In the wake of the new iPad's release a week ago it should come as no surprise that the rumor mill concerning the next major Apple release, the next iPhone, is starting to grind back into action. Yesterday we reported on rumors that Apple was considering giving the iPhone a 4.6-inch screen. New (and probably more reliable) rumors surfacing today tell a slightly different story.
According to a report this afternoon from iMore, they have "received some additional information" (they don't say from where) about the next iPhone (probably not the "iPhone 5"). First of all, they say that Apple will be sticking with the traditional 3.5-inch screen. Considering that five generations of iPhones have kept the same screen size - which Apple insists is easier to use one-handed than the larger screens on many Android phones - this makes a lot of sense.
The report also says that the new iPhone will support 4G LTE. Again, no great surprise here, since the new iPad sports 4G. As we've pointed out before, it's all but unthinkable that we would see a 4G iPad followed by a non-4G iPhone.
They also reiterate previous reports of a smaller dock connector. The current 30-pin connector takes up a fair bit of space on the inside of the phone. Since upgrades like 4G and whatever other goodies are likely to require more internal space (and a larger battery, which requires a little extra space of its own), shrinking a component like the dock connector makes good sense.
The release date for the new iPad has been very much in question. While the first four generations of iPhone were released in the summer, the iPhone 4S released about four months late, in October 2011. That has raised the question of what Apple would do with its next iPhone: revert to the summer schedule, or keep a full year between releases? According to iMore's nebulous source, Apple will be opting to maintain the year gap between releases and launch the next iPhone in October.
Considering the patterns Apple has established with previous releases, the iPhone should be due for a significant physical redesign, and a nine month gap between the release of the iPhone 4S the next iPhone would probably not be enough time to get the phone ready. The same goes for iOS 6, which will undoubtedly release with the new iPhone.
Of course, if the new iPhone really isn't coming until October, then we're still seven months away. With so much time left, it will be awhile yet before details of the phone start to really firm up. Betas of iOS 6 - which should come sometime between now and the summer - should give some indications of what's to come.
What would you like to see in the next iPhone? Let us know in the comments.