iPhone 5... or iPhone 4S?
While many assume the next iPhone will be called the iPhone 5, there's reason to believe that it may actually be an “upgraded” iPhone 4 rather than an entirely new model. Says Piper Jaffrey analyst Gene Munster: “We believe the fifth-generation iPhone, possibly branded the iPhone 4S, will have a similar form-factor to the iPhone 4 but a faster A5 chip.” The A5 is a dual-core beast, which Apple is almost sure to include to keep pace with rival phones from HTC et al.
Going from the above, the iPhone 5/4S may well end up looking a lot like the current iPhone 4. Alternatively, it could have the curvaceous backplate of the iPad 2. Given Apple’s desire for keeping things fairly uniform across its range, it will probably be available in white and black finishes.
The iPhone 4’s Retina Display technology means it already has the highest pixel density of any smartphone screen on the market, so don’t expect it to get any sharper. What it might do is get bigger: rumours abound of an edge-to-edge 4-inch touchscreen replacing the iPhone 4’s 3.5-incher.
Apple has never been one to go overboard on megapixels when it comes to the iPhone’s camera – so don’t expect a 12MP, Xenon flash-equipped snapper on the next model. The iPhone 4’s 5MP camera is among the best phone cameras we’ve used, so a refinement of that seems more likely – or maybe a slight bump to 8MP to please the specs-counters. Perhaps some kind of iPhoto app, allowing advanced post-shot tweaking, will make the cut?
Whilst our Yankee cousins are enjoying superfast 4G mobile connections, the network isn’t up and running in the UK just yet. But it seems that we might not be missing out, at least when it comes to the iPhone 5. Apple may wait until the 2012 edition of the iPhone to add 4G/LTE compatibility, mainly because the chip required is larger and this may impact on the phone’s weight and slimness too much. So expect 3G to remain.
Chances are you’ll be able to use the iPhone 5 to buy stuff, just by touching it Oyster Card-style on a sensor – no need for any wallet-fumbling at the checkout. Near Field Communication looks set to be the next big thing in smartphones, and with Apple adding at least one major feature to every iPhone, we reckon this could be the biggie.
Apple often slips one or two new apps into its mobile device launches, so what might it have planned for the iPhone 5? Well, aside from an iPhoto editing and organisation app (link it to the cloud for instant sharing with friends and family) how about they scale down the iPad edition of GarageBand for iPhone, letting you compose winsome ditties while you wait for the bus?
iPhones usually launch in June, but all the rumours are pointing at a later launch date for the iPhone 5. September is the month to look forward to, we reckon – expect the usual unveiling a few days before the phone “ships”.