[Editorial] My predictions for ‘iPhone 5’

Posted by: Brett

It’s that time of year again when Apple gears up to announce their update to the iPhone line and an exciting time it is for tech enthusiasts (and Apple fanboys) all over. I’m back again with my second editorial (my first being my iPad 3 prediction post) to offer up my predictions for the forthcoming ‘iPhone 5’ which is expected to yield massive lines at stores, large amounts of money for Apple, and be the biggest product launch in Apple’s history. So what will Apple do to make that happen? I’ll let you know what I think after the break.

Hardware

We’ve been extremely lucky to receive consistent part leaks this year with the first of which appearing back in May and continuing all the way up to the present day. My first prediction is that Apple will include some sort of two-toned back which the leaks have shown, whether it be some type of metal or aluminum in the middle and two pieces of glass above and below the middle slab. I can’t confidently say if it’ll have a purpose or not so I’ll leave that to Apple to confirm or refute.

The white model should have a lighter metal slab color while the black model will have a dark variant of it. Since the dock connector will be smaller as I’ll talk about below, Apple will be able to fit bigger speakers at the bottom, as well as the headphone jack which will be moved from the top.

Next is the front. I’m predicting the front of the device two remain largely unchanged aesthetic-wise aside from two things – the display and the front-facing camera. The display I’ll talk about next, but I believe the front-facing camera will definitely move from the left of the earpiece to right above it due to front plate leaks showing this move consistently. I do not believe this to be the result of an aesthetics choice but rather because the camera will be made capable of recording in HD.

Display

I can say the screen will definitely be 4 inches with a 16:9 aspect ratio and 1136 x 640 resolution, in addition to it retaining the Retina display moniker and not being made wider, but rather taller. The display will be large enough for the average consumer to appreciate a large screen while keeping the ability to reach all areas of the screen with ease. It should also be using in-cell technology to make the display and hardware thinner, though I’m not sure if Apple will state this during the keynote or not.

This has been the most consistent rumor we’ve heard of and seen for the new device so I’m pretty confident we’ll see a larger display. I do not believe Apple will go over 4 inches, especially now due to it being difficult to reach all areas of the screen with a larger display. Remember, Apple has not changed the display size one bit since the device’s initial launch in 2007.

Dock Connector

As with the display size, Apple has kept the same 30 pin dock connector since 2007. To this day, there are pins which can be either be merged onto one pin or old pins like ones for Firewire. So, I’m pretty confident there will be a 9 pin dock connector, 8 on the inside of the dock and 8 on the cable with the actual metal piece on the cable counting as the 9th pin. It should also have USB 3.0 compatibility for faster syncing and data transfer. I also expect Apple to sell 30 pin to 9 pin adapters so old accessories can be used with the new dock, as reported by iMore a few months ago. This will definitely help to make the battery bigger and make the entire device thinner. The new USB cable will come with the new iPhone as well as be available for purchase and it’s expected to be almost the same size as a micro USB connector.

Internals

Internal-wise, I’m not really expecting a huge revamp but rather a jump similar to what we saw with the iPad 3. I’m predicting it’ll have some sort of A5 variant whether it be an A5X processor or a 32nm A5 processor, but I’m leaning more towards the former. I do not expect an A6 processor as Apple has, thus far, given the iPad the better chip before the iPhone. The iPad 1 had an A4 chip which the iPhone gained in June of that year and the iPad 2 had an A5 chip which the iPhone was given last October; I expect that to hold true this year with the iPhone 5 getting the A5x.

I definitely believe there will be 1GB of RAM. The iPhone has had 512MB of RAM for the past two models (4S and 4) and the iPad just got bumped up to 1GB in March so it’ll only be logical for Apple to give the iPhone a 1GB this go-around. A bigger battery is definitely expected, up to 1440 mAh from 1430 mAh.

NFC is a touchy topic but I’m gonna say there will not be NFC in the iPhone 5. Although Apple was testing NFC in a prototype iPhone earlier this year, the always-reliable Jim Dalrymple of The Loop debunked NFCs inclusion in the iPhone 5 and there’s been simply no hard evidence of it.

4G LTE

Yep, it’s definitely coming. The inclusion of 4G LTE in the iPad 3 pretty much confirmed it for the iPhone 5. There’s really not much to say other than it’s coming and it will be fast…and reports suggest it’ll be global too.

Camera

I’m not predicting the camera to be overhauled in any way, except for optics improvements. After all, the optics make or break the camera, not the megapixels. Back plate leaks show the second microphone has moved to in between the sensor and the flash. Otherwise, it’s tough to say what will be added or changed as nothing has leaked for the camera.

Software and Price

The iPhone 5 will, without a doubt, be running iOS 6 when it launches. In fact, it’s probably being loaded onto production models as I type this. I can’t really say what the special feature (ex. Facetime, Siri) will be which will separate it software-wise from the 4S and other iOS 6 devices because there’s been no hard evidence of any exclusive software features. The price will be the same as the 4S was at launch. Apple has no reason to change the pricing scheme as it’s proven to be the best way to sell the device. The same price points will correspond with the same storage capacities; there will not be a 128GB option, at least not this year. Naming-wise, the invite would have you believe it’ll be called ‘iPhone 5’ and that’s probably what most people will call it regardless of the name. But that does seem like the most logical name considering the last model was the 4S and the 4 came after the 3GS. It’s going to be the sixth generation model but it makes the most sense.

After all is said and done, I’m confident the device will launch September 21st, next Friday. It only makes sense for Apple to do so if the event is this Wednesday. I also believe pre-orders will start this Friday, even though many have reported they’ll begin Wednesday. It’d be too hectic for pre-orders to start the same day, especially since this is expected to be an immensely popular product.

So, in conclusion, is everything above true? Well until Apple explains the new device in detail, no. Am I able to predict the future? I wish, but again no. Remember, all of the above are my predictions based on the most logical and reliable rumors (key word: rumors). All will be told Wednesday, so stay tuned to techc0re.

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