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Rumor: Wireless carriers now testing secured iPhone 5 prototypes

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
Apple has sent prototype fifth-generation iPhones locked inside highly secure boxes to its carrier partners for network testing, according to a new rumor.

Charles Arthur of The Guardian wrote on Tuesday that anonymous carrier sources have told him that boxes encasing the next iPhone have been transported to carriers for testing. He characterized this as an "important step" in the release cycle for the next-generation handset.

Based on the timing of this, Arthur agrees with analyst Mike Abramsky of RBC Capital Markets, and sees Apple launching its next iPhone in September rather than October.

"The next iPhones go for their testing inside locked and sealed boxes so that the carriers can carry out checks on their network compatibility in their labs," he wrote. "It's very high security, as you could guess; my understanding is that barely anyone inside the carriers gets to open those boxes, and even when they do the hardware is encased in a dummy body which means there's no clue to what the actual phone will do."

He added: "Either way, the new iPhones are in the system, which means they now just have to get approval -- which will probably only take a few weeks at most -- and can then be signed off for manufacturing."

Arthur presented this as evidence for a September launch of the next iPhone, though he admitted he is not 100 percent certain of when Apple will unleash its next handset. However, he believes that customers will be "raring to go" for a new iPhone come September.

"The only reason why Apple would delay the launch in that way would be if it is has hit a manufacturing problem," he wrote. "But supply lines are quiet; there's plenty of capacity (Apple secured it after the Japanese earthquake in March). So it can't be a supply constraint either."



Tuesday's report from The Guardian, like Abramsky's note to investors, specifically disputes claims made on Monday by John Paczkowski of All Things D. Citing an anonymous source, he reported that Apple will launch its next iPhone in October, while other sources allegedly said the device will arrive later in the month.

In recent weeks, reports out of Apple's supply chain have begun to pick up, suggesting Apple is gearing up for mass production if its next-generation smartphone. In recent days, cases claiming to show the new design of a so-called iPhone 5 have appeared in China, showing curved sides and a thinner design.

Analyst Shaw Wu with Sterne Agee has allegedly been told by sources in Apple's supply chain that the next iPhone will be a "bigger upgrade than expected," sporting a larger display and thinner design. It is not expected to include 4G long-term evolution, the new high-speed wireless data standard.
post #2 of 36
Perhaps using the dummy bodies is prudent, but maybe the antenna issue would have been found before the iPhone 4 was released?
post #3 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by airnerd View Post

Perhaps using the dummy bodies is prudent, but maybe the antenna issue would have been found before the iPhone 4 was released?

You mean because the testers could have actually touched the body of the phone thereby inducing the design flaw?
post #4 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by airnerd View Post

Perhaps using the dummy bodies is prudent, but maybe the antenna issue would have been found before the iPhone 4 was released?

I was thinking that too. With dummy bodies one wouldn't know the true state of the antennas but let's hope Apple got the antennas right this time around
post #5 of 36
In the first there replies. :sigh:
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post #6 of 36
Apple's Android competitors are gearing up their copying machines to product Apple's design as soon as it appears. So much for competitive innovation and ergo Apple's focus on challenging the most egregious copy cats.
post #7 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

In the first there replies. :sigh:

Agreed. Australian and European Telcos have recommended the iPhone 4 for use in fringe reception areas because it's one of the best performing phones with weak signals. Mr. Jobs accurately characterized the problem as being one of "perception" not reality. I don't sigh though. The "unwashed masses" who've consistently made the iPhone 4 a best seller seem to have a better grip on reality than the geek-tech experts.
post #8 of 36
Samsung is just salivating to get a snapshot of their next... er.. I mean "Apple's" next phone.

Time to buy some stock in Xerox. I expect a bunch of copy machines will be purchased soon and sent overseas.
post #9 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by gprovida View Post

Apple's Android competitors are gearing up their copying machines to product Apple's design as soon as it appears. So much for competitive innovation and ergo Apple's focus on challenging the most egregious copy cats.

Even before they appear!

It's been reported that there is an iPhone 5 knock-off already being sold in China. They may have inside knowledge about the next iPhone or just a best guess, but it's funny when a knock-off hits the streets before the original!
post #10 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by airnerd View Post

Perhaps using the dummy bodies is prudent, but maybe the antenna issue would have been found before the iPhone 4 was released?

I'm sure the antenna issue would have been dicovered if they tested the iPhone 4 in it's normal body, holding it the way the vast majority of people do......
post #11 of 36
I have read the tea leave... my vision is clearing now... I see an iPhone and there's a number on it, sounds like 4s, no 5. That's it 5 and it's linked to June, no, September, maybe it's October, wait, it's September. The screen will have a higher resolution and the case will be slightly slimmer. Yes, it's getting clearer now. The antenna will work better and the camera will have a higher resolution. Oh. The leaves have fallen to the bottom of the cup and I don't see anymore. Please hire me as a technology analyst. It's much better than working for a living.
post #12 of 36
The anticipation for this phone to be revealed is killing me.
post #13 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Time to buy some stock in Xerox. I expect a bunch of copy machines will be purchased soon and sent overseas.

Xerox is so 1970s. I'd personally go with MakerBot or Fab@Home instead.
 
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post #14 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


"The next iPhones go for their testing inside locked and sealed boxes so that the carriers can carry out checks on their network compatibility in their labs," he wrote. "It's very high security, as you could guess; my understanding is that barely anyone inside the carriers gets to open those boxes, and even when they do the hardware is encased in a dummy body which means there's no clue to what the actual phone will do."

Isn't that the reason why Apple got caught flat-footed when the external antennas got detuned while gripped? My guess is that a company like Apple learns from its mistakes, and doesn't repeat them. The "dummy body" is the cause of mistake with the iPhone 4, or so the speculation went.

I don't think they would use a dummy body. I think that they supply fully functioning production models.
post #15 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxhunter101 View Post

I'm sure the antenna issue would have been dicovered if they tested the iPhone 4 in it's normal body, holding it the way the vast majority of people do......

Why do you think the iPhone 4 was never tested without the 3GS-esque cover on it? Is this based entirely on 'a' engineer being given 'an' iPhone 4 in a disguised case in the final stages of tweak testing before launch and well after the design was finalized? Do you really think that the iPhone 4 was never tested outside that case for the years it was in development and before its release?
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post #16 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Why do you think the iPhone 4 was never tested without the 3GS-esque cover on it? Is this based entirely on 'a' engineer being given 'an' iPhone 4 in a disguised case in the final stages of tweak testing before launch and well after the design was finalized? Do you really think that the iPhone 4 was never tested outside that case for the years it was in development and before its release?

Solips... I'm quite surprised you're catching their troll-bait!

Would you like a bit of FUD to go with that??
post #17 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleLover2 View Post

Isn't that the reason why Apple got caught flat-footed when the external antennas got detuned while gripped? My guess is that a company like Apple learns from its mistakes, and doesn't repeat them. The "dummy body" is the cause of mistake with the iPhone 4, or so the speculation went.

I don't think they would use a dummy body. I think that they supply fully functioning production models.

So you're claim is that the iPhone 4 is such a failure that not only have sold about 60 million units of a device that is apparently so useless that it's unable to be used for phone calls or data when touched but also extended the duration of it as the flagship phone by an unprecedented 25%.
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post #18 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

So you're claim is that the iPhone 4 is such a failure that not only have sold about 60 million units of a device that is apparently so useless that it's unable to be used for phone calls or data when touched but also extended the duration of it as the flagship phone by an unprecedented 25%.


The iPhone 4 is not a failure. It is not useless. Please do not put words in my mouth.

My point is that Apple is unlikely to test products that are unlike what they plan to release, despite the claims to the contrary made in the article, and especially given their recent situation, which was rumored to have been caused by testing the phone in a different case than the one which was to go into production.
post #19 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Solips... I'm quite surprised you're catching their troll-bait!

Would you like a bit of FUD to go with that??

I know, I know. They pulled in.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleLover2 View Post

The iPhone 4 is not a failure. It is not useless. Please do not put words in my mouth.

You wrote "Isn't that the reason why Apple got caught flat-footed when the external antennas got detuned while gripped?"

They not only have been using the same external antenna for the iPhone 4, but have also released a new model for Verizon for CDMA that also uses this failure of a design that you claim, and I repeat, "caught [Apple] flat-footed" because "the external antennas got detuned while gripped". You can't have it both ways.
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post #20 of 36
The Apple labs where the iPhone 4 was tested unsheathed were almost certainly climate controlled, humidity controlled and air conditioned. Humidity and sweaty palms were both reasons suggested as exacerbating the issue by users who encountered it. A technician's hand in a climate controlled lab is unlikely to reproduce a similar problem because a clean, dry hand in a climate controlled lab won't be sweaty or encounter high levels of humidity.

By contrast, users purchasing phones in the middle of summer in the United States are far more likely then not to either live where there is a high level of humidity or at least a great deal of heat causing sweaty palms. Or put another way, most users aren't using their phones in a climate controlled lab.
post #21 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by airnerd View Post

Perhaps using the dummy bodies is prudent, but maybe the antenna issue would have been found before the iPhone 4 was released?

You mean the incredibly overhyped issue that was only on a small fraction of the phones, 99% of which were in areas of the US where ATT service is known to spew donkey spunk.

Yeah. Not using a dummy body would have found that one out. Especially given that these test units are sent to the non US carriers for testing whereas the ATT tests could be done by Apple on Campus and thus doesn't require hiding anything


Quote:
Originally Posted by ianmac47 View Post

The Apple labs where the iPhone 4 was tested unsheathed were almost certainly climate controlled, humidity controlled and air conditioned.


the labs yes. But they don't just do lab testing. Remember it was an engineer with a phone off campus for real world testing that led to the great Gizmodo "theft"
post #22 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post




the labs yes. But they don't just do lab testing. Remember it was an engineer with a phone off campus for real world testing that led to the great Gizmodo "theft"

Yes. But that phone was disguised in a case intended to look like a 3GS model. It was not bare. The user was not touching the actual phone. Ergo, the problem was not revealed.


Update:
Just in case you were confused about the phone Gizmodo revealed, this is how they described it:

"The place was great. The beer was excellent. "I underestimated how good German beer is," he typed into the next-generation iPhone he was testing on the field, cleverly disguised as an iPhone 3GS"
http://gizmodo.com/5520438/how-apple...he-next-iphone
post #23 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by airnerd View Post

Perhaps using the dummy bodies is prudent, but maybe the antenna issue would have been found before the iPhone 4 was released?

I think it's been proven rather conclusively (except for the conspiracy theorists), that there wasn't any issue with the iPhone 4 antenna. That being said, the fact that they had those rubber bands available ahead of time (to fix the perceived problem), tells me that they knew all about it.

In other words I think the evidence suggest that they knew the bars would go down if you gripped it tightly in a certain way, knew that this wasn't really a problem but that people would see it as one, and had the fix ready for it. So the oft-repeated assumption that the testing procedure masked the "problem" is really unsupported and more in the realm of pop-culture legend than fact IMO.
post #24 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsimpsen View Post

Agreed. Australian and European Telcos have recommended the iPhone 4 for use in fringe reception areas because it's one of the best performing phones with weak signals. Mr. Jobs accurately characterized the problem as being one of "perception" not reality. I don't sigh though. The "unwashed masses" who've consistently made the iPhone 4 a best seller seem to have a better grip on reality than the geek-tech experts.

I ordered an iPhone 4 before any of the antenna stuff came out. I started to read about antenna problems but I was so skeptical about a 'real' antenna issue, I went ahead and bought the 4 (an outright buy @ $699). After all, Apple couldnt make a bad or flawed phone, I said. I was so excited to have my new 4, it was so cool, it was so fast, it was so pretty, it did everything better than my 3GS. I dismissed all the antennagate talk as bunk; Apple wouldn't knowingly produce a product that had problems.

Now I understand how the problem antenna got by the tests, the dummy bodies, so as not to show their (Apples) hand to the competition.

Back to my story. My iPhone 4 ecstasy was slowly (but steadily) replaced with disappointment as call after call after call was dropped. People would ask why I kept hanging up on them. I finally had no choice but to return the phone and get my money back.

Next time I hear of an iPhone problem, I won't be so quick to dismiss it as 'bunk' as I did with the iPhone 4 antenna issues. Even Apple can produce a 'flawed' phone.......

Oh yeah, some of the reasons the iPhone 4 has 'consistently' been a best seller:
1) Outstanding Apple marketing, Apple could sell ice to someone at the North Pole...!
2) People were tired of the same design, 2 years of the 3G and 3GS created a pent-up demand for something new.
3) Apple gave the 4 so many 'WOW' features, the retina display, the fast processor, the 5MP camera, the 'Facetime' front camera, etc.
4) When the 4 came out, it was so far ahead of everyone else; it had to be a success.
post #25 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewtonBonita View Post

SPAM

Is this an advertisement......???
post #26 of 36
I am trying to think of what compelling feature the iP5 could have to make it a must have...

Electronic Wallet (NFC or BT)?

Universal remote?

Keyless car entry?

Better Camera and case with lens attachments?

I have yet to feel held back with the iP4 and think that the A5 may be overkill for a phone.

Any thoughts?
"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
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- Michael Lille -
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post #27 of 36
Well, HSPA+ networking for starters. Mature cellular data technology well deployed throughout the world (the U.S. are the stragglers again) plus the Qualcomm Gobi chip doesn't kill the battery like current LTE chips do.

The dual-core A5 SoC is a vast improvement over the A4 SoC, plus the former runs cooler (I've used both in the iPad 2 and the original iPad, the latter I gifted to a family member). The A4-powered original iPad had overheating issues when used under direct sunlight; the A5-powered iPad 2 has no such issues.

A better camera, particularly one with superior low-light video recording performance would be excellent. I don't really think Apple can do much about lens attachments for a smartphone camera module. It's not get a 28-200 super-zoom like for dSLRs. The laws of optical physics and economies of consumer electronics manufacturing pretty much preclude anything like that. A telescoping zoom lens would have a high risk of getting damaged in something as roughly handled as a cellphone.

No electronic wallet (or at least, not yet). The world needs to get their ducks aligned in terms of standardized payment systems before NFC will be widely adopted. It's not like insular Japan where NTT DoCoMo can say, "here's a NFC payment system; you will use this." In particular, Europe probably needs widespread adoption of one system by various transit agencies.

Don't know about the value-add of a universal remote. You'd still need another one around anyhow. After all, if the person with the iPhone isn't home, how will others operate the system? With another cheapo universal most likely. There might be some value add from an iPhone or iPad app with a graphical interface for content selection, but it would have to have more functionality than a $50 Harmony remote.

I can't walk out the front door keyless, I still have other physical keys (to operate the car, office and home keys, etc.) so keyless car entry would be a novelty at best, not anything that promotes efficiency. And it's far more laborious to swipe an iPhone, enter your PIN, fire up an app to open a car door. I know which button to press on the car key fob blindfolded: far simpler.
post #28 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by airnerd View Post

Perhaps using the dummy bodies is prudent, but maybe the antenna issue would have been found before the iPhone 4 was released?

Do you think Apple didn't do internal testing without the dummy body? Doubtful, and it's also doubtful that they would have identified it as an "issue" anyway. They've already made their case to the public that it wasn't a problem per se, and sales of the iPhone 4 seems to confirm that consumers agree.
post #29 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


I am trying to think of what compelling feature the iP5 could have to make it a must have...

Electronic Wallet (NFC or BT)?

Universal remote?

Keyless car entry?

Better Camera and case with lens attachments?

I have yet to feel held back with the iP4 and think that the A5 may be overkill for a phone.

Any thoughts?

Nothing says you have to buy the iPhone 5 if you already have an iPhone 4

But Apple keeps making new phones because that's what companies do.

It's the same reason Canon releases 10 new point-n-shoots every year... certainly they don't expect you to replace a camera every year...

Apple sold 20 million iPhones last quarter from April to June 2011.... and those iPhones came out in 2010 and 2009 !!!

People buy iPhones all the time... but Apple needs to make a new one every once in a while.
post #30 of 36
I would definitely welcome and buy one made to match the iPad2 style.
(same curves, metal back)
I guess the Apple logo on the back will be plastic, and will emit.
Or there may be a plastic insert above the logo, along with the camera/flash modules.
post #31 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsimpsen View Post

Agreed. Australian and European Telcos have recommended the iPhone 4 for use in fringe reception areas because it's one of the best performing phones with weak signals. Mr. Jobs accurately characterized the problem as being one of "perception" not reality. I don't sigh though. The "unwashed masses" who've consistently made the iPhone 4 a best seller seem to have a better grip on reality than the geek-tech experts.

So because it isn't a major issue, you don't think it was an issue? An issue could be something as inane as a logo with a bad color, but if customers don't like it then it is a problem.

"Perception" is reality when those you are trying to sell you product to make it so.
post #32 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Why do you think the iPhone 4 was never tested without the 3GS-esque cover on it? Is this based entirely on 'a' engineer being given 'an' iPhone 4 in a disguised case in the final stages of tweak testing before launch and well after the design was finalized? Do you really think that the iPhone 4 was never tested outside that case for the years it was in development and before its release?

Obviously whomever was testing the 4 missed it. In the QC world the saying goes "the more eyes the better".
post #33 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I think it's been proven rather conclusively (except for the conspiracy theorists), that there wasn't any issue with the iPhone 4 antenna. That being said, the fact that they had those rubber bands available ahead of time (to fix the perceived problem), tells me that they knew all about it.

In other words I think the evidence suggest that they knew the bars would go down if you gripped it tightly in a certain way, knew that this wasn't really a problem but that people would see it as one, and had the fix ready for it. So the oft-repeated assumption that the testing procedure masked the "problem" is really unsupported and more in the realm of pop-culture legend than fact IMO.

Gotcha. So they KNEW it was something that happened BEFORE they shipped the phone and made all those "rubber bands" as you call them. THEN, they sent Mr Jobs out there and look like a fool by first claiming it didn't really happen, and then by claiming it is an AT&T issue, and FINALLY admitting that it is an iPhone 4 specific "feature". RIGHT! Because Mr Jobs loves looking like he has no clue what is going on.

IF they knew it happened before hand, they would have immediately admitted it. Steve would have come out and said "look, we saw this happening, it doesn't affect calls, and if you would like a fix we have one". That isn't how it went, and you know it.

Disclaimer: I own the 4, and I will be one of the first with the 5/4S. The phone is great, and I have NEVER said it was a failure or the antenna thing was a problem. I simply said that the more viewpoints you can take on a new product, the more thorough the testing.
post #34 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxhunter101 View Post

Is this an advertisement......???

Please don't quote spam posts. Just report them using the little red exclamation mark found near the bottom left of every post.
it's = it is / it has, its = belonging to it.
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post #35 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Please don't quote spam posts. Just report them using the little red exclamation mark found near the bottom left of every post.

Ok, sorry. I didn't know what the little red exclamation mark was....
post #36 of 36
I'll be interested to see if the "non-flaw" is propagated in the iPhone 5. I suspect there will be some design feature that prevents skin bridging of bare antennas. But we'll see.
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