This was the first iPhone rumor. Ever.

iPhone Rumors

In the tech world today, there are no more secrets. And with respect to smartphones in particular, it’s practically impossible for a company to release a new device without having important specs, features and details leak out ahead of time. Indeed, upcoming products from nearly all handset manufacturers are routinely subjected to an endless stream of conjecture and speculation.

That said, the iPhone in particular seems to engender more interest and intrigue than any other device on the planet. What’s especially interesting is that iPhone rumors were all the rage even years before Steve Jobs unveiled the device to the world back in 2007. In fact, the first iPhone rumor of note appeared all the way back in 2002, just months after the original iPod was released.

On August 19, 2002, John Markoff of The New York Times penned an articlewherein he said that Apple was already contemplating the development of a phone.

And now come signs that Mr. Jobs means to take Apple back to the land of the handhelds, but this time with a device that would combine elements of a cellphone and a Palm -like personal digital assistant.

Mr. Jobs and Apple decline to confirm those plans. But industry analysts see evidence that Apple is contemplating what inside the company is being called an “iPhone.”

Among the evidence, they say, is recent behind-the-scenes wrangling between Palm and Apple over linking Palm’s own devices to Apple’s new operating system — apparently with little cooperation on Apple’s part.

Certainly, Apple’s push into the market for a hand-held communicator would be an abrupt departure for Mr. Jobs, who continues publicly to disavow talk of such a move. But analysts and people close to the company say that the plan is under way and that the evidence is manifest in the features and elements of the new version of the Macintosh operating system.

Industry analysts tend to be wrong more often than not, but in this case, they were surprisingly on the ball. In hindsight, it’s fascinating to see just how prescient this NYT article was. All the more so because work on the iPhone as we know it today didn’t truly begin until late 2005.

Now as to why iPhone rumors seem to generate a disproportionate amount of interest, I think there are two reasons worth mentioning.

First off, Apple is a notoriously secretive company that will not hesitate to go the extra mile to keep things under wraps. In turn, there’s almost an innate interest in even the most benign Apple rumor. Whereas some handset manufacturers will overtly telegraph their product roadmap, Apple’s secrecy only serves to make the tech masses all the more curious.

Two, the iPhone is iconic. It’s the device that ushered in the smartphone era as we know it today and, as a result, people still get excited about what innovations next-gen iPhone models will bring to the table. And while Apple isn’t the only company introducing innovative features, the iPhone can sometimes signal where the smartphone market as a whole is headed. As a prime example, look no further than the iPhone 5s, a device that brought fingerprint recognition technology and 64-bit mobile processors to the mainstream.

With iPhone 7 rumors now coming in at a fast clip, it’s interesting to take a step back and realize that iPhone rumors, in some form or another, have been making their way through the news cycle for about 14 years now.

iPhone 7 iRumors: Sapphire Glass Will be Manufactured by Foxconn, More Concept Images Out

A new report from a Chinese tech website says the “iPhone 7,” if that is what the phone is actually called, will have sapphire crystal glass for its display. Sapphire is the second-hardest, naturally occurring material next to diamond.

Apple tried to launch its iPhone 6 models earlier this year with sapphire but it wasn’t feasible.

Macx.cn this week, however, reported that Apple components maker Foxconn will produce the sapphire glass for the next iPhone models.

Apple does use sapphire for the Touch ID sensor and camera lenses.

The company was previously going to use GT Advanced Technologies to manufacture the sapphire but it filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. The firm is planning on shutting down two of its production plants while laying off 890 workers, reported The Verge.

“Now the Cupertino-based company has entered into Foxconn for sapphire glass for iPhones. The agreement, according to Macx.cn includes making a factory near Zhengzhou City, Henan Province, China to install manufacturing facility for sapphire crystal glass for next iPhones. This will be located not far away from the factory where Apple Smartphones are produced/assembled (by Foxconn),” says the Daily Bhaskar, which cites the Chinese report.

Other rumors about the iPhone 7 indicate Apple will feature at least a 4.7-inch screen size, according to MacWorld.

Another rumor, as reported by Time magazine, is that Apple will include “sidewall displays” on the phone, which will curve along the phone’s edges.

And Apple will likely bump up the battery life, camera, and performance for the phone.

As with previous iPhone releases, the iPhone 7 will likely be released September 2015.

Meanwhile, another designer has produced images for a new iPhone concept.

FaceTime Audio Coming to Macs With Next OS X Update.

The OS X 10.9.2 beta first distributed to developers this afternoon includes Apple’sFaceTime audio, a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) feature that was originally introduced to the iPhone with iOS 7. With FaceTime audio on both iOS and OS X, Apple users will be able to seamlessly call one another from any device. 

FaceTime audio is designed to allow users to initiate voice-only calls with other FaceTime users without turning on the accompanying video feed. Currently, Macs running Mavericks only have access to the standard FaceTime app, which bundles both video and audio. 

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Users who are interested in voice-only communications on Macs have to resort to using third-party apps like Skype or switching to Messages, both of which allow for video chats and voice-only chats. 

FaceTime audio feature is “integrated deeply” into both the Messages and FaceTime apps, making voice communication between Apple users on any device easier than ever. With Messages, FaceTime, and FaceTime audio on iOS and OS X, Apple will have a complete communication system in place. 

With a simple way to answer telephone calls and chat requests from all devices, those in Apple’s ecosystem will have little reason to resort to alternative VoIP apps when communicating with other Apple users. FaceTime audio is also a high-quality VoIP choice, as it uses the AAC-ELD codec for Full-HD Voice. AAC-ELD is designed to provide CD-like audio quality for voice calls, delivering high speech and audio quality at a low coding delay. 

It is unknown when OS X 10.9.2 will be released to the general public, but OS X 10.9.1 was in development for just over a month before it was distributed earlier this week. While Apple has been known to remove beta features ahead of release, it is likely FaceTime audio will make it to end users as it is already available on iOS.

Apple in talks with LG over 4K displays.

In a second rumor fresh from Digitimes, it has been suggested that Apple is in talks with LG over 4k displays, possibly pointing to the revived rumors of an Apple television set.

The Apple television set has proven to be something of a wild goose chase in recent months. At times, analysts and suppliers have appeared convinced that an Apple television set, featuring all kinds of speculated features, was an inevitable 2013 release. More recently, those rumors have fizzled out, almost to the point of insignificance.

However today, Digitimes has today released a very suspicious rumor claiming that Apple is in talks with display supplier LG over 55 and 65 inch Ultra HD TV panels. The technology, also known as 4K, marks the next benchmark of high-definition content, with Samsung beginning to ship Ultra HDTVs in August.

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According to report, the technology is still in the testing stage, and Apple is yet to finalize any orders. The rumors also suggests that Apple is considering Sharp as a potential, and possibly alternative supplier.

As far as rumors go, Digitimes has a sketchy track record, and this particular story doesn’t even cite a source, simply claiming that the story is “circulating in the market”. 4K would seem to be the natural progression, and is the most likely format for an Apple HDTV of the future. Tim Cook has described the television market as being of great interest to Apple, claiming that it had been “left behind” by technology.

Source: TodaysiPhone.