The U.S. presidential election hangover seems to have had a dampening effect on iOSphere rumors for iPhone 6.
Will Ferrari finally bring some Italian glamour to the Germanic frigidity of iPhone designs? Can a 13-year-old youtuber shed light on Apple's path forward? Can Apple really create an iPhone theft detector?
You read it here second.
MORE SCUTTLEBUTT: iPhone 6 rumor rollup for the week ending Nov. 2
"I'm just wondering how a little Italian pizazz would fit with Apple's otherwise Braun-influenced designs." -- Dwayne Madden at AutooMobile.com, wondering about the design ramifications for iPhone 6 because an Apple executive now sits on the board of directors for Italian automaker Ferrari
iPhone 6 design will be created by Ferrari
This is what makes Apple rumorology such a great sport: An obscure event is analyzed obsessively for the teensiest clues to the Mind of Apple. It's not the reasoning, which is nonexistent, nor the conclusions, which are usually nonsensical. It's the process.
Italian car maker Ferrari announced this week that Apple's Eddy Cue has joined the Ferrari board of directors.
Cue is Apple's vice president of Internet software and services, a 24-year veteran of the company, and a Ferrari owner himself for nearly one-fifth of his tenure there. In a statement, he affirmed that he is "pleased and proud to become a member of the board. I continue to be awed by the world-class design and engineering that only Ferrari can do."
So are we all. Here's the current-model Ferrari awesomeness in all its testosteronic glory.
Every day, executives from one company are picked to sit on another company's board. No one knows. No one cares. But this is an Apple executive. Wired's Damon Lavrinc can't say enough about the "ramifications" of Cue's ascension.
"Apple has long been rumored to be interested in the automotive sector, and has in recent months announced partnerships with nine automakers to bring a new breed of advanced voice control, dubbed Siri Eyes Free, to vehicles in the next year," Lavrinc notes. "As for Ferrari, well, its cars are technological marvels under the hood, but their infotainment systems suck. Apple could help change that in a big way."
Un-sucking infotainment systems for those who can afford $229,825 for 2012 Ferrari 458 Italia. Talk about aspiration.
Ferrari CEO Luca di Montezemolo, who met with Apple CEO Tim Cook in April 2012, is delighted to have Eddy around. "I am delighted that Eddy Cue, one of the main driving forces behind Apple's range of revolutionary products, has now joined our board. His huge experience in the dynamic, innovative world of the Internet will be of great assistance to us."
In addition to iBooks, App Store and iCloud, Cue has recently taken over iOS Maps and Siri, after the recent management shakeup in Cupertino. "[H]aving Cue aboard could influence how Ferrari looks at the human machine interface and what steps it can take to bring its connectivity platform up to par with its exceptional drivetrains and chassis," Lavrinc enthuses.
Others were quick to draw the conclusion that Lavrinc overlooked: the way Ferrari could influence how Apple looks at the now-pedestrian iPhone design.
"Ferrari is of course known for their beautiful Italian designs," writes Dwayne Madden at AutooMobile.com, where his post is headlined "iPhone 6 Design May Have Some Italian Pizzaz [sic]."
"With the iPhone 5 focusing on being lighter and thinner just like sports car strive to be, we wouldn't be surprised if some of Ferrari's design engineering can be shared with the folks over at Cupertino labs. With [Apple designer-in-chief] Jony Ive now in charge of iOS design as well, you can expect him and Cue to be working much closer together. I'm just wondering how a little Italian pizazz would fit with Apple's otherwise Braun-influenced designs."
That's Apple's real problem: too damned Germanic.
iPhone 6 will be transparent, according to 13-year-old tech reviewer
Sam Laghzaoui is either very industrious or has a lot of free time on his hands, possibly both. He's created what could be the first but undoubtedly and depressingly not the last iPhone 6 "concept art" video, which is posted on YouTube.
The production values are pretty good, although AutooMobile's Madden would probably insist that it's more Braun than Ferrari. Laghzaoui says he's 13, and a "tech youtuber who does tech reviews, how-to's, unboxings, and the such. Follow me and I'll follow back!"
He favors a transparent iPhone 6 body, apparently unimpressed by Apple's expensive licensing of Liquidmetal's Wondrous Alloy, long rumored to be the next big thing for iPhone bodies. He's predicting a thumbprint scanner integrated into the display and possibly some kind of holographic technology.
Here's Laghzaoui on the bus, "very tired." We're not surprised.
iPhone 6 will have an anti-theft system built-in
Mobile anti-theft systems are seriously lacking. You can't really adapt a steering wheel lock for something that slips into your pocket, thought it might come in handy for your Ferrari.
But Apple has an eye on this problem, according to AppleInsider, which found a U.S. patent application by Apple for a theft detection system that uses "a portable device's accelerometer, in cooperation with a specialized controller, to detect whether a 'theft condition is present' and sound an alarm," according to AppleInsider's Mikey Campbell.
So what is a "theft condition"? This becomes a bit vague.
The controller is supposed to analyze the signals "generated by the movement of a device, which can determine whether the motion matches a set of parameters in which a theft scenario is likely. Just as important is the rejection of signal data for innocuous events."
The application is pretty clear what theft is not: "For example, the signal conditioning hardware and/or software should filter out those acceleration signals corresponding to shock or impact." So if you drop your iPhone and slam it against the table, the alarms won't sound.
But that still doesn't give us a sense of what "threat scenarios" actually are. "According to the application, theft conditions are likely to involve large-scale movements, like carrying the device in one's hand, which generate low frequency acceleration signals," Campbell writes.
If "carrying the device in one's hand" constitutes a threat scenario, we're going to be aurally smothered in wailing iPhones and iPads. That's why these are called "hand-held devices," after all. Perhaps a large-scale movement would be tearing an iPhone from someone's grip and jumping up and down waving it around as you run down the street shouting, "It's mine, mine, mine, MINE!"
"If a theft condition is detected, the user has a set amount of time to enter a numeric or alphanumeric passcode to disarm the anti-theft system before the alarm sounds," writes Campbell.
That sounds reassuring. Until one contemplates all the many ways in which that simple process could go so terribly wrong.
iPhone Informer's William Usher crosses the i's and dots the t's. "[It] could be possible to see the anti-theft alert available in newer handsets such as the iPhone 6 perhaps," he writes.
John Cox covers wireless networking and mobile computing for Network World. Twitter: http://twitter.com/johnwcoxnww Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more about anti-malware in Network World's Anti-malware section.