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iPhone 6 rumor rollup for the week ending May 3

John Cox | May 6, 2013
De-glitzing iOS, curvobsession, Peter the Great, 20-nanometer magic

Almost overnight, thanks to posts finally resembling "news," the iOSphere has become an expert in industrial design, contemplating an iPhone 6 or 5S or something with a flatter, sleeker, cooler, starker, smoother, de-glitzed and overall just better-looking iOS 7.

Also this week, the continuing push to abolish straight lines in the Next iPhone; June looms large ... in 2014; and a new silicon fabrication plant in southern Taiwan signals nanometer magic.

You read it here second.



iPhone 6 will run a de-glitzed iOS 7

Finally, something that actually resembles what used to be called "news."

"It's a pretty big update," according to John Paczkowski, of The Wall Street Journal's AllThingsD blog. He's citing "sources who declined to be named because they are forbidden to talk publicly about Apple's plans."

That's an artful way of hinting that the sources can be forbidden to talk because they're Apple employees.

"With SVP of Industrial Design Jony Ive now overseeing [user] interface design, sources say Apple has adopted a unified approach to software and hardware design," writes Paczkowski. "And evidently the spartan, elegant aesthetic that Ive has developed around Apple's hardware is now being brought to bear on its software, as well. Last week, 9to5Mac's Mark Gurman reported that iOS 7 would feature a 'flat' design that favors simplicity over flash. I've heard similar descriptions from sources who say iOS 7 is iOS 'de-glitzed.'"

In part, de-glitzing seems to mean doing away with what's known as skeuomorphic design -- trying to replicate in detail the look and feel of a bookcase, for Apple iBooks, or of a notepad for Apple Notes

Paczkowski believes there's more involved, that Ive's design changes are part of a "significant reimagining" of the company's mobile platform. "With new mobile operating systems like BlackBerry 10 and Windows Phone proving that there's plenty of room left for innovation in the market, Apple can ill afford even the risk of the perception that iOS might be getting dusty," he writes.

He doesn't go into details, presumably because his sources didn't share any.

The blog post correlates with details from other sources:

  • A March post at The Wall Street Journal's Digits blog: "[I]n Apple's next mobile operating system, Ive is pushing a more 'flat design' that is starker and simpler, according to developers who have spoken to Apple employees but didn't have further details."
  • A recent online conversation at The Branch among a group of Apple watchers: "apparently [iOS 7 is] rather significant system-wide UI overhaul" (John Gruber, Daring Fireball); "Ive's work is apparently making many people really happy, but will also apparently make rich-texture-loving designers sad" (Rene Ritchie, iMore).
  • This week, a Bloomberg story by Adam Satariano: Ive's "sweeping software overhaul ... leaves the company at risk of falling behind on a new version of the operating system."


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