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iPhone 5 rumor rollup for the week ending Feb. 17

John Cox | Feb. 20, 2012
The iOSsphere seemed to be nearing exhaustion, swinging between summer and fall release dates, the differences between .1 and .2 firmware versions, and wild longings for a 3D user interface.

iPhone 5 will run iOS 5.something-or-other, not iOS 6

Taking rumors at face value, Michael Nace, at the un-ironically named iPhone 5 News Blog, wonders if the imminent release of iOS 5.1 will "foreshadow a refreshed iOS 5.2 for the iPhone 5, and not a full iOS 6 overhaul?"

In a post that has only a superficial coherence, Nace explains that iOS 5, unveiled in June 2011, was a big deal but it also contributed to the reported battery life problems of iPhone 4S, unveiled in October. So Apple is soon bringing out 5.1, and that means it could also later bring out 5.2, unless it doesn't.

"What remains to be seen, however, is if Apple will continue to upgrade iOS 5 heading into the iPhone 5 release, of if June will see the release of iOS 6," Nace writes, using a classic iOSsphere construction that states the obvious as if it were a revelation.

"Historically, Apple has released a fresh, new version of iOS, starting in 2007 with iOS 1," he says. "Thus, for Apple to opt for equipping the iPhone 5 with iOS 5.2 would break with a long-held tradition [of 4.0 years] of deploying a new mobile operating system at the Worldwide Developer's Conference."

Nace apparently means "a new single-digit version of the mobile operating system" since Apple isn't replacing the OS every year.

In any case, his conclusion boils down to "Apple will do something with the operating system for iPhone 5, but I have no idea what."

iPhone 5 will have 3D, eyeball-tracking, interactive, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious display

Among newly published patent applications by the U.S. Patent Office is one by Apple, number 20120036433, entitled "Three Dimensional User Interface Effects on a Display by Using Properties of Motion," picked up by, among others, AppleInsider.

This is just the latest 3D patents for Apple, which the iOSsphere has been obsessing over since last summer at least.

Reading the many iOSsphere posts on this new invention, Rollup has the distinct impression that no one really understands what it is or how it works, but they all agree its way cool.

Digital Spy: "Apple files virtual 3D eye-tracking display patent" Wired: "Apple Patent Shows 3-D Interface Calibrated by Eye Positioning" Engadget: "Apple files patent for interactive 3D interface" PhoneArena: "Apple patent from 2010 tracks your eyes to give 3D illusion on screen"

There's still more confusion caused by the fact that AppleInsider posted about another Apple 3D patent on Jan. 12 and the writer of both posts, Neil Hughes, seems to have reused much his earlier wording.

From Jan. 12 -- "Apple exploring motion-based 3D user interface for iPhone": "Apple has shown interest in developing a new user interface for the iPhone that relies less on the device's touchscreen, and more on manipulating a 3D environment with motion controls. The concept was revealed this week in a new patent application discovered by AppleInsider and entitled 'Sensor Based Display Environment.' It describes a three-dimensional display environment that uses orientation data from onboard sensors, like a gyroscope and compass, to navigate the system.


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