Invitations sent out last week to a small group of international journalists ended the speculation of what the new iPhone device would be called. The “it’s almost here” subject line and the picture of the release date casting a shadow of a 5 strongly suggest that next week – the world will be introduced to the newest iPhone. Anticipation couldn’t be greater for the new device; the last project Steve Jobs worked on before his death, the underwhelming improvements made between the 4s and the 4, and the controversy with Samsung have made this the hottest iPhone launch since the release of the first device. So, what will the iPhone 5 feature? iPhoneAppCafé separates the facts from the fiction on the 20 most likely features of the iPhone 5.
iPhone 5 Design Features
1. Size – It’s Going To Be Bigger
While the 4s received only software and internal updates we can expect the iPhone 5 to have a revamped and sleeker new design. French website nowherelse (see above) has leaked photos of what they claim is a longer and slimmer iPhone 5 prototype. Apple has neither confirmed nor denied these rumors but there are numerous other sources that claim to have the same prototype and it is more than likely that the image above is an accurate rendering of what we can expect from the new iPhone 5 design.
2. Screen Size – New 4-Inch Screen
There has been an industry wide movement in the smartphone market to a larger display size and the iPhone 5 looks set to follow suit. Several sources have reported that earlier this year both LG and Samsung (who have teamed up with Apple in the past) were mass producing a new 4 inch screen with in-cell multitouch technology. The iPhone, which currently features a 3.5-inch screen, is due a competitive size upgrade. The new material used for the screen is also expected to be more responsive to touch and lighter.
3. New Back Plate Design
Rumors suggest that Apple will be moving towards a longer two-toned back plate made of metal with two strips of what is potentially glass (as used in the 4s) or a material called Liquid Metal (see below) on the top and bottom. The move to a metal back plate could be a nod to the original iPhone design, but it is more likely that this back plate will be used to support NFC technology (see below) which purportedly would not be as effective with a glass frame.
4. New Dock Connector
Rumors of a smaller doc have circulated around new Apple products for years and judging by a plethora of leaked pictures (see above) the iPhone 5 could be the first piece of technology that incorporates this inevitable change. Apple is expected to follow suit across their new ranges of iPads, iPhone Nano’s, iTouch and the purported iPad Mini.
5. Connection – New iPhone 5 Pin Connector
You can’t have a smaller dock without a smaller pin-connector and 9to5Mac reported that it found a new code string in the latest version of iOS 6 that supports a 9-pin connector. There are also a large number of rumors circulating that the current 30-pin connector will be reduced to either 19 or 8 pins. This supports leaked images of what is believed to be a smaller doc for the iPhone. The danger of developing a unique pin-connector is that it will make previous versions of the phone redundant and force the dreaded two-tier Apple consumer the company has strived to avoid.
Photos recently leaked from a Vietnamese website suggest that the new iPhone 5 will feature a change to the classic white Apple earphones. As seen in the image above the new earphones are expected to be smaller, thinner and with more pronounced curves. Apple hasn’t changed their earphones since 2008 when they added the remote capacity but the new design is believed to address the concerns with in ear trauma purportedly caused by the current Apple earphones.
7. Smaller SIM
Thought the iPhone SIM card couldn’t get any smaller? Think again. Apple has long pushed for the development of a nano-SIM and photos leaked of the new phones motherboard/logicboard on the forum WeiPhone (see above) suggest that the iPhone will be the first to support this new technology. The reason that you should care is that a smaller SIM leaves more room for a bigger battery with a greater capacity.
8. Bigger Battery
There is justifiable lamentation regarding the 4s battery performance and it looks like the iPhone 5 will address these concerns, but not eradicate them. The iPhone 5 is expected to have a bigger battery with a jump from the 3.7 volt, 1,430mAh battery featured in the 4s to a purported 3.8 volt, 1,430mAh battery which will appear in the 5. The increase is small and will, by no standard, be an industry leader when it comes to smartphone battery life. However, it will allow the iPhone 5 to cope with moving to the purported 4G LTE capabilities (see below). We expect that there will still be justifiable complaints regarding the iPhones battery capacity.
9. Liquid Metal – New Indestructible Metal Alloy
The debate over this supper alloy has raged for years and Apple who have invested heavily in the metal have previously used it in their iPhone 3 sim card ejector. The waterproof alloy, which has the feel of glass, is now being written off as the main material for the iPhone 5’s outer casing. Mainly due to the fact that the metals creator has said the technology isn’t ready yet.
However, this does not mean that parts of this metal will not be featured in the internal workings of the new device.
iPhone 5 Software Features
10. The iPhone 5 will feature 4G LTE
This should be one of the main features of the September 12 launch date. Competitors have had 4G capable handsets on the market for nearly a year now and Apple can ill afford not to follow suit. After the iPad 3 announced 4G LTE capabilities and pulled them off with excellent speed and an impressive management of battery capabilities on a notoriously energy draining interface we can expect, and we do expect, the iPhone 5 to follow suit.
11. The CPU will be better (slightly)
The main speculation concerning the iPhone 5’s new CPU has been whether or not will include a quad-core processor. After the iPad 3 rolled out a dual-core processor these rumors quieted down. Rumors begin to circulate again last week when 9to5mac featured a picture of what is believed to be the new iPhone processor with an A6 chip (see above), which led many to speculate that a quad-core processor was once again a possibility. However, in all likelihood a quad-core processor would be overkill for an iPhone and they are unlikely to update their mobile device to this level before they update the iPad device. We can expect to see a similar dual-core A5x processor seen the iPhone 4s and iPad 3 with the possibility of a shrunken and more compact chip that offers minor improvements to performance and better energy efficiency.
12. The iPhone 5 will feature Apple Maps
Apple needed a map overhaul as even three year old Android devices feature better Sat Nav offerings than the current iPhone 4s. This is why the company is launching Apple Maps, which is guaranteed to be a new feature on the iPhone 5. Apple has already launched Maps for iOS 6 and the key features are a new design, turn-by-turn navigation, integration with Siri, traffic updates, local search and a nifty 3D flyover function.
13. Siri gets a needed upgrade
I just asked Siri if it was shit, and, unsurprisingly, it didn’t understand. Siri is an imperfect system and there has been proof that it does not work as well as Google’s voice commands while Apple cofounder Steve Wonzniak added more gasoline to the Siri fire publicly sharing his displeasure with the system. The iPhone 5 is likely to feature a cleaner and substantially improved Siri interface with major improvements being made for the latest device, which at the very least will bring it up to scratch with the competition.
14. Will the iPhone 5 Feature Digital Wallet NFC Capabilities?
There are two schools of thought on whether or not Apple will incorporate NFC technology into its latest smartphone. After the introduction of Pass Book it appeared that the iPhone 5 would feature NFC capabilities that have already been adapted by a few of their competitors. Photos by Sonny Dickson of the alleged new device appear to show that there is no space for an NFC chip in the new iPhone, while the Japanese blog Makotakara claim that the square portion at the top of the new phone display could house an NFC chip. If NFC technology is incorporated on the new iPhone and this is a big if, you will be able to make credit card payments using your device with the card information you have stored on iTunes.
15. The iPhone 5 camera will remain more or less the same
Rumors suggest the iPhone 5 will feature a similar camera to the current 8MP offering from the 4s. Despite the fact that there are a plethora of sources that claim the iPhone 5 camera will have 3D image capturing capabilities this is largely conjecture with little proof. The front camera is expected to see the biggest changes with improved resolution and HD capabilities, which will lead to a crisper and cleaner FaceTime experience.
16. Qualcomm chips
It is expected that Qualcomm chips will be featured in the iPhone 5 which will ensure that the device runs faster and more efficiently than previous versions.
17: Memory – Will there be a 128gb iPhone
Samsung announced the worlds smallest 128gb memory chip in February this year and as my 64gb iPhone 4s in nearing capacity I wonder how far Apple is from featuring a 128gb chip, which seems like a no brainer. However, there are a few issues with this. Apple has already cut back on orders from Samsung after their landmark legal case. The other main problem with this is that the cost of a 128gb chip is expensive and incorporating it in a new device might price a 128gb iPhone 5 out of the market.
18. The iPhone 5 Will Feature 5 Rows Of Apps
The purportedly bigger screen means more space for apps. It’s a simple concept that will allow the device to maximize its larger screen size and improved resolution and move from the current 4 rows of apps featured on previous generations of the iPhone.
Price and Release Date
19. How much will the iPhone 5 cost?
While there is no official news relating to the iPhone 5’s price it is widely speculated that it will cost the same as the iPhone 4s with subsidized options available on two year contracts with the major network providers.
- 16GB: $199
- 32GB: $299
- 64GB: $399
20. Release Date
Back in July iMore claimed that they had information from “accurate sources” that September 12th would be the date that the iPhone 5 would be announced to the world. Since this proved to be completely accurate last week when Apple sent out their announcement it is more than likely that the rest of their information is also accurate. According to iMore preorders of the device will take place on the day of announcement and the retail launch will take place on September 21st. International orders (outside of the U.S.) are expected to begin on October 5th.