Five iPhone 5s rumours that didn't work out

The new iPhone 5s might include a fingerprint scanner, but it missed out these five features...

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 29 Oct 2013

The walls at Apple are leakier than Julian Assange with a bad case of the flu – so even before chief executive Tim Cook took the stage last night, we knew the iPhone 5s would will come in another colour (‘champagne’ – aka ‘a bit gold’), and that it would be launched alongside a cheaper version designed to capture the Chinese market, which comes in a load of bright colours.

We also knew it would have a fingerprint scanner: Apple is about to pay $365m (£228m) for AuthenTech, which makes fingerprint security technology.

But what of the other rumours – the ones that weren’t true? MT has picked the five best...

1. It was a watch

Back in February, everyone was convinced that the next big product launch would be the iWatch. It made sense: partly because everyone knew its rivals were working on smartwatches, partly because wearable tech is the new black, and partly because Cook needed to pull something impressive out of the bag to convince analysts he is the right man for the job.

Alack, alas – although it is very likely Apple is working on its own watch, it wasn’t launched last night. The clock is ticking though: Sony has had a smartwatch in the shops for a year now, while Samsung launched its own version, the Galaxy Gear, last week. It’s not like Apple to be this behind…

2. It was called the ‘iPhone Math’

We know geek is chic these days – but naming a device the ‘iPhone Math’ is taking the trend a bit far, even for the most moustachioed of hipsters.  

In January, Chinese papers reported Apple was planning a monster version of the iPhone, with a 4.8 inch screen and a 12 megapixel camera. There’s a chance ‘iPhone Math’ is a mistranslation of the Chinese reports – but it’s more likely Apple is planning a second version of the iPad Mini than a large version of the iPhone. You could say the rumours just didn’t add up.

3. It included technology to pick up a shoe sensor


Image credit: Flickr/A. K. Photography

Another wearable tech-related rumour. Everyone said Apple CEO Tim Cook had big shoes to fill when he took over from Steve Jobs. Clearly, he took that literally: in January (the rumour mills were working overtime) Apple filed for a patent covering ‘smart shoe’ systems, featuring sensors in different parts of the sole.

What will it do? Well, it could send data to your phone regarding workouts – or it could just tell you when your shoes are too worn (although MT doesn’t need an app to work out when rain is leaking into its brogues). Sadly, Apple fans, it wasn’t included in the iPhone 5s – but could be in later versions.

4. It included near-field communications technology

Near-field communications, or NFC, has been a buzzword among some factions of the technology industry for years – and for years, analysts have been convinced it’s going to become normal to pay for things using a chip in the back of your phone. A few phones have it – the BlackBerry Q10 and the Samsung Galaxy Note included – but it hasn’t really taken off.

So perhaps that’s the reason Apple decided against including NFC chips in yet another version of its iPhone, despite rumours to the contrary.

5. It included wireless charging

The technology to allow consumers to wirelessly charge their phones has been around for more than a decade – the problem is that to make wireless charging work properly, manufacturers would all have to agree on a standard charger, which would go inside various pieces of technology. Charging pads could then be installed in trains, planes, coffee shops – you name it. You’d never run out of battery again.   

Apple is apparently ‘working on’ including the technology in its phones, but didn’t include it in this version. For many fanboys, who diligently shelled out to replace their portable/car/home/work chargers when Apple changed it for the iPhone 5, that’s probably a relief.

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