Firstly, the iPhone 5 – which is expected to launch in late 2011 – is apparently no longer the iPhone 5. Instead, the updated model is tipped to be dubbed the iPhone 4S, a title denoting an intermediate update rather than a full-blown redesign.
The naming revelation is broadly consistent with earlier rumours circling around the iPhone’s release, which indicated the newer model would sport a design not dissimilar to the iPhone 4, with increased beefiness.
Aforementioned beef is said to stem from Apple’s A5 chip, which was designed for the iPad 2 and is expected to be crammed into the iPhone. The dual-core chip, some commentators note, would far exceed any software applications thus developed for the iPhone.
Another component tipped to receive a souping up is the phone’s 3.5in Retina display, with rumours suggesting the new model will feature an edge-to-edge 4in screen for some time now. Today, 9to5mac corroborated those claims with a report from Toshiba indicating the company will begin working on a 4in 720p panel at its new Ishikawa factory.
The only other visible alteration to the iPhone 4S appears to be its LED flash, which, according to the leaking of photographs of a new case on AppleInsider and a prototype iPhone on 9to5, will be moved from next to the lens to the right-hand side of the device.
Meanwhile, previous rumours of plans for the next generation iPhone to feature e-wallet functionality have been scuttled by a report from BusinessInsider that claims an NFC chip will be delayed until a future iPhone release.
While iPhone rumours are, of course, to be taken with a large-ish pinch of salt, this latest tranche of tips seems, at the very least, to be plausible. No doubt we’ll be able to circulate some more gossip in coming weeks.