With a Release Date Rapidly Approaching for Apple s Next Generation iPhone, We Scour the Net For the Latest In Rumors and Speculations
We are rapidly approaching what many consider to be a pivotal position in Apple s never-ending battle for consumer technology dominance. I m talking about the impending release of the tech-giant s “Next Generation Smartphone,” which is expected to drop sometime this September. But with all the rumors flying around all over the web, it can be hard to get a clear-cut picture on what we know and don t know about the purported device. Luckily for you, we ve got it covered. Apple Magazine has scoured the web, bringing you all the latest rumors, and trying to separate the fact from the fiction.
RESOLUTIONS AND SCREEN SIZES
This is perhaps one of the biggest questions on everyone s mind, and has been the focus of a lot of rumor mill chatter. Back when the iPhone 4 first came out, consumers were pretty happy with its small, yet plentiful screen-size. However, since the introduction of larger apparatuses like the Samsung Galaxy S3, and the HTC One, many users are now expecting Apple s next smartphone to have a much larger viewing space. And to be honest, the want and need for a “larger screened” iPhone is a very valid desire. 3.5 inches (the current size of an iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S) may have been enough to satisfy the masses a couple years ago, but with a rapidly progressing field of larger phones, it s probably not a good plan for Apple to keep its screen size miniature.
Consider that most, if not all, next generation smartphones have a larger screen. Apple can t afford to let its competitors beat it when it comes to new and innovative solutions. After all, that s what helped to set Apple apart from the competition when it first stumbled into the smartphone market. However, there have also been a couple of complaints regarding phone screens that have become “too large.” Take for example the Samsung Galaxy Note, which meshes together the feeling of a cellphone with the size of a tablet. With a hefty 5.3 inch screen, it s nearly impossible to fit the device into most traditional pockets.
Because of this sudden new expectation for screen size, Apple is going to need to find the perfect balance between large and sleek. Here is a glimpse at the recent timeline of rumors regarding the screen size of their Next Generation iPhone.
May 2011 —TechRadar.com reports rumors that the new iPhone device may feature a curved glass screen.
March 2012 —TechRadar.com reports that the new device will possibly sport a 4.6 inch retina display.
July 2012 —The most recent rumor report from The Wall Street Journal suggests that Apple will be using in-cell technology to help produce a thinner and lighter screen. The report also states that the “stock” size for this screen is set at approximately 4 inches in size.
So while we aren t “guaranteed” a 4 or 4.6 inch screen, we are pretty much guaranteed that the next iPhone will feature a larger screen-size. I would also go out on a limb to say that we re almost guaranteed that the new device will feature a retina display. With Apple s new iPad HD boasting a higher-resolution and the revamped iPhone 4S featuring HD graphics, it s going to be a must have.
Other reports even hint at the possibility of new “touch-screen” technology, stating that Apple is working diligently to craft a more accurate, gesture-driven experience.
INTERNALS AND POWER
It s not going to come as a shock to anyone if Apple decides to “beef up” their phone s hardware, in fact the only thing we can t be sure of is how far the tech company is really going to go. One thing is for sure though, if they want to keep up with the rest of the pack they re going to have to increase the amount of Random Action Memory (RAM) that s installed in their Next Gen device. The iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S both run approximately 512 Megabytes of RAM. And to be honest, 512 Megabytes was a lot of RAM back then.
The key words in that sentence being “back then.” Most smartphones that hit the market in the modern day have at least 1 Gigabyte of RAM, which is exactly twice the system memory of Apple s iPhone line of devices. It isn t a stretch though, to say that the Next Gen iPhone will have 1 Gigabyte worth of RAM, as suggested by a variety of outlying sources. Many analysts suggest that Apple is going to have to up the system memory on their device in order to keep up with a new and improved processor and a powerful retina display.
Speaking of processor, Apple s A5 Dual Core set-up was a revolutionary step forward in its time, but it s rapidly losing ground in this competitive marketplace. Take, for example, what many consider to be the iPhone s prime competition right now, the Samsung Galaxy S3. This powerhouse phone is already leaps and bounds ahead of Apple s device with its
Quad Core processor. This has double the processing power of any iPhone currently on the market, which is a big deal to all the tech savvy individuals out there who are striving for a powerful device that can stand up to all of the latest innovations in the application market. It s a safe bet that Apple rolls out this fall with a shiny Quad Core CPU. However, recent rumors point to a “low power” Quad Core, stating that Apple is looking to keep their power consumption as low as possible to preserve battery life.
Recent news reports have even leaked the fact that Apple will be using a smaller pin connector for its devices. This is going to aggravate a lot of dedicated iPhone users, considering this will render most of your audio docks useless, but it s a definite sign that the Next Generation iPhone is going to be an energy saver. A smaller pin connector could be the precursor to a lot of things, including better battery life, and fewer “overheating issues.” However, it could also be a precursor to some general issues, including a lower power processor, or a lack of any real beef in the hardware department.
This specific subject has been literally run into the ground, with rumors flying every which way about what the new handset is going to look like. Some analysts speculate that the device will feature a variety of beveled edges, and will appear much slimmer and sleeker in design.
Others have taken the more traditional route, tossing all their chips in the fact that Apple would remain true to their original design, only deviating slightly in certain places to ensure that it still looked and felt like an iPhone.
From a purported leaked image on the Chinese website iLab Factory, we now know that both of these theories are true (pending that this leaked image is actually accurate). Upon first inspection, this new shell looks almost identical to the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. However, at a closer glance you ll notice a few key tweaks. For one, the device appears much slimmer, looking almost half as thick as its predecessor. It s also a little taller, which would be accurate considering the rumors that the phone will feature a 4 inch screen. Other minor changes include a new, smaller pin docking connector and a new laser-etched back plate. The rear-facing camera eye is still in relatively the same spot, while the once top-side headphone jack has been moved to the bottom of the shell. The speakers, while in the same locations as before, are now “vented” and flush with the casing rather than indented. Everything else is standard to the point, including the volume buttons and that large iconic “Home Key.”
OPTICS, LIQUID METAL, AND OS
Apple s iPhone line has made it possible for folks all over the globe to become social photographers, snapping photos and editing compositions with a few simple taps. No longer do we need to worry about lugging our digital cameras around, because they re built right into our handsets. Not to mention that the cameras on the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S are nothing to sneeze at. With 5 megapixel (iPhone 4) and 8 megapixel (iPhone 4S) auto focusing rear-facing cameras, you re guaranteed to capture crisp, clear memories no matter where you are. So with an already impressive amount of camera stability, where do you go to take it to the next level?
According to rumors and sources close to the project, Apple is planning on bleeding its 8 megapixel iSight camera into its new device. But it isn t going to stop there. Tech developer Sony has admitted to developing “back-illuminated stacked CMOS image sensors” for use in the Next Generation iPhone. Many news rooms are also suggesting that a front-facing HD camera will be included in the package. The last interesting bit of information regarding optics comes from MirrorlessRumors. They state that a special “back plate” prototype has been discovered. This reported prototype has a built-in camera lens, which many speculate is a way for Apple to include “removable or interchangeable” lenses in the future. From a personal standpoint though, I doubt this is true. The creation of this type of technology would probably cause more headaches for Apple than good, especially when it comes to the ever important release of their new streamlined smartphone.
Will we see the same “Liquid Metal” technology that we ve seen on previous iPhone models? Probably. Apple recently extended its contract with the company for another two years, giving it exclusive rights to the super strong metal alloy. However, Apple has only ever used the coating on its specialized Sim card ejector trays (only applicable on 3G models of the iPhone). However, recent reports from a variety of analysts suggest that now is a great time for the company to roll out a completely revolutionary Liquid Metal coated chassis.
I for one agree, but there is the issue of price point. No one is exactly clear as to how much the coating really costs and it has the potential to drive up the final retail price that consumers will be paying.
The only thing we really know for sure when it comes to the impending release of the next iPhone is that it s going to include Apple s new iOS 6 operating system. The platform has been in development for some time and is expected to drop this fall. That s around the same rumored time as the iPhone 5, and if you think that s only a coincidence you re probably wrong. What better way for Apple to unveil its shiny new operating system than by pre-loading it onto a new, sleek, and more powerful handset? iOS 6 will feature upgrades to Maps, Siri, Email, Web Browsing, Facebook Integration, and the new tool Passbook.
If you re curious about getting more information on what s included in iOS 6 then be sure to check out Issue Number 37 of TechLife Magazine, which goes very in-depth on all of the operating system s upgrades and unveilings.
PRICE POINT AND RELEASE DATE
So how much can you expect to pay for all this new technology? Probably no more or less than you did for the iPhone 4. Apple has a penchant for keeping its prices the same and analysts are guessing that the new device will run around $500.00 USD brand new. I m in agreeance with this, considering that the new iPad HD was slotted at the same price point as both its predecessors. I feel like Apple is going to keep it simple and clean, as they always do.
As far as a release date goes, no one is really positive yet. However, most speculate that the device will be dropping sometime during the middle or end of September. This speculation is made due to the “Apple iPad Mini and iPhone Event” that is scheduled for September 12th. If it plays out like it did with the iPad HD, than both new devices (or just the phone) will probably start taking pre-orders almost immediately following the conference. And that means that the projected retail store sale won t be far to follow.
Hopefully this has given you a little better insight into what we are all expecting to see with the upcoming release of Apple s next generation iPhone. I for one am very excited to see how many of the rumors are true, with the hopes that most, if not all of them are right on the money. Most of the speculations about the iPad HD were pretty spot on, but it s hard to tell when it comes to Apple. The company has managed to slip things past the general public before and hopefully we ll see some welcome surprises and innovations at the upcoming conference.