iPhone Rumor Roundup: From Sapphire Phablets to NFC

It’s finally time. For many, the fall brings cooler temperatures and pumpkin spice flavoring, but in the tech world, it means new gadgets. And next week, it’s Apple’s turn to show us exactly what Jony Ive has been tinkering with in the Apple lab.

Apple is hosting a “special event” on Sept. 9 in Cupertino. “Wish we could say more,” it teased on the invitation. Things kick off at 10 a.m. ET and Apple will livestream the whole thing – but only on Apple devices, of course.

But Apple fans and detractors alike have been amped up for new iPhones since…well, almost as soon as the iPhone 5s and 5c were announced. The iPhone 6 reports started just after the New Year, and have been cropping up every few weeks since then.

Apple has given nothing away, of course, except to say that what it has come up with is stunning, amazing, revolutionary, and will make us cry Apple-shaped tears of joy. Or something. We’ll have to wait until Tuesday to get all the details, but until then, hit the slideshow for some of the top rumors that have been making the rounds.

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Two New iPhones

One of the most prominent (and probable) rumors is that Apple will unveil two new iPhones at its Sept. 9 event. That’s not unheard of: it revealed the iPhone 5c and 5s at last year’s event. This time around, rumors suggest that Apple will bravely go where no Apple has gone before: the phablet. Specifically, reports say Apple will reveal a 4.7- and 5.5-inch iPhone.

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No, your device will not be blinged out. Instead, rumors say that Apple will outfit its new phones with (almost) indestructible sapphire glass. The one problem with that, however, is sapphire glass ain’t cheap. Apple might be sitting on hundreds of billions of dollars in cash, but how much of that does it want to spend on sapphire displays? Some reports say $700 million, but time will tell. PCMag columnist Tim Bajarin suggested that Apple make sapphire an optional add-on to keep costs down. Until then, just try not to drop your phone.

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As PCMag’s Damon Poeter learned, the iPhone is not waterproof. But leaks from Feld & Volk tip a rubber seal on the iPhone, which Load the Game suggested might mean some sort of water or dust resistance.

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Oh, near-field communications. One of the more persistent rumors that crop up ahead of every iPhone launch is that Apple’s next-gen phone will support NFC. And those rumors are back, but they’re a bit more persistent this time, so perhaps you’ll finally be able to pay for stuff using your iPhone? American Express has reportedly already signed on.

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Rear, Light-Up Notifications

Word has it that the Apple logo on the back of the phone will light up for notifications on the next version of Apple’s smartphone. This means you’ll be able to put the handset face down and still be alerted to an incoming message. The rumor comes courtesy of uSwitch and Apple leaker Sonny Dickson, which compared the rear housing of the alleged iPhone 6 with earlier-generation iPhone shells to reach its conclusion.

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Reversible USB Port

Dickson has also tipped a reversible USB port on the new Lightning cables – meaning you won’t have to fumble to plug in your device. Anyway you slot it, the cord will work.

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128GB iPhone

We have a 128GB iPad, but how about an iPhone? Ming-Chi Kuo, a KGI Securities analyst, thinks so. So get ready to download a whole lot more apps (and probably pay $100 more).

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We have mentions of the fabled Apple iWatch on PCMag going back more than two years. But according to reports, Apple willfinally unveil a wearable at Tuesday’s event. But will that wearable actually be a smartwatch? Maybe a fitness device? Whatever it is, Apple will reportedly charge roughly $400 for it. I’m hoping it looks something like the concepts Todd Hamilton came up with (pictured).

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U2 at the iPhone Event

Unfortunately, one rumor we can already dispel is that U2 will appear at Apple’s Tuesday event. Or can we? There were reports that U2 would release its next album on the iPhone and appear on Tuesday. But the band’s rep told Independent.ie that that was not the case. However, the link to that story is now throwing up a 404, so who knows? Bono might show up on that livestreamafter all.


Originally Posted on PCMag.com by Chloe Albanesius on September 6, 2014

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