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Apple’s next iPhone: A pair of rumors

Apple’s next iPhone is expected to come out this fall and rumor has it that it will be dramatically different from its last two predecessors. A recent report from 9 to 5 Mac re-airs a couple of rumors already out there.

According to a recent report from 9 to 5 Mac, two models that are “iPhone candidates” are in testing at Apple’s headquarters in shells designed to keep the form factor out of view of any unauthorized workers. Both reportedly have 3.95-inch screens with retina displays and, according to the report, will be the same width as the current iPhone, but taller.

Many are expecting the iPhone to follow the trend of slightly bigger screens, though nothing that is too cumbersome. The Wall Street Journal has also reported that the iPhone will have a bigger screen, albeit one that measure 4-inches diagonally. A larger screen is one of the most wished-for features for iPhone owners, particularly as makers of Android smartphones keep making bigger and bigger screens for video and Web browsing.

The 9 to 5 Mac report also revives an older rumor about a new dock connector for the iPhone, which was first circulated by the blog iMore in February. The new report backs up rumors that the new dock connector will be smaller and is a narrower version of the current plug and port — somewhere between the size of a micro-USB and a mini-USB connector.

If these rumors are true, it’s going to mean a serious revamp for the ever-growing Apple accessory ecosystem, which offers users everything from cases and chargers to things like, well, the TV Hat. Accessory makers always have to deal with changes to the iPhone such as tweaks in the width or changes to the placement of its volume buttons. But they will essentially have to make everything from scratch if Apple’s changing both the overall size of the phone and the dock connector port.

It’d be a gadget lover’s dream, of course, if Apple went to the industry standard and used micro USB ports, but that’s very unlikely.

Apple, after all, doesn’t like to be seen as a company that follows the crowd — and gets very upset when it feels others are following it too closely. The company’s chief executive Tim Cook was scheduled to meet with Samsung head Choi Gee-sung Monday to discuss Apple’s claims that Samsung is “slavishly” copying its products — just one of several claims Apple has against its competitors.

A judge from the United States District Court in Northern California ordered the executives to talk through the issues, and the two-day mediation was scheduled to start on Monday. According to Reuters, there was no sign of either executive at the San Francisco federal courthouse on Monday, but the private meeting could have taken place at a law firm office or other location.

Related stories:

New iPhone to have larger screen, WSJ reports

iPhone 5: The latest from the rumor mill

Report: iPhone 5 may have a new dock connector

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