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iPhone 6 rumor rollup for week ending Jan. 11

John Cox | Jan. 14, 2013
Even without Apple being at the gigantic Consumer Electronics Show this week in Las Vegas, it proved to be a treasure trove of iPhone 6 revelations for those with the wit to look beneath the surface of things.

iPhone 6 shows radical redesign: It looks just like the iPod nano

For a long time, the Rollup has boycotted any mention of "concept art," a.k.a. "fan art," that purports to show what the Next iPhone will look like, based on current rumors, febrile imagings, or certain organic chemical agents. Or some combination thereof.

But when Macworld Australia's Ashleigh Allsopp headlines her post, "Is this what Apple's iPhone 6 will look like?" we'll make an exception.

Although she doesn't answer the headline's question, we will boldly go where so far no one apparently has and say, "Uh, no."

"New images of a potential iPhone 6 design have been created based on an alleged test prototype, sporting a similar shape to the latest iPod nano," Allsopp reveals.

The renderings are the latest by a talented Italian designer, Federico Ciccarese, with the Twitter handle @ciccaresedesign, a website where he posts these illustrations, and an acknowledged need for some work assignments.

Ciccarese mentions something about his newest creations being based on some iPhone test prototype, but in practice it looks like he just "grew" the iPod nano into the Next iPhone. And added something called "iOSX," a hybrid blend of iOS and OS X. And this is what he comes up with

Here is his previous rendering of the expected iPhone 5, and you can judge for yourself how closely that resembled the final product

iPhone 6 will be cheaper than iPhone 5 ... but it will also be bigger

This is getting confusing, even by the standards of iOSphere rumoring: smaller and cheaper; bigger and more expensive; bigger but cheaper; more expensive but smaller. All of the above.

A characteristically brief and anonymously sourced story at International Business Times repeated the rumor that "according to supply-chain sources," Apple will introduce a low-cost version of iPhone for China and similar markets, in the latter half of 2013. So far, so yawn.

But there was this little iOSphere twist: "Some sources claimed that they have seen the sample of the low-cost iPhone, which will come with a larger display ..." So the intensely rumored "iPhone mini" moniker refers to the phone's price, not its dimension.

The reasons for the cheaper but bigger iPhone 6? "Growing sales of the iPad mini ... may have served as an impetus for Apple to roll out a low-cost iPhone ..." And "Qualcomm's recent launch of its latest family of Snapdragon chipsets ... for the entry-level to mid-range smartphones may pave the way for Apple bringing out the low-cost iPhone ..."

The latter reason is a bit odd, verging on a technical non sequitur. Because Qualcomm offers the ARM-based Snapdragon as a mobile system on a chip, with the processor integrated with a bunch of other components. With the iPhone 5's A6 chip, Apple apparently has for the first time custom-designed its own ARM-based main processor, manufactured by Samsung. Apple does use Qualcomm's mobile data modem chipsets, but not the Snapdragon.


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