No redesigned iPhone expected this year, report says

Apple's next smartphone won't be much different from the current model, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
Expertise I have more than 30 years' experience in journalism in the heart of the Silicon Valley.
Steven Musil
2 min read

If you were holding your breath for a redesigned iPhone this year, it appears you are going to have to wait a bit longer.

The next iteration of Apple's smartphone, which is expected to launch in the fall, won't be dramatically different than the current model, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal on Sunday. The report did not indicate what the new model might be called or what would be different about it.

Catch CNET's live coverage of Apple's WWDC 2013 keynote, Monday 10 a.m. PT

Many observers believe the next iPhones down the chute will be the much-rumored iPhone 5S and low-cost iPhone. While Apple has not confirmed the existence of such handsets, reports hold that the iPhone 5S will be similar in specs to the iPhone 5 but boast new colors, adding green and gold to the standard black and white models.

The purported low-cost iPhone, which is expected to cost $350 to $400, is said to have a plastic shell rather than aluminum and could be available in a rainbow of colors, such as ink, green, blue, and yellow-orange, according to MacRumors.

Meanwhile, at least one analyst expects an iPhone with a 4.8-inch screen -- perhaps called iPhone 6 -- to show up next year. The larger screen is expected to help the iPhone better compete with smartphones that sport 5-inch screens, such as the Galaxy S4, which is sold by Samsung -- Apple's biggest competitor.

Apple is also expected unveil a significant redesign of its mobile operating system and a new music-streaming service during its World Wide Developer Conference, which kicks off Monday in San Francisco. (Be sure to tune in to CNET's live coverage from WWDC.)

Confirming longstanding rumors that Apple will introduce a revamped iOS at the conference, The Journal reported Sunday that the new version would drop the skeumorphic design in favor of "plain solid backgrounds and more white space."

After reaching deals with all three major music labels, Apple is also expected to unveil its free Internet radio service at the conference. Sony, which had been the lone holdout of the three major music labels, struck a licensing deal with Apple on Friday.