Monday, April 25, 2011

T-Mobile iPhone Rumors Swirl as iPhone 5 Photos Leaked

Rumors? Maybe, but headlines about a T-Mobile iPhone are making their way across the Internet. It's not so far-fetched, especially if the AT&T acquisition goes through. But the rumors aren't making a T-Mobile iPhone dependent on an AT&T buy.

News reports are showing a photo album that contains a white, dual-core T-Mobile iPhone. This is a different set of photos than the supposed made-over iPhone 5 expected this fall. The T-Mobile iPhone is code-named N94.

What does this rumored T-Mobile iPhone look like? It offers an A5 processor like the iPad 2. However, it's not clear whether T-Mobile would be offering an iPhone 4 like Verizon Wireless or a brand-new iPhone 5 like the one rumored in the redesign stories also making headlines Monday. One noteworthy point in the rumors is that the T-Mobile iPhone would be white.

"There's a very good chance that T-Mobile will get an iPhone. What does Apple care who sells the phone? They just want to sell iPhones," said Michael Disabato, managing vice president of network and telecom at Gartner. "The exclusivity agreement (with AT&T) is over. Why wouldn't they give one to T-Mobile? It's a GSM phone. It's got the same chips, the same network, and the same software."

A Mini-iPad 2?

Meanwhile, even as the controversy about iPhone tracking heats up, a mock-up of the iPhone 5 has leaked. Well, it's not an actual image of the phone. It's a Photoshopped image based on a sketch former Engaged chief Joshua Topolsky saw and posted on his blog. No one knows how close that sketch is to the actual iPhone 5, if at all.

That said, the image circulating the web offers a teardrop design that's thicker at the top than the bottom. The screen is a tad larger at 3.7 inches. Some observers are betting Apple is going to take a page from its MacBook laser-manufacturing machinations and carve the device out of aluminum.

"Nobody has said what it really looks like -- it looks like an iPad 2 that got shrunk," Disabato said. "The iPad 1 looks like an iPhone 4. It's squared off. The iPad 2 curves up at the edges."


Other possibilities for the iPhone 5 include native wireless battery charging, a much larger home button that enables new swiping capabilities, and the potential for near field communications.

"The versions of devices our sources are seeing could be design prototypes and not production-ready phones. Still, there are strong indications that Apple will surprise a public that's expecting a bump more along the lines of the 3G to 3GS -- and this is some insight into where those designs might be headed," Topolsky wrote in his blog. "We're working on a couple of other intriguing pieces of information concerning future Apple products ... so stay tuned for much, much more."

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