Mobile

Reality check: iPhone 4S find in iTunes says little about Apple’s iPhone 5 plans

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A reference to an “iPhone 4S” has appeared in recent beta versions of iTunes, which has many giving up hope for an iPhone 5 unveiling from Apple next week.

“Today, rumors of a re-design can essentially be put to rest,” writes 9to5Mac, who first noticed the iPhone 4S reference in iTunes, as well as the fact Apple used an existing iPhone 4 image to describe the new model. But while it’s certainly an interesting find, the mere mention of an iPhone 4S in iTunes does nothing to disprove the existence of a completely redesigned iPhone 5.

Rumors that Apple would reveal an iPhone 4S this year, a slightly sped up rehash of the iPhone 4’s design, has been floating around for some time. The iPhone 5, on the other hand, has been rumored to be a complete reworking of the iPhone 4’s design, which has been criticized for its antenna issues and its use of a fragile glass rear.

Apple is holding an event on Tuesday, October 4 to introduce its new iPhone.

I find it difficult to believe that Apple would delay its typical iPhone release schedule, which usually occurs in early summer, to only introduce a slightly revamped iPhone 4. It’s even tougher to swallow that Apple would stick with a 3.5-inch display for its next flagship device — what with 4-inch displays being standard on competing Android and Windows Phone handsets.

We’ve also seen plenty more substantial iPhone 5 rumors touting an intriguing new design, than we have about the iPhone 4S. Just recently, a group of Apple fans created a very convincing iPhone 5 model, based on a compilation of rumors and details from around the web, that shows a thinner design.

The iTunes iPhone 4S entry features a picture of a CDMA iPhone (which runs on Verizon’s network). While it’s very likely that’s just a placeholder image, it could be a sign that Apple will be sticking with its existing design for the iPhone 4S.

9to5Mac also notes that there are only two entries for an iPhone 4S in iTunes (for black and white models), compared to the four entries for the iPhone 4 (for black and white versions for both CDMA and GSM networks). That leads the site to believe that the iPhone 4S will be a dual-mode iPhone that can work on both networks (meaning it’ll be both AT&T and Verizon/Sprint compatible).

At this point, I’m honestly just tired of the speculation. It’s only a few more days until Apple’s plans become clear, and hopefully it’ll be some time before the inevitable iPhone 6 chatter begins.

Update: It appears that Apple is working on a slightly cheaper version of the iPhone 4, which is being built in Brazil, Gizmodo reports. If Apple manages to reduce the cost of the iPhone 4 while also adding in slightly newer hardware, that could very well be the iPhone 4S mentioned here.