Rumor: Wireless carriers now testing secured iPhone 5 prototypes

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 653member
    Perhaps using the dummy bodies is prudent, but maybe the antenna issue would have been found before the iPhone 4 was released?
  • Reply 2 of 35
    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?
  • Reply 3 of 35
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    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
  • Reply 4 of 35
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    In the first there replies. :sigh:
  • Reply 5 of 35
    gprovidagprovida Posts: 247member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 35
    bsimpsenbsimpsen Posts: 273member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 35
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,548member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 35
    bilbo63bilbo63 Posts: 285member
    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!
  • Reply 9 of 35
    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......
  • Reply 10 of 35
    jonrojonro Posts: 47member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 35
    odb25odb25 Posts: 1member
    The anticipation for this phone to be revealed is killing me.
  • Reply 12 of 35
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,980member
    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 [email protected] instead.
  • Reply 13 of 35
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 35
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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?
  • Reply 15 of 35
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,548member
    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??
  • Reply 16 of 35
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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%.
  • Reply 17 of 35
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 35
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 35
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 35
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    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"
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