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iPhone 5S: 64-bit A7, 128GB storage, flashy ƒ/2.0 camera, and...

Rumors, yes – but from a source with a good track record

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More details rumors about the iPhone 5S that's reportedly being readied for a September 10 unveiling include a 128GB option, improved low-light camera performance due to a dual-LED flash and an ƒ/2.0 lens, a new 64-bit A7 SoC based on the ARMv8 architecture, and a step up in memory bandwidth from LPDDR2 to LPDDR3 RAM.

Longtime Apple watchers know that it's wise to take all such rumors with the customary hefty helping of NaCl, but what gives this spate a modicum of increased credibility is that they come from someone who actually has a fairly decent track record: KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Kuo was also the source of the report earlier this week that the iPhone 5S would include a convex, sapphire-covered Home button equipped with a capacitive fingerprint sensor, presumably using technology from AuthenTec, which Apple acquired last summer for $356m.

AppleInsider reports that Kuo now makes the somewhat less-likely claim that the iPhone 5S's new A7 SoC will be based on the 64-bit ARMv8 architecture, a step up from the 32-bit ARMv7 architecture used in the iPhone 5's A6 SoC. Kuo said that he's unsure whether that high bittage would be taken advantage of by the iPhone 5S (and, of course, by iOS 7), but that he "would not be surprised" if such support were to emerge this year, or when Apple moves from up from the not-yet-released A7 to the not-yet-even-rumored A8.

MacRumors notes that Kuo also told subscribers to his KGI research note that he believes that the A7 will employ 1GB of LPDDR3 RAM. That bandwidth boost should improve the A7's performance over that of the A6 in the iPhone 5, but the RAM amount will remain the same.

"Since Apple is in charge of both hardware and OS design," Kuo writes, "it is capable of minimalizing memory capacity at an optimized state." Perhaps Apple is incorporating the compressed memory feature of its upcoming OS X Mavericks into iOS 7? Perhaps not. In any case, Kuo claims that the A7 will be 20 per cent "more efficient" than the A6.

Cnet cites Kuo as saying that although the iPhone 5S will continue the use of an eight-megapixel sensor in its rear-facing camera, it will include a dual-LED flash, and will improve the camera's light sensitivity to ƒ/2.0, a step up from the ƒ/2.4 lens in the iPhone 5.

Finally, Kuo gave more weight to another rumor that's been floating around for some time: that the iPhone 5S [or whatever it's called—Ed.] will be available in "a golden casing" in addition to the traditional iPhone black and white.

If that rumor is true, Apple investors should cross their fingers that Cupertino has its act together on that case color better than they did with the white iPhone 4, which was announced in June 2010 but didn't ship until April 2011.

The one thing that Cook & Co. don't need right now is another such embarrassment. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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