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Apple iPhone 5S rumor roundup: What to expect and what to dismiss

April 16, 2013|By Salvador Rodriguez
  • An iPhone 5 is shown on display at a T-Mobile event in late March.
An iPhone 5 is shown on display at a T-Mobile event in late March. (John Moore / Getty Images )

Apple probably won't release its next iPhone until this summer or fall, but that isn't stopping tech blogs and news sites from speculating about what we could expect in the next Apple smartphone.

There are plenty of rumors on the Web about the next iPhone, which many believe will be called the iPhone 5S, but you should trust only a few of them. Most rumors online turn out to be nothing but wishful thinking, but a few do get it right sometimes.

Here is what we think about these rumors. "Thumbs Up" means we think the rumor will probably turn out to be true. A "Thumbs Down," though, means we think the rumor is just hot air.

Same design as iPhone 5 - Thumbs Up

Since the iPhone 3G launched in 2008, Apple has continued a pattern of changing the design of its phone only every two years. On even years, the company puts out an iPhone with a different exterior while on odd years, it releases a phone that looks the same but features improved internal hardware and one or two new software features that are exclusive to the new model. Well, this, of course, is an odd year, and already, multiple reports have come out saying users should expect the iPhone 5S to feature the same design as its predecessor. We'll be shocked if the next iPhone features a new design.

12-megapixel camera - Thumbs Up

One of the features Apple may improve on its next smartphone could be its camera. Every time Apple has released an "S" version of the iPhone, it has improved the quality of the camera, and this year, there's extra pressure to do that as many of Apple's rivals -- including Samsung, Sony and LG -- are coming out with phones that have as many as 13 megapixels in their camera sensors. The iPhone 5 has just 8 megapixels. Backing up this rumor is a recent report from Tinhte.ve, a Vietnamese blog that has a good track record for being right about Apple rumors.

Fingerprint scanner - Thumbs Sideways

The "S" in the iPhone 3GS stood for "speed," the "S" in the iPhone 4S stood for "Siri," so could the "S" in the iPhone 5S stand for "scan?" That's the rumor, as many believe the Cupertino tech company will incorporate fingerprint scanning into the Home button of the next iPhone. Backing up this rumor is Apple's 2012 acquisition of AuthenTec Inc., a fingerprint-authentication products maker. Prior to being purchased by Apple, AuthenTec sold fingerprint sensors to companies for security reasons. If Apple incorporates this scanning technology into its next iPhone, it could market the device as being more secure than its rivals. We want to give a thumbs up to this rumor, but we still have some doubts on this one.

Wireless charging - Thumbs Down

Another rumor that has been reported about the iPhone 5S is that Apple will add wireless charging to it. This is a feature we have seen on other recent devices, including the Nokia Lumia 920 and the Google Nexus 4, so there's pressure from Apple's rivals to add this technology to the iPhone. However, the rumor was reported by Digitimes, which has a spotty record when it comes to Apple. Most notably, 9to5Mac, which is often on the mark when it comes to Apple, has dismissed the rumor. The Apple news website says adding a wireless charger to the iPhone would probably require some design changes, which, as you know, don't typically happen with "S" versions of the iPhone.

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