Now that the new iPad's release has come and gone, the next iPhone - iPhone 5, iPhone 6, "new iPhone" or whatever they call it - is arguably the most anticipated gadget of 2012. Though rumors abound as to what the new iPhone will look like (and when it will launch), there is little hard data yet.
The most recent set of rumors comes from Northern Voices Online who suggest, among other things, that the next iPhone will be getting a (much-needed) boost in battery life. They also anticipate a 4-inch screen, and a summer launch, rather than the autumn launch that many expect.
Rumors of a larger screen on the iPhone have been around for years. Ever since Android phones started to appear with larger screens, speculation has run rampant that Apple would follow suit. Through five generations of iPhone, however, Apple has held doggedly to the 3.5-inch display found in the original iPhone, often citing the fact that a larger screen is more difficult to use one-handed. This year is no different. There have been several reports that the next iPhone would abandon the 3.5-inch design of its predecessors and instead have a display anywhere from 4 inches to 4.6 inches.
This time around there may be some merit to the rumors of a larger iPhone screen, though. This iPhone will certainly have 4G LTE, which increases its power requirements. So in order to maintain the battery life of the iPhone 4S (which is often frustratingly short as it is) in a 4G-capable phone, Apple has to upgrade the next iPhone's battery. That means the battery has to be at least a little bit bigger, which means the iPhone itself will likely be getting bigger, just as the new iPad did (though only by about a millimeter). Arguably the best way to make more room for a bigger battery is to bump up the screen size a bit.
As to the release date, though NVO seems to assume a release date in June, it is far more likely that the next iPhone will be coming in September or October. While a Foxconn recruiter earlier this month predicted a June release, he was contradicted just a few days later by another Foxconn official who said that it would be October. An autumn release makes the most sense, since the iPhone 4S released in October of last year, and a return to the previous models' June launch would leave a mere nine months between the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 5.
What do you think? Would you like to see a bigger screen on the next iPhone? If you're a fan of the 3.5-inch screen, would you accept a bigger screen if it meant a bigger (and therefore longer lasting) battery? Let us know in the comments.[Lead Image: Concept Photo from ADR Studios]