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iPhone 5 rumor rollup for the week ending Jan. 20

John Cox | Jan. 24, 2012
The iOSsphere, not being battery powered, never runs down when it comes to iPhone 5 rumors, though it can be draining in other ways.

iPhone 5 will have a 4-inch screen: designer

This could be an example of the iOSphere's iterative innovation or of its proclivity to beat dead horses.

"To pass the time until launch" of the Next iPhone, Redmond Pie dabbles in covering what it calls concept art, or more accurately fan art, illustrating the nonexistent product. This week, it found another concept design from one Kris Groen, identified only as a "designer."

Groen's renderings in a YouTube video show the Next iPhone with a 4-inch screen. It achieves this size by eliminating the iconic iPhone home bottom centered at the bottom of the phone's face, a rumor that's been regurgitating repeatedly for about a year at least. Groen's contribution: The functions of the home button are replaced by two buttons in the surrounding band, opposite each other, which when squeezed bring you back to the start page. One bonus: We get "true stereo" because the design creates space for two speakers at the bottom of the phone.

The Technology Times described the idea as a "Stunning Re-imagined Concept" in its headline.

But Cult of Mac's John Brownlee, stunned only by its stupidity, poured scorn and contumely on the idea.

"Here's the problem with Groen's design, though: Apple would never go with this," Brownlee declared, presumably after asking "What would Steve do?" "For one thing, Apple favors simplicity, and they'd be ditching an iconic and fundamentally simple element of the iPhone for a more complicated mechanism. No way. Apple would rather just lose the home button entirely and replace it with on-screen elements [rather] than require people to push two buttons at once."

iPhone 5 will be waterproof

Pocket-lint revealed that Apple, and Samsung, have seen demonstrations of a new molecular-level coating that can waterproof electronics. The technology, called WaterBlock, has been developed by a Salt Lake City, Utah, company called HzO, which demonstrated the technology at the recent Consumer Electronics Shows. Here's a video of smartphones, treated with WaterBlock, being dumped into a fish tank.

It's all some kind of nanotechnology, which, even if we don't understand it, sounds way cool.

Pocket-lint followed up with the vendor, who told the mobile news site that it had talked with both Apple and Samsung about the waterproofing.

"Done during the manufacturing process rather than by you once you've bought your phone, this isn't a clumsy case or a sealant but a way of protecting gadgets from getting wet," according to Pocket-lint. "At this year's CES in Las Vegas Pocket-lint witnessed what looked like an ordinary iPhone being repeatedly dunked into a fish tank full of water."

"A spokesman for the company told Pocket-lint that it is in the process of signing up a major smartphone partner and a headphones maker in the very near future," according to Pocket-lint.


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