Shocker: Apple is working on iOS 7 and the next iPhone!

Apple is working on iOS 7 and the next generation iPhone 6,1. Shocking, I know, considering Apple has released a new version of iOS and a new iPhone each year, every year, since 2007. However, the web being the web, stories are popping up today, and tips are coming in, helpfully reminding us all of just that.

iMore has seen iOS 7 references in our visitor logs for a while now, and Apple has no doubt been working on it since, well, they launched iOS 6 last year, if not earlier.

If Apple holds to their recent pattern, we'll see a beta six months from now, presumably at WWDC 2013 in June. (Originally Apple ran separate spring iOS preview events, so there's always an outside chance they'll "put the pedal to the metal" and go back to that, but WWDC is a good fit.)

As to iPhone 6,1, before anyone jumps to "iPhone 6! iPhone 6!" conclusions, internal model numbers only coincidentally correlate to release name. The iPhone 5 is indeed iPhone 5,1, but the iPhone 4S was iPhone 4,1, and the iPhone 4 was iPhone 3,1. The iPad 3 was iPad 3,1, but the iPad 4 was "only" iPad 3,4.

Again, if Apple's past behavior is any indicator of future behavior, than iPhone 6,1 could just as easily be called iPhone 5s when it's introduced. If that's this spring, a similar time frame to when the Verizon iPhone 4 was released, then an incremental iPhone 5s makes even more sense. And if there's more than one new iPhone this year, the way there was more than one new iPad last year, then all sorts of interesting new possibilities spring to mind.

So, yeah, everything looks like it's happening as expected. Now if Apple wasn't working on iOS 7 and the next generation iPhone, that'd it big news.

In the meantime, we've been listing out some of the iOS 7 features we want, and next generation iPhone ideas we could see implemented. Feel free to add your wish lists below!

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Shocker: Apple is working on iOS 7 and the next iPhone!


I agree. I love my iphone 5, but had a galaxy S 3. I want to mash them together. Throw in windows tiles for good measure.

Catch up? I've come from almost 2 years of only Android use (most recent being the GS3, Galaxy Nexus, Droid DNA, and Nexus 7) and I have to say since coming back to iOS (iPhone 5 and LTE 3rd gen iPad) I feel that Android is the one that is far behind and needs to catch up especially when it comes to legginess and overall fluidity of the OS. It can be the best looking OS on the planet, but when it feels like your constantly fighting with the OS then it really is a horrible experience. Even my HTC 8X runs circles around any Android device I've ever used. Also Android OEMs need to pay a little more attention to the hardware my GS3 was a plastic joke. The iPhone 5 is an absolute beautiful piece of hardware not to mention it has (IMHO) still the best display on the market (yes, even over my DNA and you will see the difference when running the two next to each other especially In contrast ratio, deeper blacks, true whites, and less glare), still has the best camera (to be fair I haven't used the Lumia 920, yet), has by far the best app store and eco system out (this really is no competition and it gets better and better every day. I can't stand the Play store and especially the WP8 store, or whatever it is called), and the fastest and most efficient processor in the A6 (this is by far the fastest mobile device I've ever used. I forget sometimes Im using a phone and not my laptop).

Each person feels different I guess.

Wow. You must not what color ratios are. The screen on the DNA is better than that of the iPhone, and not just by pixel count. It has richer colors and deeper blacks. The only thing better is the brightness on the iPhone.


I have both sitting right here and I disagree. Yes it has over 400 ppi which is mind numbing. Also, I agree it is one of the best displays on the market, but there isn't that noticeable of a difference. What is noticeable is the white balance, the reduced glare (which Apple is now using only one panel and it makes everything look gorgeous), and the colors look more accurate. Ppi will only get you so far and obviously LG has made some trade offs to keep cost down that Apple didn't make on their new retina displays (yes I know that Apple doesn't manufacture their displays, but they still develop them. Everytime i post anything about Apple's retina I always get the "well, Samsung is the one that made the displays." Albeit it is usually on a different site then iMore.

I got rid of my iPhone 5 but when I compare it to the 4, the colors look much richer on the DNA.

I agree with the whites being better to a degree, but this is coming from a guy who was recently using a Galaxy Nexus. And we all know how terrible AMOLEDs are at showing white. :-)

It could be just YOUR eyes. No offense meant, but forget the hardware in the phone and remember the hardware in your head. If you have any number of eye problems it could lead to you preferring one screen over the other. And any problem can change that ratio.

My eyes are fine.

Also, its like your assuming that I think 1080p makes this screen superior to all others. That isn't the case. I can't see pixels on the iPhone or the DNA.

What I can see clearly are that colors are more saturated on the DNA when compared to the iPhone. For the same reasons that make the iPhone brighter, its also what makes the colors look less vibrant.

I think the iPhone has a great screen, just not better than the DNA. I prefer richer colors to having a brighter screen output.

Also, no offense taken.

"richer", "brighter", "more vibrant", "saturated" colors. This may or may not be true about non-retina screens.
Where retina screens excel is in color accuracy.
When you are looking at the iPhone screen, you are viewing colors that are the closest to how they appear in real life.
Isn't that the ultimate measure of screen quality?
Some people dont mind that other screens cartoonize images, they may even prefer it. Not me, I want realism.

Key word...'perfer'.

I like the screen on the iPhone. But when I view images on both displays, the colors don't look washed out on the DNA as they look on the iPhone.

The same is true when comparing the iPhone to the Optimus G. The iPhone's colors look better and more vibrant on it than on the Optimus G.

It all comes down to perference and direct comparisons.

I have a iPhone 5 and a Razr HD. Razr has the Nova launcher, and it is just as smooth, if not smoother, than the 5. And smoking fast.
To each his own, as you said.

LOL. Samsung is the only successful Android handset / iPad clone-maker. And if Apple goes to semi-yearly iPhone releases, there will be nowhere for Samsung to hide. They'd be forced to release their iPhone wannabes at most 3 months after the latest iPhone. Which would be exactly 3 months before the next iPhone.

Rock and a hard place.

An iphone 5S is just the obligatory hardware. The real story hopefully will be iOS 7 and ecosystem upgrades this spring/summer.

Given how Apple killed the iPad 3 with the early launch of the iPad 4, I would not be surprised if we see the iPhone 5S in late spring to slow down the sales of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy 4.

However, owning the Nexus 7 tablet, a true Android device and using it I really have a stronger appreciation for iOS. What kills me though is the ridiculously small screen of my iPhone 5. It really is more of an emergency internet machine.

Apple still has their momentum. No matter what ridiculous things Apple does, most people will still flock to them like pigeons to bread for two main reasons: 1. things simply work well 2. trendiness.

I'd reverse 2 and 1, but yeah mostly true. My first experience with iOS is this iPad 4 I'm using right now, and apart from the quality of apps which gives iOS a huge advantage, I think android overall is still a better OS. It's true, things are technically easy and simple in iOS, but that's mostly because you don't have any choice about how to do things. The options you have in android inherently make it more complicated, and sometimes you can mess things up. But as more people get comfortable with smart phones and tinkering with them, creating much more personal experiences will draw them away from iOS's one size (usually, for the most part) fits all approach. I think.

I used to feel this way and tinkering was the reason I left the iPhone 3Gs for the Nexus One, but I have to say I fully disagree. I never used the widgets as they really are just a waste of space and make an already laggy OS even worse. To be honest it doesn't matter what I'd do on my Nexus 7, GS3, DNA, or Galaxy Nexus (to name just the latest as I've owned dozens of Android devices) it would slow down more and more over time. To me the fluidity of iOS is it's best feature then you add in the much better eco system and Android (at least to me) is always going to be too far behind (well, unless they rewrite Android).

My iPad 2 has grown slower after the most recent updates of iOS 6.

In fact, any device will grow slower as it tries to run software design for newer hardware. Add to the fact that the RAM on the iPad 2 was so low, its no wonder that its grown sluggish.

My DNA runs just as fludily as my new iPad. But I guarantee you that the same won't be true a year, many apps and many updates from now.

Yeah to be fair you are right. What I meant is I've owned my DNA and 8X for 2 weeks now and my DNA has barely any apps on it (there really aren't a lot in the Play Store), but it already feels sluggish. It is still faster than any other Android device I've used though. The Snapdragon quad core is a beast. What I'm talking about does not have to do with hardware it has to do with software. Android always has that nails on a chalkboard kind of feel to it. It's that 1/10 second lag in everything you do that really bothers me. I always noticed it, but it didn't really bother me until I came back to iOS. Being used to the A6 in the iPhone 5 makes this even more noticeable. I still like my DNA, but I just can't get passed Android and its limitations to make it my daily driver. My HTC 8X has other issues, but it is very fluid and smooth. I don't know how Google can't get this fixed. Maybe it isn't fixable without rewriting the entire OS, but adding a simply live wallpaper or widgets really seems to knock any Android device on its ass no matter how much hardware there is on the device. To me this is the number one thing they need to get right and Apple has always gotten right. I agree that iOS is far from perfect, but I can care less about widgets, live wallpapers, true multitasking, etc if it means that a laggy OS experience is the trade off.

I haven't experienced any lag yet, but that's not to say I won't.

The one thing that bothers me is the stutter I always get on the search page of my iPad. Every single time I swipe to that page on the first try, it lags and stutters. Its so odd to me. Maybe because I've gotten more or less used to this on Android, its especially glaring on iOS.

Oh well. I don't think we'll ever be satisfyed.

I could not agree more! I have even gone as far as to over clock my devices. I have the exact same impression regarding my Motorola 4g compares to my 4s and the "nails on the chalkboard" is spot on! And to think about running an active widget can make the Android appear to almost have to "stop and think" about its next task. Hence the two device quandary I am in.

Agreed. My iPad 1 is only good for reading books after the iOS 5 update. It's so slow and laggy that I wouldn't feel right selling it to anyone on eBay.

That ios5 update on the OG iPad really was hit/miss bc mine is as good as new, even a bit better...especially Safari. Yet my brothers is almost unusable like you're claiming.

There is no question that the next iPhone will be the 5S and not the 6. The reason is because Apple wants to regain their huge profit margin amid investor worries of them shrinking. an iPhone 6 implies a new form factor. And that requires a revamped manufacturing process resulting in declining margins. Apple prefers to reuse the current form factor in order to spread the cost over a longer period. This is what they have done since the start. And it's effective. So don't bet on them changing the pattern.

Yep. You can throw away any of the other nonsense we'll hear. It's tick tock for Apple. iOS gets the focus this year and after a year filled with some misses, it's much needed.

Bigger screen! I love how my mac and phone interact.I love the whole ecosystem but, I really want a bigger screen.......wait.....I already said that didn't I. A pipe dream......I know.

I must say that the S 3 or note 2 (I am not very familiar with phones anymore) whichever is "newer/better" indeed has left some of Apple in the dust. Still I really cannot imagine changing phones, much like I am still a PC user. It is just too fluid of a system with Apple (and I am runing a 4 and still don't want to change). That said, being an iPhone 4 owner, I really didn't feel the need to upgrade to the 5. It didn't have enough in it for me to jump. I do have unlimited data so any phone I buy will be retail, but I still cannot imagine jumping to 5 right now when all I see gaining is a little bigger screen.

A very common sense article. Having just been forced to use the latest android galaxy for a whole week because I left my iPhone 5 in London ... Apple have nothing to worry about for a while ... what a heap of steaming #¢§ˆ¶¨

Just because you don't understand how to use Android, or don't want to understand, doesn't make it bad. IOS is probably better for the masses, but Android is a far more capable OS. IOS won't even let me look at my files. Yes, it is lagging behind Android, and Android Jelly Bean is not laggy, no more so than IOS.

You will be able to see an example of true multitasking in action on a phone when RIM's new os BB10 is launched at the end of this month. The all touch BB10 phone is exactly that, full on screen gestures that make the physical home button redundant. This is what Apple should be doing and I think that they will be taking a close look at BB10.

That is exactly what I was thinking of. Been a member of CrackBerry for years. Joined iMore due to acquiring an ipad recently. Also a PlayBook owner since the beginning. I'm glad to see there is a believer out there to point that out to me though.

A +1 for you my friend. :)

I have a PlayBook too and it frustrates me that when I go to an iPad I am trying to swipe to open a new app forgetting that I have to press that darn home button to close one app and then open another.
Also, Rene has pointed out in this week's Monday Brief that in 2013 following the launch of BB10, iOS will become the oldest mobile operating system, I was pointing out that Apple will have to do more than they have done so far with iOS to narrow that gap.

I love webOS and the gestures that are used. If the apps were there I would probably still be using it.

I want to see:
1. User-customizable list of apps that can be launched on the lock screen
2. AM/FM receiver
3. RF/IR transmitter/receiver
4. Passcode locks per app