Rumors: First Photo of 5.5-inch iPhone; 2 GB RAM in iPad Air; iWatch 512 RAM, 8 GB Storage

While we've seen a lot of images online of parts purported to be for the 4.7-inch iPhone, there haven't been any glimpses of the 5.5-inch phone—until now. Posted on the website Evasion Jailbreak, the images show the back shell of the forthcoming 5.5-inch phone compared to a similar part from the 4.7-inch phone.

Not only is this of interest to get a sense for the relative size, but also it reassures us rumor mongers that a 5.5-inch iPhone is indeed coming, hopefully this fall. The rear housing also shows the same styling as we've seen in the 4.7-inch iPhone, with rounded edges, recessed pill-shaped volume buttons, and a power button that's been moved to the side of the device. The source of the photos is said to be someone deep in Apple's supply chain in China. Of course, one can't know for sure if the photos are legitimate. But the details are certainly in keeping with other rumors we've heard.

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In addition, the website iPhone in Canada has passed along some tidbits about the forthcoming iPad Air and the rumored iWatch. Based on information from the Taiwanese news site TechNews, the post says that the iPad Air will have 2 GB of RAM, compared to 1 GB in the current model. More RAM means more apps can be running in the background—and it would help support the split-screen feature that's rumored to be coming. However, the post suggests that Apple may stick with 1 GB for the iPad mini. By way of comparison, the original iPad had 256 MB of RAM.

The same Taiwanese website has also reported that the forthcoming iWatch will have 512 MB of RAM and 8 GB of memory. Most interesting, though, is the website's claim that the iWatch will be a functional standalone device without necessarily needing to work in conjunction with an iPhone or iPad. Most smartwatches today receive information from a smartphone via Bluetooth. It would be an interesting step if Apple made a device that would work both with an iPhone but also independently.

When will we see the next iPads? Likely in October, if Apple follows their usual schedule. And the iWatch? Recent rumors have said it could be delayed until 2015. One thing is for certain: Apple doesn't mind at all delaying the introduction of a product until the company feels it's really ready for prime time.

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Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.