Wednesday, 11 July 2012

iPhone 5 rumor roundup

It’s hard to imagine it’s almost the middle of July… where has the summer gone? Between Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference and Google I/O, June was a crazy month for the tech industry. New Retina MacBooks and sweet Jelly Bean tablets aside, Apple’s iPhone 4S feels more than outdated when stacked up against the Samsung Galaxy S III. Will Apple finally introduce the iPhone 5?
Rumors of an “iPhone 5” began well before the iPhone 4S was announced. Sadly, Apple chose an iterative refresh rather than a complete overhaul. However, there’s no way Cupertino is going to disappoint the tech crowd again after their lackluster fall event. Siri, sadly one of their big selling points, is a vastly useless service. At least until she can tell you the Giants score.
Call Me, Maybe? Or Just Call Me iPhone
The iPhone 5, or fifth-generation iPhone, will likely ditch the dangling suffix and be dubbed the iPhone. Similar to how Apple called the new iPad, well, the new iPad. Apple’s naming strategy shifted gears, and there’s no going back. To avoid fragmentation, the latest and greatest iPhone will still be just an iPhone. So you can’t go touting to your friends saying “I have the iPhone 5.” No. You have an iPhone. Whether it’s a 4S or heaven forbid a 3GS, it’s just an iPhone.
LTE Technology
All major carriers offer decent – albeit limited – LTE service. Apple is undoubtedly going to include LTE connectivity in the new iPhone. When mobile manufacturers were using LTE last year, Apple was busy testing it on their iPad. The new iPhone will likely feature a larger battery to support the added drain and rely on increased local power management in iOS 6. It isn’t clear though whether the new iPhone will have LTE on Sprint.
Quad Core Processor
The iPhone is always one step ahead of the latest iPad in terms of processor, despite the fact that this is utterly backwards. The new iPhone will feature a quad-core processor. And I’m not referring to the crappy “quad core graphics” Apple touted about with the new iPad. I’m referring to a genuine Tegra3 competitor with four roaring cores of computing power. If Apple decides to stay a year behind, there will be severe consequences from a technology perspective.
1 GB Memory
Despite the fact that 1 GB of memory is barely enough these days, Apple is unlikely to please techies with a more palatable 2 GB. Given the increased processing power, 1 GB seems realistic to support high-end gaming and the intricacies of iOS 6. After all, 3D map rendering may require a bit of oomph to function properly. Apple simply can’t get away with a measly 512 MB chip anymore. Unless they want to hand-feed Google their customers.
4-Inch Retina Display
In this day in age, 4-inches is nothing compared to the fancy, ultra-premium Samsung handsets. Yet all I foresee Apple releasing is that, a subpar 4-inch screen. iPhone displays have always lagged behind with the 3.5-inch miniscule display. Apple has no other choice than to increase the screen size to stay somewhat competitive to leading manufacturers. Samsung is quickly catching up to Apple’s game, and thus far, the courts – as in the judicial system – are the only way Apple can control the competition.
Smaller Dock Connector
The large, 30-pin dock connector feels a bit cumbersome in comparison to micro USB. Rumors speculate Apple will unveil a smaller dock, which allows room for more important innards, such as that quad-core processor. If Apple does indeed launch a new standard, they will almost certainly create a 30-pin adapter, so all of your accessories aren’t totally useless anymore. Or, being Apple, they could skip this step, and profit from your new accessory purchases.
New Design
Lastly, the new iPhone will undoubtedly have a drastically new design, which is a bit scary. It’s frightening because it’s the first major design change in the post-Jobs era of Apple. Analysts speculate the new device will be taller and feature a similar metal back like the iPad. Thus ditching the beautiful – but crack-prone back glass plate. Since an Apple employee hasn’t left their prototype in a Redwood City bar…yet… we don’t know for certain.
Most folks who bought an iPhone are past due for an upgrade. Many, as the numbers will indicate, are waiting to see what Apple unveils in September. This is definitely hurting Apple, as impatient customers have two months to make the switch to the Galaxy S III or a more powerful smartphone.

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