New iPhone 5 rumors, giant tablets and shared data plans

All the mobile rumors that you see around the web, compiled, rated, and usually shot down

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Get excited?: To my mind, nobody has been holding out on buying an iPad (or, to a much lesser extent, an Android tablet, TouchPad, or BlackBerry PlayBook) becuase they were just too darn small. Still, if four things clicked--the display was indeed crisp as all get out, the hardware able to deliver that display without lag, and Android 4.0 gets some real interest from app developers soon, and the price is at or less than $500--it could be a real treat for those actually opposed to Apple devices. But even in horse racing, you only bet on three horses to win, place, and show.

Slightly faster Galaxy Nexus to arrive soon, possibly on Sprint

Source: Droid Life, via hardware benchmarking site NenaMark.

Details: Texas Instruments’ SGX544 is notably more powerful than the SGX540 installed in the standard Galaxy Nexus, released by Google through Verizon Wireless. Even when underclocked below its predecessor (at 1.3 GHz), the SGX544 outperforms the SGX540 running at 1.4 GHz.

Likelihood: Half and half. One can, indeed, fake the names reported to a benchmark test, or fake results. But the SGX544 is a real chip, and the Galaxy Nexus is likely to hit another network soon, so why not upgrade the hardware, if possible?

Get excited?: No, unless you were absolutely set on the Galaxy Nexus arriving on Sprint. Processor power doesn’t make the mobile experience. Hope instead for a promise that this Galaxy Nexus will be updated for at least 18 months.

Apple Asides

iPhone 5 “ready for production”

Source: 9to5 Mac, through a “reliable source at Foxconn.”

Details: “Numerous sample devices” are “floating around,” but the only things they have in common are screens larger than 4 inches, and none of them fitting the iPhone 4/4S shape.

Likelihood: That iPhone 5 prototypes exist? High. That any of them can be reliably pointed at as the thing that gets made for summer? Very, very low.

Get excited?: Only if you need a daydream for a coffee break.

Mobile payment system to be baked into iPhone 5

Source: 9to5 Mac, along with a Fast Company interview with MasterCard’s “emerging payments” honcho.

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