New evidence of an iPhone 6 showing up in web logs suggests that Cupertino is in the latter stages of testing a new iPhone. But does the web log prove that we’ll have an iPhone 6 in 2013?
If you followed the iPhone 5 rumor mill, then you now that new, phantom devices showing up in tech web logs is part of the product development cycle for Apple. Part testing, part hype, Cupertino developers are well aware of the splash that visiting tech websites can have while testing both hardware and software for new devices. If they wanted to truly stay off the radar, then they’d visit websites that are not associated with tech.
Today, to mark the new year, the iPhone 6 appears to have made a phantom appearance, raising the level of excitement that 2013 could indeed mark the arrival of the iPhone 6 and not the iPhone 5S.
According to the Washington Post, the Next Web detected an “iPhone 6,1″ apparition on their web logs. The Post notes that:
“Credentials like these can be faked — in fact, new products are often given faked credentials for older models — but the Next Web believed the activity noted in logs was significant because it looked to be coming from Apple’s Cupertino, Calif., headquarters.”
What’s interesting about this story, however, is how cool the tech media is playing it. The Post notes that: “It would make sense for Apple to be testing the next generation of its hardware and software as it prepares for 2013. Really, it would be alarming to fans and investors alike if the company wasn’t running tests on new versions of their products.” And Mark Gurman at 9to5Mac makes the point that, just because Cupertino is using “iPhone 6,1″ to designate this device, it does not necessarily mean that the 2013 iPhone will indeed be the iPhone 6 — it could very well still turn out to be a refreshed iPhone 5S.
That makes sense to me.
The decision to name an iPhone has little if nothing to do with the R&D department. I doubt they have any major input on naming any Apple device, aside from providing the specs of the product, which may or may not factor in to its name. Naming products is the domain of the marketing department, and conversely speaking, they would have little input into naming prototype iPhone devices.
It very well may be that Cupertino developers refer to the current iPhone as “iPhone 6″ because it is the sixth-generation device, and “iPhone 6,1″ may be the designation of a refreshed iPhone 5 — aka, iPhone 5S. Again, all the taxonomy gets confusing.
Or, the appearance could have less to do with a new device, and more to do with new iOS 6 updates that are specifically focused on the iPhone.
Regardless, for those who enjoy following the iPhone rumors, it definitely marks the beginning of a new year of wild rumor, speculation, consternation, silliness, conjecture, excitement, and a wealth of other emotions and conditions that has made Phone speculation a hobby if not an official pastime for tech enthusiasts.
By Michael Nace