03 Apr iPhone 5 rumours
Now that the new iPad has been released, tech pundits are now turning their attention towards Apple’s next (expected) release: the iPhone 5.
So what’s in the crystal ball?
4.6 inch retina display
It seems Apple may be following in the footsteps of Android designs by increasing the screen size of their next iPhone. Reuters reported that “Apple’s new iPhone will have a sharper and bigger 4.6 inch ‘retina’ display” following an article in the Maeil Business Newspaper (South Korea), quoting an unnamed industry source. If Apple does give the new iPhone a bigger screen, it would be around an inch and a bit more than the iPhone 4s’ 3.5inch display and would be the same size as the Samsung Galaxy s2.
In an interview with T3, Daniel Ashdown from tech analysis company Juniper Research, suggested that Apple will most likely seek to increase the screen size for its next iPhone.
“It will be particularly interesting to see what the size of the display will be given that it has not changed thus far since the iPhone was launched with a 3.5-inch screen,” Ashdown said. “Competitors have increased their devices to up to 4.3″. We would be surprised if they [Apple] didn’t break from tradition this time and increase the size of the next model.”
4G LTE Radio
The new iPad came with 4G LTE capability on 700MHz and 2100MHz networks, which means it is almost a certainty that the new iPhone will have the same. Whether it will be limited to these two freqeuncies remains to be seen, but we’re all hoping the new iPhone will be able to operate on Telstra’s 4G network. At the least Australians can hope for the same consolation prize as they received in the iPad 3: access to HSPA+.
New Micro dock connector
Following the same fate as the SIM, it seems Apple is considering downsizing its dock connector to increase space for other parts in the next iPhone. As reported by iMore, Apple may be reducing the size of the dock connector in the next iPhone. This is not too far fetched when taking into account that most data is now synched through the cloud or through wi-fi; gone are the days when the dock connector did most of the heavy lifting.
Integrated SIM card
While the rumour of the integrated SIM card was thrown around with the iPhone 4S (then thought iPhone 5) last year, it has appeared as a possibility once again for the next iPhone. The concept of an integrated or embedded SIM card has become a more likely reality with Reuters reporting that Apple (back by French carrier Orange) has proposed a much smaller, standardized SIM card to the European Telecomes Standards Institute (ETSI). This new “nano-SIM” would be smaller than the micro SIM currently in use by the iPhone and iPad in order to be able to produce thinner devices, with more space for other elements. The head of mobile services for Orange, Anne Bouverot, said “the process would take time and that the first devices using such SIM cards could come out next year.”
Though the evidence certainly suggest that an embedded SIM card will be coming to Apple’s devices, it is unlikely it will appear in the iPhone 5 with the chance of the Nano-SIM appearing in the next iPhone seeming highly unlikely as well.
Waterproofing technology for smartphones and tablets featured quite prominently at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the Mobile World Congress (MWC) earlier this year. Both HzO and Liquipel offer an invisible coating for phones and tablets (only detectable through a microscope), which renders them waterproof. Further to this, Fujitsu displayed their waterproof range of smartphones and tablets at MWC, signalling waterproof smartphones and tablets are definitely on the horizon. This points to a strong, but not certain possibility that the next iPhone may be waterproof.
There seems to be some division as to the release date for the next iPhone with some claiming it will be in June (during Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference) and others suggesting October as the most likely. The majority agree with the October release date, especially now with respected Japanese Apple Blog Macotakara (via T3.com) reporting that it has received word from “Asian Sources” that Apple will launch the device in September or October 2012. This would continue the 12 month interval between devices characteristic of Apple (with the exception of the iPhone 4S). Apple have proven that their devices can continue to be highly profitable even if they have been in the market for over a year, so there is no need to fast track the release of a new device.