4G or LTE to work properly, without sucking the life out of the phone, we'll get it. Meanwhile, that service isn't available in most places yet anyway.
post #38 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJinTX View Post

I agree completely. I don't have any use for a 3D display on an iPhone. Seems very gimmick-y to me, and I'm not sure why some people clamor for this feature.

I heard the same about introduction of full internet, 3g, mp3, and any new tech into phones.

Imagine iPhone 5 3d bundled with some of Disney/Pixar 3d content?
Or watching Avatar in 3d.
Or recording/viewing 3d photos and videos?
Or facetime in 3d?
post #39 of 129
Off topic: Where is TBaggins? I never see him around here anymore.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

I heard the same about introduction of full internet, 3g, mp3, and any new tech into phones.

Imagine iPhone 5 3d bundled with some of Disney/Pixar 3d content?
Or watching Avatar in 3d.
Or recording/viewing 3d photos and videos?
Or facetime in 3d?

Watching Avatar in 3D on a 3.5” display? I doubt you could get through the movie before the battery dies due to the increased power needs. No thanks!

Wearing glasses while I’m holding my phone for 2.5 hours. Annoying!
Having to keep my head still so I don’t deviate from the center of the display for 2.5 hours while holding my phone. Annoying!

As for photos and FaceTime, you are then also claiming that the next iPhone would have stereoscopic cameras so it can record on different angels to create a 3D-like image? I don’t think so!
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post #40 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Production of the plant will begin or product-production?

I've read that they're adding another production line to a present facility, and that it's likely for Apple. Whether a new plant is going to be built in addition is speculation, and would obviously take time. If it's true, we don't know whether it's just thinking at Foxconn right now, actual plans, whether approval has been given by the government, whether dirt has been moved, or what.
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