Sunday, October 2, 2011

Opinion: iPhone 4S / 5, what is (not) know (no)

Ah, rumors. They are born with or without foundation, live and die at a steady pace, leaving in every sense, contradict each other. A phenomenon accentuated at Apple, whose cult of secrecy only reinforces the desire to know ... and want to know. What is known, in the end? Nothing. Almost. As usual.

The rumor at all costs?We tend to forget, but it is not new as it does not know of an Apple product just days before his presentation. Are known to exist, we know that will be presented ... who knows what it is just not in detail. The iPhone 4 may be responsible for this oversight and the greed for any information regarding his successor.

Presented June 7, 2010, the iPhone was unveiled four nearly six months ago through a series of photos posted on Twitter. On April 17, 2010, Engadget posted a picture a little clearer before Gizmodo does not publish two days later a full article detailing the prototype lost by an Apple engineer at a bar in Redwood City. The price of this exclusivity? $ 5 000 and lawsuits recently resolved (4 iPhone: the "case Gizmodo" is listed). The effect? Attendance record and a sacred scoop.

The rumor is it there to generate traffic, comments and page views? There is no doubt, a saving of the rumor. Controlled leaks in the press allow Apple to offer not only advertising, but also to prepare its launch: the famous Wall Street Journal's information that the iPad would cost $ 1 000 has allowed Apple to surprise the world with a camera half the price.

Because readers want more, some hunt link can be set up, with the proliferation of rumors more or less expected. The publication of rumors has not a large financial interest: the number of advertising campaigns and their cost, on a site like MacGeneration are not directly indexed on attendance - this is the reputation and overall quality playing since they determine the continued presence of the readership.

Plus the economy is the alchemy that explains the rumor spread: readers are curious, editors and journalists as well (this is the basis of their profession), catalyzed by the curiosity of secrecy of Apple, and the desire to do better than last time - and therefore to have the same scoop for the iPhone 4. Each place the cursor in the "not enough" or "too" where he wishes, but no one, beyond the rhetoric and conspiracy theories, not really up to scratch: our natural curiosity becomes unhealthy when the we talk about Apple. And rumors are simply great fun.

Banco rumorsWhere do these rumors, anyway? Some are more valid than others beyond the wishful thinking turned into confidences or hallucinations become reality, Apple's partners are often those who betray their secrets.

iPhone 4First, there are analysts who are not paid to public comment on the facts known to all. Most analysts, including those stationed in Asia, are in direct contact with contractors: knowledge production cycles is an economic data - financial, even - crucial for those who advise investors. Through the new plant construction, the transition to a new manufacturing process, through the order book, rates of waste, you can feel the great pulsating world of computing.

It is thus the first banks that have announced that the next iPhone would not be presented as usual in the summer, but in the fall. They are also analysts who give weight to the thesis of a persistent iPhone 64 GB (without confirmation), the production capacity being there (read: Rumor: iPhone to 64GB, the return). They are also connoisseurs of subcontractors who predicted the arrival of an iPad 7 .... "Is there indeed taken such a project, eventually abandoned, or was it the rumor false from beginning to end another? We arrive at the limit for the year. A rumor is it necessarily wrong when it does not happen, or when it occurs late?

Chinese TrackThen there are the manufacturers of accessories, which are more or less kept in the dark by Apple: the Cupertino company needs an ecosystem around its products, but did not directly require these companies to design their devices. For several years, manufacturers of covers are a reliable source, but not infallible. They had allowed such that the iPod touch 3G would have a sensor video / photo on the back. But at the last moment (step called DVT, Design Verification Test), Apple decided to remove the sensor (there is a trace on the motherboard) manufacturers have had to spend their covers in losses.

But it's worth the effort: contractors accessories are waging a war without industrial thank you for being the first to offer the reference design, and thus the first to be on the market. There are no plans or prototypes that "lose": there are plans and prototypes that sell at full price. According to our information, that's exactly what happened with the next iPhone: an employee of a manufacturer in the know sold a CAD file, the file was found among the subcontractors and on the web (read: New pictures of iPhone Cases 5).

The problem is not the existence of the file, but its origin and therefore its accuracy. Has it been provided directly by Apple with the guarantee that this was the final model? Was it designed with a prototype of the dozen different models in circulation, with the risk that the final model does not match? These issues are real and raise the issue of trust that is given to rumors. The rumors do not speak with certainty about the final product, we have seen with the iPod touch. They allow to rule on the state of research and development of an Apple product at time t, with the risk of changes more or less important by the market.

Cases and Covers: sketch hollowThe covers are exposed for several weeks that follow: they show a 5 iPhone wider, thinner, with a teardrop profile, switch to vibrate mode dismissed on the right side ... and that's about it. Wider and higher than the current model, the new iPhone may have a screen of 3.7 "to 4.3", this will depend on the construction chosen by Apple, the two diagonals are common among manufacturers. We have no difficulty in reaching the corners holding the iPhone with one hand thanks to the increased finesse: 5 mm at the thinnest point, 7 mm at the most "thick".

Similarly, there are four covers for a slightly modified iPhone, again with the remote switch the vibrator on the right side. iPhone 4, 4S iPhone? Hard to tell with these concrete materials. What we can say, for against, is that no subcontractor Asian seems doubtful that these two models exist and that the plans are accurate - or that the prototypes are close enough glimpses of the final model for the covers produced do not end with the pestle.

Props following: we know from several sources that all the French operators have in stock both types of bags and cases from various suppliers (no-name or names known), and in what quantities of the order of one million copies. U.S. operators have placed orders similar. It seems that the confidence level is high enough.

N94: This is not a NokiaRemains the last traditional source of rumors: Apple itself, through the development versions of IOS or databases scrutinized by employees and resellers. The simplest is perhaps from the model numbers in this way.

The current iPod touch is the N81: N81A the cross in a computer system could be a new player touch. The numbering suggests that the revision will be minor, but we can not provide: a reference N82 is already taken ... by the iPhone 3G. Two other references are similar to two iPhone N/90A and N94. Some close to the first iPhone 4S (since N90 is GSM iPhone 4), the second of the iPhone 5. Forgetting in passing that the model number is not linear (iPod touch 1G was the N45, the iPod touch 3G N18), the N92 is the 4 CDMA iPhone ... and reading the model numbers is at least as reliable as reading tea leaves.

There is however the image of BGR - a site well informed - with a model close to the iPhone 4 identified as the N94. Proponents of the theory that Apple will introduce a new iPhone to see the 4S iPhone, iPhone 4 A5 with a processor, a better photo sensor, and a few other innovations. Why not: the device in question is an iPhone with a processor 4 A5, and a network chip including AWS compatible with the network of T-Mobile.

But there are covers of the finest
iPhone that can be called the iPhone 5 for convenience. While there have been covers, spare parts, references, and even the facades of the iPhone 4 improved, we never saw the famous iPhone 5. What supporters of the thesis of an iPhone 4S? Not necessarily. The iPhone N94 may well be a mule for iPhone 5: the bowels of the next model in the dress of the current. The silence around the iPhone 5 is all the more stunning that this model is innovative and important in the strategy of Apple.

In this case, the N94 would be a brand new iPhone, which we know nothing but the profile, and the N90 / A, a revised and corrected iPhone 4. But the most important word is "hypothesis": until Oct. 4, these six months of rumors will be nothing more than background noise. At 21h that day, some rejoice, others will be silent: that is the game of rumor, which is not information, but can - sometimes - to enlighten.

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