iPhone 5 what you can expect
by Mark Taoilinn
Last July thousands of people waited in line overnight (and some over several nights) to be one of the first people in the world to get their hands on an iPhone 4. Almost a year later, at WWDC in June, the Mac OS X Lion announcement, while exciting, failed to cause the same level of frenzy. Getting the new iOS 5 was nice, but the question of everyone’s lips at the time, and since, was “When will the new iPhone 5 arrive, and what new goodies will it bring us?”.
The rumour mill has been active all summer long, with pundits originally expecting the next generation iPhone to hit stores early September. This now seems premature, and most of us now expect the iPhone 5 to land in early October, with presales being taken from the end of September. Here’s just some of the things that might be included:
1) Not just one new phone, but two!
Steady now, don’t get too excited! Reuters speculated earlier this month that Apple will release a cheaper version of the iPhone 4, dubbed by many as the iPhone 4S, to run alongside the iPhone 5 upon release. Apple’s continued focus on the higher end of the market has allowed main rival, Android, to catapult itself into the number one slot for new smart phone sales. The company will be hoping that the 8GB iPhone 4S will help them fight competition from Android and Nokia in the lower end of the phone market and in emerging markets like China.
"A lower-priced version of iPhone 4 seems to be a necessary evil at this point in the iPhone adoption cycle, especially in emerging markets where the average income of individuals is much lower," Channing Smith or Capital Advisors Growth Fund is quoting as saying in Reuters.
2) Dual-Core A5 processor
There is unanimous agreement that Apple is going to ship the iPhone 5 with the new A5 processor chip. These two powerful cores in one chip was the secret behind the speed and multitasking ability of the iPad2 and would give the iPhone 5 a minimum speed of 1Ghz. However, many in gadget circles expect Apple to boost the speed to 1.2 or even 1.5 GHz, strengthening its position against those Android phones that are clocking in at 1.2Ghz.
3) Body Design and Antenna Improvements
Who could forget Antenna Gate; when the sale of over 3 million iPhone 4 units between June 24th and July 16 was marred by the “Apple Death Grip” – that is that holding the bottom left hand corner of the handset could cause some signal attenuation. The iPhone 4 was reported to lose reception when held by the antenna band and Steve Jobs’ only reply was “ you shouldn’t hold your phone that way”. Free bumper cases were eventually offered to all purchasers to help eliminate the loss of reception, software upgrades were promised within weeks and Apple were insistent that the whole thing was blown out of proportion, honest, as demands for a product recall were deftly ignored. With the launch of the iPhone 5, and potentially iPhone 4S as well, Apple are sure to do everything they can to make certain that this potential disaster is not repeated.
And it seems that Apple are learning from past mistakes. China Times, quoted in Apple Insider, reports that the software giant will abandon the reinforced glass back of the iPhone 4 in favor of a metal chassis for improved antenna design. Meanwhile Techradar and Engadget believe the phone could be a ‘complete design rethink’ – moving away from Infineon chipsets for GSM and shifting to Qualcomm – to ensure that Antenna Gate is never repeated.
Finally, check out these recent photos from MacRumors which suggest the new phone could have two antenna breaks along the bottoms of the casing to accommodate different frequencies of different mobile technologies. MacRumors also suggest that the iPhone 5 will have GSM and CDMA as standard.
4) Screen Size
Initially expected to sport a 4.2 inch screen, speculation on the iPhone 5 display proportions has been downsized recently to a more modest 3.5 – 3.7 inch display, according to this article from DigiTimes. Their source expects “that the iPhone 5 will adopt a 3.5- to 3.7-inch panel with a design to allow the bezel of the panel to become thinner and make the screen look larger.”
5) iCloud integration
Apple claimed that the iPad2 was the first true post-PC device. With iOS 5 apple were ‘cutting the cable’ so that those who didn’t want to go back to the PC, didn’t have to. Apple will be looking to continue that in the iPhone 5 and changes to the design may even make cloud integration much easier.
6) Near Field Communication
There’s been lots of talk about Apple bringing Near Field Communication into the iPhone 5, allowing Apple to pay for goods out and about by simply waving their phones at shop tellers. There has even been speculation that Apple will be teaming up with PayPal to bring the simplified payment options of NFC into the next evolution of the iPhone.
Personally I don’t think this one is going to be ready in time and would expect that Apple will keep it for a future release.
These are just of the things that I think might be included in the new iPhone 5. Whatever else is present, one key component to its predecessors record sales is sure to be missing – the Stevenote introductory address. Having stepped down as CEO, it is assumed that the pied piper of Apple will no longer be present in blue jeans and black polo to lead the world in a merry dance direct from their homes to the Apple Stores with wallets in hand. It will be interesting to see if Tim Cook can fill these very large boots!