The Apple iPhone 5 (or 5G) is said to be already in Engineering Verification Test Stage (EVT) which means that the fifth generation iPhone is only two steps from mass production with the next step being Device Verification Test stage.
With this in mind, we've rounded up the list of the rumours circulating on the web which are more likely to become true when the iPhone 5 is launched, possibly in June 2011.
1. iPhone 5 will have integrated SIM : most probably true. It was Gigaom who first came up with the story that French company, Gemalto, would team up with Apple to create a special SIM card that would allow users to buy a phone on the web and get it activated through Apple, essentially cutting out the mobile phone carriers and further reducing their roles. Why would Apple do that? Well, it removes the need to insert a SIM card altogether, makes the phone virtually unlockable (as you can't swap SIM cards) and provides it with some nifty new features. A hint? Last year, Gemalto purchased O3SIS, a company which specialised in Personal Data management Solutions, something that could be of interest to Apple.
2. iPhone 5 will have built in RFID : Very likely and the key could well be Gemalto. The company is a recognised leader in the field of Near Field Communication or NFC, which would allow users to authenticate themselves with electronic terminals by swiping their devices using RFID (Radio Frequency Identification). Gemalto is already a Trusted Server Manager and has been in the RFID market for more than a decade. In addition, Apple has already filed a few patents (including one to include the circuitry in the display itself), recruited a product manager and started trials of iPhone 5 prototypes with NFC capabilities. Obviously Qualcomm, which will almost certainly provide with the baseband hardware for the iPhone 5 is also a major NFC/RFID player.
3. iPhone 5 will have CDMA at launch : most likely to be true since the iPhone 4 CDMA edition should come out possibly before Christmas. Apple and AT&T signed a five-year contract when the original iPhone came out back in 2007 but it is unlikely that it will last till 2012 and by June 2011, we will see several other carriers with the iPhone 5 in the US; Apple knows that breaking an exclusivity will only improve sales. Now whether the phone will be a hexaband (UMTS, Quadband GSM, CDMA) remains to be seen but given that Qualcomm will be involved, we wouldn't bet against that.
4. iPhone 5 will have 64GB model : Fairly likely. When the new iPhone 4 was launched, Apple yanked all versions of the iPhone 3GS except for the 8GB version. Chances are that it will do the same when the new iPhone 5 hit the market with the 16GB iPhone 4 being kept with the two other SKU being discontinued and replaced by a 32GB and a 64GB iPhone 5 model. The price of the NAND 64Gb has been gradually dropping over the past and it is likely to reach $0.90 per GB by next year.
5. iPhone 5 will be available in white from day one : That's a certainty given the "humiliation" and taunting that Apple and Steve Jobs have been going through over the past few months. Apple issued two statements since the launch of the black iPhone 4 back in June and will be dutifully bound to release one by the end of the year as a follow up to the second one, if they can't manage to produce the iPhone 4 by Christmas 2010. Given that they have removed the picture of the white iPhone 4 from all their websites, this is almost sure to happen. This means that Steve Jobs will personally make sure that the issue does not happen again.