An Apple patent for inhibiting moisture intrusion (or waterproofing devices).
Screen size Oh will the iPhone have a larger screen? Despite the complete lack of any indication, or inclination, patent or - as far as we can see - any reason for Apple to include a larger screen, much of the chatter on the internet seems to suggest that Apple must be working on an iPhone with a 4in screen. Some of this seems to be firming up into fact, however, and The Wall Street journal has reported that Apple has ordered 4in screens for the next iPhone: bigger is always better, right? We're not 100 per cent convinced but Apple is also apparantly capable of pushing a 4inch display into the same size of the iPhone 4 (the screen would run edge-to-edge across the width of the phone). So it could combine a bigger screen with the same size device.
3D camera and display Apple has been patenting 3D displays, interfaces, and 3D camera systems for a few years now. So it's obviously something the company is interested in. Mind you, so seems to be the entire film and television industry, but not so much - it seems - the general public. While 3D movies are doing reasonably well, the same can't be said of 3D television and every 3D phone and gadget we've used has sported a seriously blurry display. We don't think 3D is the priority it once was, and won't add enough to the iPhone interface to make it worthwhile. Apple did recently file a patent (www.patentlyapple.com) for a 3D interface with eye-tracking technology though, so maybe one day. [image iPhone 3D interface]
Release date The next generation of iPhone will go on sale sometime between July and October. Our money is on September as that is when Apple launched the last iPhone and it seems the slightly later launch worked better with the new iPad coming out earlier in the year (with Apple's new Mac OS X coming in the Summer).
Nano-SIM The Micro-SIM found in the iPad and iPhone may be replaced with a Nano-SIM that is almost a third smaller. You'll likely not notice, but Apple keeps shaving off the size from SIM cards in its quest to miniaturize everything.
4G/LTE Support As with the new iPad, we expect the next-generation iPhone to feature 4G/LTE connectivity, which also has no supporting network here in the UK. The advantages of 4G/LTE are principally wider area coverage, faster speed, and a more reliabily persistent connection. But the networks are due to arrive till next year so Apple may not use the 4G branding in the UK.
Price Apple has consistently released each iPhone model at around £500 (unlocked) or has been available on a two-year contract from around £35 per month. Budget models come in the form of last year's model still on sale. So expect the iPhone 4S to become the budget model, when the iPhone 5 comes out.