TechWeb

Apple Tests iPhone 6? Not A Shocker

Jan 02, 2013 (04:01 AM EST)

Read the Original Article at http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=240145380


 12 Best iPhone, iPad Apps Of 2012
12 Best iPhone, iPad Apps Of 2012
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According to server logs seen by developers, clues about the next-generation iPhone are beginning to appear. The Next Web reports having seen Apple internal parlance for what could be the iPhone 6, and suggests that Apple is already testing the new hardware.

Well, duh.

Apple releases a new iPhone and a new version of iOS every year. These things don't pop up overnight, you know. Apple designer Jony Ive doesn't walk across the water and accept the new i-device from Lady of the Lake. The iPhone takes time to design, engineer and test. In fact, there's an industry term for it: It's called "research and development."

New smartphones often take between 12 and 18 months to move from blueprint to retail. Apple is likely already working on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8. In fact, it probably has two to four new iPhones in various stages of development. This is a phenomenon called a "roadmap." You know, a plan that spans several years so the company knows where it is headed. It's a handy thing to have around.

[ Not every smartphone is a beauty like Apple's iPhone. Check out the 5 Ugliest Smartphones Of 2012. ]

So what do the server logs tell us right now?

Apple uses a slightly different code to reference its i-devices. For example, we call the latest iPhone the iPhone 5, but Apple refers to it as the iPhone5,1 or iPhone 5,2 depending on the variant. The iPhone 4S was the iPhone4,1, and the iPhone 4 was the iPhone 3,1. These device names (think of them as chassis designators) are what shows up in code when the associated device is used to surf the Web. The same goes for iPads. Server logs unintentionally revealed this internal naming scheme years ago.

The "iPhone6,1" is the new device popping up. This means that there are early builds of the next-generation iPhone being used by Apple's engineers for testing. One of their tests is to surf the Web, hence the server logs. The designation tells us that Apple has a new piece of hardware on deck, but that's all. It doesn't provide any details about the design, features or anything else.

We could have guessed as much without the server logs, based on Apple's past behavior of yearly hardware and software upgrades.

Though there's a rough correlation between the designator and the final name of the i-device products, it is not set in stone. If Apple sticks with its actual product naming scheme, the iPhone6,1 might actually be the iPhone 5S (remember, there was an iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS; followed by the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S).

At the end of the day, we have to assume that Apple (and every other company, for that matter) is always working on new products.