UPDATE: iPhone 5
An Apple media event will take place on 12 September 2012 and our suspicion is that the iPhone 5 will be announced at this event together with a mini version of the iPad. If the rumour mill is correct, we also expect the iPhone 5 to be released on 21 September 2012. So get ready to join the queues! We will of course keep you posted with any new information as and when we get it.
Apple’s iPhone has been making waves since it first burst onto the mobile scene in 2007. In years gone by Apple has kept hungry consumers happy by regularly releasing updated versions of the iPhone. 2011 was a disappointing year for the iPhone faithful however, as whispers of an all new iPhone being released failed to materialise. What we got instead was an update to the existing iPhone 4, namely the iPhone 4S and a new operating system, iOS5. Although the 4S proved a success in terms of sales with its Siri voice recognition software and updated camera bringing in plenty of punters, some critics felt that the updates Apple brought to the 4S weren’t revolutionary enough to justify the hype. Ever since it first failed to appear almost a year ago speculation has continued to grow as to in what form and when the iPhone 5 will be available. Given that it looks like 2012 will be the year that we finally get our hands on the iPhone 5, we’re bringing you a roundup of the latest rumours going around the web as to what we can expect to see.
Due to the huge demand for Apple products the release date is always a closely guarded secret, with the Californian technology giant keeping us in suspense up until the last minute. Still, everyone wants to know when the iPhone 5 is likely to appear, and whilst we can’t tell you exactly, we can make a well informed guess.
Two hours was all it took for the World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) to sell out when Apple announced its June event. Running from June 11th - June 15th, Apple has billed the conference as ‘the week we’ve all been waiting for’, sparking frantic online speculation that an iPhone 5 announcement may be imminent. Before you get too excited though, we’re not getting our hopes up just yet. Although the WWDC has been used as an iPhone launch platform in the past, last year’s autumn launch for the iPhone 4S would suggest that Apple is done with Summer releases for now.
So what do we expect? Well, Apple has enjoyed record profits since releasing the iPhone 4S, so we don’t see why they would part ways with a winning formula. Just like last year we expect that the WWDC will be used to announce Apple’s new mobile operating system, potentially titled iOS6. This will not only drum up hype which is already at fever-pitch ahead of a Fall launch for the iPhone 5 (running on iOS6), but also allow Apple to iron out any bugs in the new software before the phone’s release.
Will it be called the iPhone 5?
Whilst we were disappointed not to see a brand new iPhone last year, Apple has still been very busy. Not only have we received updates to Apple TV, but we also got a brand new iPad and Apple shocked us all by deciding not to call it the iPad 3. Breaking with tradition, the new iPad or simply iPad, saw Apple depart from their traditional numeric naming formula, hinting at a possible new era of products for the company.
In recent weeks rumours have begun to grow that the iPhone will fall in line with Apple’s iPad and Mac offerings by dropping its numeric nametag. We think it makes sense really as it opens up future iPhones to new naming strategies and brings uniformity across Apple’s range of products. Whilst it’s just a rumour at this stage, it seems a realistic possibility after the new iPad’s naming caused such a stir.
Whenever a new Apple product comes out, be it iPad or iPhone, a lot of the speculation surrounds what it will actually look like. The guessing game hots up when it comes to speculating on the iPhone 5’s design though, as no one will really know what Apple has in store until it hits the shelves. What we do know is that Apple is arguably under more pressure than ever before to do something radical with the iPhone’s design having failed to deliver any update in form with the 4 or 4S.
So far the rumour mill seem to suggest that Apple will go for an ultra thin form that will also cut down on the current model’s weight. We think that this is fairly likely as Apple will want to stay ahead of its competition when it comes to the iPhone 5’s portability.
A problem that has plagued users of the current iPhone generation is its sensitive rear casing. Apple chose to give the iPhone 4 and 4S a glass back which is prone to scratches and, if roughly treated, even severe cracking. This has given rise to speculation of a new material being used for the back of the iPhone 5, and talk of an all-metal back abound. This isn’t the unlikeliest of scenarios as the original iPhone had a metal back which many fans still prefer to the current glass construction. This might also allow Apple a means of ironing out the ‘antenna-gate’ issues that affected the iPhone 4. If this is the case the challenge for Apple will be in keeping the phone’s overall weight down despite the metal build.
The display is another huge talking point as Apple takes pride in leaving its rivals in the dust with the quality of its portable devices’ screens. Several sources have suggested that the current 3.5 inch screen will be upgraded significantly to 4.5 inches or more, rivalling recent big-screen offerings from direct competitor Samsung. This is one rumour that we’re not too sure on as going for a larger screen would be a huge sacrifice on Apple’s part given the vast array of Apps and accessories available from its stores (both App store and retail outlets). What seems far more likely is that the screen will get a big boost in resolution, putting it ahead of competitors in the multimedia category that Apple usually makes its own.
We’ve also heard that Apple may be changing the dock connector for the iPhone 5, a rumour that we’d give credence to as a redesign would free up some room for a thinner form. Unfortunately though we don’t expect that Apple will go with a standard micro-USB connector, instead we’d expect them to come up with an all new micro solution of their own if this is the route the iPhone 5 is going down.
The Steve Jobs Factor
If the iPhone 5 wasn’t already hotly anticipated enough, things got even crazier when rumours began to circulate online that the iPhone 5 is the final project that the late visionary Apple co-founder Steve Jobs presided over through development. We couldn’t begin to verify the reliability of these reports, but if this is the case it has serious implications for the iPhone 5. Apple fans are already known for their commitment to the brand, regularly queuing for days at a time in advance of a product launch in the hope of being the first to get their hands on the next big thing. If it’s confirmed that the iPhone 5 was Jobs’ final project it will gain immediate cult status and we expect demand for the device will be higher than ever. We won’t know if there’s any truth to this rumour until the iPhone 5 is launched and Apple is more willing to be questioned on the subject, but it could have huge impact if confirmed.
For more details on the iPhone 4S go to our mobile phones product page.