It’s almost here – Apple is about to end months of speculation with a September 12 press event that is almost certainly going to be the iPhone 5 launch.
Few products have been as analysed, leaked and talked about as much as this phone. There are leaks and rumors of new cases, jacks, batteries and even headphones every day. Will it all be a bit of a letdown when it happens, or will Apple really blow us away with the iPhone 5? Last year we were hoping to see the iPhone 5 launch however were greeted with the 4S instead. At the event it felt like a major letdown for us. We saw the same form factor and the biggest selling feature was a voice assistant called Siri. However while the “magic” was lacking in last year’s iPhone event, the iPhone 4S was still the highest selling iPhone to date. This time around Apple is expected to unveil something new from the ground up. And judging by Apple’s tick-tock cycle, we can pretty much bet on it (Apple releases two devices in consecutive with the same form factor e.g. iPhone 3G & 3GS, and then the iPhone 4 & 4S). So what can we expect to happen this year?
The name: iPhone 5 or New iPhone?
The name of the latest iPad – The New iPad – might be an indication of the name. However, the invite photo features a massive “5”. Last October’s iPhone event had people divided over whether it’d be the iPhone 4S or the iPhone 5, but this year it looks like a new form is inevitable.
A new design
The iPhone 4 really stirred people up, so there’ll be the same amount of attention on the iPhone 5, which is thought to be taller and slimmer. How? There may be a two-tone colour scheme and a metal back that hasn’t been seen since 2007, but the new iPhone looks like it might be a variation on the 4S theme rather than a departure.
The screen: Longer, thinner
A larger screen seems inevitable – all bets are on a 4” offering with a different aspect ratio. The 1136x640p resolution screen will have room for an extra row of icons on the home screen as well as more visible space above the virtual keyboard. There should also be less letterboxing for HD videos in landscape mode.
The screen may use “in-cell tech”, which makes a thinner, all-in-one touchscreen with no added layers. It may be an entirely new process and tech altogether, but either way, the iPhone 5 will be slimmer, with more clarity and maybe even better battery life.
A 4” screen will help Apple to keep up with its huge Android rivals. The 3.5” iPhone 4S screen is dwarfed by the 4.65” Samsung Galaxy Nexus or the 4.8” Samsung Galaxy S3.
A new dock connector
Recent leaks show a new 8-pin connector which spells the end of the 30-pin iOS connector that gathers all that lint. It looks old now, especially as many connections are made via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or AirPlay. The new pin will also take up less space, maybe allowing for a bigger battery.
This new pin will make all the old 30-pin accessories and cables obsolete until there’s an adapter.
The biggest deficit in the iPhone 4S will be the lack of 4G LTE wireless, and it’s likely to be put right this time round. The third-gen iPad’s 4G was a real milestone, improving speed and battery life. The fact that 4G LTE is great and widely available makes it a likely addition to the iPhone 5.
4G LTE is crucial in the phone’s carrier issue. T-Mobile doesn’t have an LTE network just yet, so it’s unlikely to be offering the iPhone 5 for a while. Sprint’s LTE is sparse but coming along, so Verizon and AT&T are the ones to turn to.
A new processor
The iPhone gets internal upgrades with each generation, and the touted A6 chip may well be quad-core with a more advanced CPU than the one in the latest iPad (A5X dual-core with a quad-core GPU). Or, will the new iPhone have a bijou A5X chip – same power in a smaller body?
iOS6 is in itself a feature of the iPhone 5, although the update will get to older models as well. This new OS has a lot of features that’ll be available on previous models, but some, like turn-by-turn navigation and the updated Siri, will only be available on the latest iPhones and iPads.
A new camera
iPhone cameras have leapt ahead with each generation, and few people have had anything bad to say about them. So, the iPhone 5’s camera may feature new modes, tweaks like multiburst or a better flash. The upgrades in the other features may mean that the camera techies could relax a bit.