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January 16th 2012 2:40 am

iPhone 5 specs speculation

The iPhone 5 will happen, it's just a matter of time. Here's what I think it will have:

1. LTE support
2. Better camera (10, 12 MP count, especially if low-light performance improves proportionately with the MP count)
3. 1024 x 768 screen - matching iPad 1 & 2 resolution but in 4" size. This should constrain app fragmentation somewhat while ensuring decent pixel density.
4. iOS 6
5. 1 GB RAM
6. Slightly down-clocked version of A6 chip used in iPad 3.

Most of these are obvious, but I expect Apple to throw some curveballs.

Thus, here are my wild, silly iPhone 5 predictions offered in the spirit of fun:

1. Physical Keyboard slider
2. Siri2 answers questions based on your thoughts, no talking needed.
3. The screen is better than 3d in that it provides holographic projections.
4. Apple buys Monster; post-Beatz headphones with each iPhone!
5. Limited edition (RED) LMFAO iPhone
6. Headphone jack 'charm' that also doubles as sub-woofer
7. IOS scrapped in favor of PingOS (social music network)
8. iOS goes Intel (medfield)

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11 replies

Just to point out that the next iteration will likely be called iPhone 6, since the 4S is the 5th iteration of the phone.

iPhone = iPhone 1
iPhone 3G = iPhone 2
iPhone 3GS = iPhone 3
iPhone 4 = iPhone 4
iPhone 4S = iPhone 5

LTE's still a power hog and very fragmented across the networks (i.e. not standardised enough to allow for single IC. I don't think). Apple's acquisition of Anobit may be to help optimise battery life for LTE, though. Outside of the US, there's not yet much adoption of LTE yet either - UK's only poised to start implementing it in 2013/14.

The problem is that everyone has expectations of the iPhone receiving huge innovative additions each year, but we've reached a point where there's not much left to improve on and add. Apple (and others) are starting to focus less on the technical specs of the hardware and more on the software and integrated services. Slight CPU, GPU and memory bumps are likely, but I think the types of innovations you're going see coming are more around capabilities, like a Siri API for integration with third-party apps and other improvements mentioned by the likes of Fanfoot.

I also think there's going to be more focus on the Enterprise arena by Apple (and Android). More and more companies are breaking away from BlackBerry. RIM's too far behind playing catch-up now, so if they were clever they'd spin off their NOC infrastructure as a service open to other platforms as their mobile arm declines.

That's my 5 cents.
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Good points re: LTE suppport; it's not inevitable that the next iPhone will have it. Totally possible that Apple will wait another year until more LTE networks are built out.

Now that I think about it, I'm not sure about how LTE-ready the rest of the globe is.

On the other hand, Verizon has done a decent job with their roll-out (so far). I think Japan and Korea are in similar or better states of readiness. Not sure about Europe.

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Agree completely about how LTE rollout in the US doesn't represent the world, and as we all know Apple only has one iPhone at a time. Certainly its possible the next iPhone won't have LTE if they have to make too many compromises (price, size, battery life). However, the issue in the US is pretty clear. While AT&T has decent network speeds without LTE using 3G, Verizon does NOT. As a result Verizon has recently made a blanket statement that they won't be accepting any more non-LTE smartphones (other than push to talk at least) going forward, and claimed it was a hard requirement. I'm sure they can squirm out of it somehow if the iPhone 5 doesn't have LTE and they offer it anyway ("its not a phone, its a communication device...") but it certainly sends a signal that the next iPhone is very likely to support LTE.

In the US, on Verizon, if the next iPhone doesn't support LTE and all of its competitors smart phones do, they will have network performance advantages that Apple can't deny. Not saying this isn't already happening but its getting worse over time. And as the trade-offs for LTE support diminish the pressure on them to include it must be significant. I didn't think they'd have it in previous phones, and while I'm not certain now either it does seem like now is about the right time for them to introduce it. Meaning this year.
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Good article today in Ars Technica about the LTE situation and why iPhones have not (yet) supported it:

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While you're right about the numbering, I doubt the next iPhone will be called the iPhone 6. I think either iPhone 5 or iPhone 4G are more likely.
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Some Additional iPhone 5 Predictions/Desirements:
  1. I expect the iPhone 5 to "look" significantly different from the 4 and 4S
  2. Perhaps some kind of GUI refresh
  3. Improved integration with the Apple TV
  4. Longer battery life
  5. Improved Siri Integration with the OS such as being able to launch apps
  6. 3D virtual reality maps and routing
  7. 3D gesture control without having to touch the screen
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Wouldn't it be nice to know what Apple is planning?
I would hope to see much improvement from the 4 and 4s designs. When it comes to speculation, all we can do is speculate for now. So I've included links to helpful sights who may have insight on what's to come:



Also try these wonderful sites to stay a "byte" ahead. Haha. I really enjoy reading about the emerging technology they post.



And as we should all know by now, the Ipad 3 has basically been announced and confirmed to sell by March. That news is going up like wildfire.


I hope I could help,
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I think the iPhone 5 will:
- support LTE
- have a slightly bigger screen with the same resolution as the iPhone 4. I'd guess 3.9-4.0 inches. Anyway, smaller than many of the big screen Android phones (4.3-4.65") since Apple only has one phone at a time.
- look different than the iPhone 4/4S
- have a quad core CPU
- be thinner, at least in some spots
- a GUI refresh of course, something more significant this time with respect to the 4x5 grid of icons. widget support.
- improvements to Siri--more questions can be answered directly, more app integration, ability to twitter
- a faster GPU. face tracking for 3D games.
- a lock screen that allows you to put your personal information on, in case you lose it, as well as In Case of Emergency info
- better podcast support in Apple's native apps
- improvements to Game Center
- additions to background capabilities--allowing for example a podcast application to refresh itself fully without ever being launched in the foreground
- improvements to the Maps application
- convenient access to Wifi on/off, LTE on/off. perhaps better handling of hand-offs from Wifi to 3G and vice-versa.
- improvements to the multi-tasking bar, like Quit All
- more gestures in the OS itself.
- a miniaturized dock connector
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Could we soon get the point where the release of a new iPhone is not big news to justify a big release event or a new name? In a similar way that MacBooks get updated with better specs annual the same could happen to the iPhone. No big deal the price stay the same as the last model but the specs increase slightly.
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I don't see that happening until the iPhone market gets leapt over for another thing - kind of how iPods are more of an afterthought now that do not receive as much launch attention.

The category is not mature enough (yet) for that to happen...I'm guessing at least 3 more years (or whenever we have implanted devices or something that replaces the need to carry a cell phone around).

As long as it is going to stay a major contributor to Apple's bottom line, it's in their interest to make as a big deal out of each launch as possible.

I guess also that (presently) the ARM upgrade cycle isn't quite as predictable & incremental as what happens in the Intel x86 space, where every 3-4 months a slightly faster sku comes out, price drops trickle down, and it's trivial for PC manufacturers to update their production accordingly.
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Have you guys seen that they are making three different versions of the
iPhone 5? What are your thoughts on this? You can check out the article
about it here: newsbit.us­/iphone5
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