With the next iPhone just around the corner, I've decided to consolidate all the rumors i have read in the past 6 months into a concise list of the ones which are most certainly coming to the iPhone.
The new iPhone will have a 4" screen by increasing the height and making it a true wide screen 16:9 display
All iPhones up to and including the 4S have had the similar aspect ratio of the original iPhone released back in 2007. The new iPhone for 2012 will have a slightly longer profile with a total resolution of 640x1136. While this may seem to make the phone significantly longer and awkward, it was accomplished efficiently and with only increasing it's physical length every so slightly. If you look at your current iPhone, the large areas where the home button and speaker reside are reduced by about 40%. It not too obvious in the side by side comparison below as this was just a mockup using an existing iPhone 4S modified. With this optimal use of space, along with a slight increase in height, Apple is able to add a 4" screen while retaining the similar look & feel of the already great iPhone 4S.
The new iPhone will have a unibody case.
Unlike the previous two iPhones, where a revolutionary stainless steel frame acts as the main support for the phone while doubling as an antenna for the various services, the new iPhone will sport a unibody case. While the rumors don't solidly say this case is made of Liquidmetal, I will go on record and almost bet the farm on it being based on Liquidmetal. The reasons are outlined in a separate blog to be posted soon. Liquidmetal uses a very unique manufacturing method which allows for building very precise pieces out of molds much like plastics. This method, while challenging to work with metals, can produce more intricate pieces than traditional CNC machining of metals or aluminum.
The new iPhone will sporta faster processor
Some competing smart phones are already using quad-core cpu's and the iPad3 introduced in early 2012 uses Apple's A5X CPU which is a dual-core cpu with quad-core graphics subsystem. This CPU is necessary to push the extra pixels the iPad3 requires (4x as much as the previous iPads). If this CPU is used for the next iPhone, it would be sufficiently powerful for all of the iPhone's needs as it's resolution is significantly lower and consequently making the next iPhone that much more faster on graphics when compared to the iPad3. It's possible Apple may introduce the quad-core A6 processor, but this might simply be an overkill making battery suffer -- a high priority in a mobile device with aconstrained battery such as the iPhone and other smart phones.
The new iPhone will sport a thinner profile
The new iPhone, with the screen flush, will be 7.6mm thin. If you want to compare how thin this is when looking at the current iPhone, imagine an iPhone4 or 4S with both of the glass pieces on the back and front removed. This is approximately how thing the next iPhone will be and it's significant. How can they do this without shorting battery life? Two ways, one is of course ever improving battery technology and secondly by using an in-cell panel for the screen. This simply means the screen and touch technology are built together reducing the space needed to fit both technologies separately as with previous generation iPhones. Apple's new supplier, Sharp, also confirmed shipments of this new screen a few days ago.
The new iPhone will utilize next generation cellphone technology called LTE (Long Term Evolution)
The first generation iPhone utilized EDGE, which was limited to about 128Kbs speeds and was good for emails and basic data, however wasn't good for general web surfing. The original iPhone ushered in the mobile data era and not too much later, the next generation iPhone (iPhone 3G) ushered in the next generation mobile data - 3G. As cellphone companies, particularly AT&T, struggled to keep up with data demands it was clear higher speeds where necessary. In the US, HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) became the GSM standard for 3G on AT&T's network and later, with the iPhone 4S, introduced yet an upgraded version termed HSPA+ which provides very high speeds under ideal conditions. The HSPA+ standard however was still not efficient and yet a newer, data oriented, transmission technology was necessary -- LTE. With LTE (Long Term Evolution), we are littering entering the broadband era for mobile devices. The speed at which your mobile devices operate is largely indistinguishable from your home broadband speeds with low latency and large throughput. Early LTE chipsets, similar to initial 3G chipsets, where power hungry and significantly drained the battery when compared to the previous generation 3G and EDGE respectively. With iPhone5, the LTE chipsets have improved significantly, even within the last 6 months, making LTE more suitable. Verizon has the largest deployment of LTE, while AT&T has the largest deployment of HSPA+ with LTE available in about 25% of the population Verizon covers. AT&T however claims more consistent speeds when switching in and out of LTE while Verizon will allegedly switch to their slower 3G technology. Incidentally, for those which may require voice and data use simultaneously, Verizon's 3G has a small imitation where data cannot be used while on a phone call unlike AT&T's. The choice of carrier for the new iPhone has become that much more difficult to decide. Regardless if you choose Verizon or AT&T, you'll have access to the latest LTE speeds where available.
New Smaller Dock Connector
The next iPhone will certainly have a smaller dock connector. Lots of miniaturization has occurred in the last ten years and retaining same 30pin dock connector now certainly start to impact the space utilization in modern devices. As a result, Apple has little choice but to update the dock connector to not only support modern protocols such as USB3 or Thunderbolt, but also from a footprint perspective making it smaller. The actual pin out is unknown with certainty, but you can expect it to be smaller and fit universally in either orientation unlike the existing dock connector which fits only in one orientation.
Relocated Microphone Jack
When you hold your phone in your hand, you hold it upright. When you place it in your pocket, you usually place it top down while holding it in the same orientation. If you have the audio headphones plugged on the top, as with previous generations, this would require you to reorient your phone in your hand prior to placing it in your pocket so the headphones remain in the upward position. With the next iPhone, the headphone jack is relocated to the bottom and this particular scenario & inconvenience is alleviated.
Next Major Version of iOS, iOS6
- As traditional with all previous releases of iPhone, the next iPhone will certainly be released with iOS6. There are many interesting features of iOS6.
- New Maps application utilizing SVG graphics for better realtime scalling
- Turn by Turn Directions
- New Alarm features such as wake up to iTunes song
- New Bluetooth features such as specific group synching rather than all contacts
- Deeper Twitter integration as well as Facebook as an OS feature API available to all applications
- New metallic-like refresh in many areas such as phone & iPod apps, etc.