The Apple iPhone 5 specification speculation guide
By Jonny Evans
There's still a few weeks in which talk about what new features will drive the future iPhone 5 will be adequate conversation around any polite dinner table, so I've put together a short guide to all the latest Apple [AAPL] iPhone 5 rumors.
[ABOVE: Steve Jobs tells us about iCloud at WWDC earlier this year.]
The fifth-generation iPhone (iPhone 5, or, possibly, the iPhone 4S) is a very important release. Not only will it be a major attempt by which Apple hopes to consolidate its lead on the smartphone biz, but it is also likely to spark renewed competitive peaks within that business.
[This story is from Computerworld's Apple Holic blog. Follow on Twitter or subscribe via RSS to make sure you don't miss a beat.]
The game is Apple's to lose: it now dominates both by revenue and model sales. With that in mind here's the current speculation, roughly in order of likelihood:
The iPhone will host a 1Ghz Dual-core A5 processor
There have been some reports that production has been delayed by problems with heat dissipation on the new models. It's impossible to say if that's true, but Apple does seem likely to pop its most recent A-series processor inside its new phone.
What does this mean? It means the new iPhone will be blazingly fast -- twice as fast as the previous version and with up to nine times the graphics processing power, if the iPad 2 improvements be seen as guide.
iOS 5 inside
Apple has been very busy working on iOS 5, which, among other things, will offer support for the new 'Find My Mac' feature I predicted last May. And will also integrate tightly with iCloud for a computing anywhere style experience.
A better camera
Omnivision made waves this week with news that it has produced camera modules that are 20 percent thinner than before. The new iPhone is expected to boast an 8-megapixel Omnivision camera with an improved LED flash system. The front camera is also expected to improve.
Replacement of the mechanical Home button with a capacitive controller could enable Apple to equip the iPhone 5 with a bigger 3.7-inch (or, perhaps, 4-inch) display.
Apple continues to improve the speakers it places inside its mobile devices. You'll be able to drown out those tinny phones the kids at the back of the bus use with these.
[ABOVE: China will become Apple's biggest smartphone market as the company gets into the world's developing markets with its post-PC promise.]
The iPhone 5 is expected to host a combined hybrid GSM/CDMA radio. This means you'll be able to use one device on most available networks. This also means you can expect iPhone 5 to hit Verizon and AT&T simultaneously, and to reach CDMA networks (such as those in China) pretty soon after Apple's manufacturers begin to meet US demand.
Screen resolution, RAM, storage
1,280-x-720px (or even 2,048-x-1,536) Retina Display, 367ppi. 512MB RAM and available in models equipped with up to 64GB storage
That's right, the new iPhone's expected to be thinner -- given Omnivision's news and potential use of a Thunderbolt connector, it could be considerably thinner. (10 percent?)
A teardrop phone
All those purported leaked case designs suggest that the new iPhone will have a teardrop-style chassis, thicker at one end than another.
The new iPhone will boast voice control using an app called Assistant. This will let you speak your music requests, send texts and make Facetime calls. Based on Siri, it will also make simple requests, for example, "Where's my nearest Starbuck's?".
This has been confirmed as a feature within iOS 5. You won't need a computer in the post PC smartphone era.
Available in September
That's the deal following news that Pegatron has secured orders to deliver 10 million units of iPhone 5, beginning in September.
Bluetooth 4 and/or NFC support
Apple has been working away at NFC for several years, but it is possible the company will instead choose to implement Bluetooth 4, which includes some specifications which could theoretically support secure payments.
iPhone HD -- TV on demand
The iPhone 5 will support Full HD, just like the iPad. AirPlay movies to your Apple TV, or connect it to an HDTV for a high-res viewing experience. (And don't get me started on those shiny new TV streaming services claims).
No LTE 4G phone
The sad truth here is that while LTE is much-discussed, it hasn't really seen wide deployment globally at this time. This means that there isn't yet a sufficiently wide market to justify the expense of including support for the standard in this edition of the phone.
I'm predicting LTE in the next-generation, when networks in key markets (eg., the UK) have upgraded their infrastructure to support the new standard.
A new antenna
Apple will not repeat antenna-gate. Jobs was not happy -- recall the subsequent resignation of Mr Papermaster? Be prepared for a metal, rather than a glass back to the new device.
[ABOVE: There'll be iPhone madness.]
A nice price
I'm expecting the new device to come in at approximately the same price as the current models, though this will be tempered by local taxation changes and any unpredictable scarcity in component supply.
An iPhone nano?
I'm the biggest proponent of this device. Apple's gone enigmatic on the matter.
RBC Capital's Mike Abramsky met with Apple this week, and writes, "Apple's primary criterion for launching a lower-end iPhone is an innovative, category-killer experience."
That's neither a yes or a no, and is a response which will keep competitors guessing, I suspect. Wait and see.
Perhaps next year.
And Smart Covers
Will the iPhone 5 have its own set of Smart Covers? Answers on a postcard (or in comments below).
That's the current speculation about the iPhone 5. Have you heard any more details? What do you hope to see in the new version? Speak up in the new comments section. I'll be saving this list and scoring it when the next-gen device is released, follow me on Twitter so I can let you know that score and when I post new reports here at Computerworld.