iPhone 5 – What to expect

Rumours surrounding the iPhone 5, touted for launch this summer, are coming thick and fast at the moment. So here’s a roundup of the less ridiculous ones and what they will mean for iPhone fans – at least for those that didn’t get an iPhone 4 on a 2 year contract last year.

A Bigger Screen

In keeping with the trend for massive screens on smartphones at the moment, it seems likely that Apple will give the iPhone 5 a bigger screen, but probably not that much bigger. The 3.5″ screen on the iPhone 4 doesn’t have much in the way of wasted space around it so it’s unlikely that the iPhone 5 will have a screen much bigger than 3.7″, unless Apple make a big change to the form factor.

Dual Core CPU and GPU

A dual core CPU seems like a foregone conclusion, most likely a 1.2 GHz ARM A5. This will help keep the iPhone 5 as fast and slick as it’s predecessors and could perhaps help optimise battery life.

It’s also probable that it will feature a dual core GPU to really pump up the graphics capability. This could make full 1080p HD content a reality, but it raises a few questions.  If 1080p content is an option, will Apple include an HDMI output? Probably not, I would expect a proprietary connector with extra purchases required to connect to your TV.

Another issue HD content will raise is storage, HD content is big, a movie file in 1080p is much, much bigger than it would be in standard definition so for this to be useful the iPhone 5 would need some serious memory. We might see 2 or more versions with more or less memory, but what we won’t see is expandable storage via SD card.

I will also be interested to see if the camera is capable of shooting HD video. The camera on the iPhone 4 is pretty good, even if it is only 5MP so expect good quality snaps.

NFC

Near field communication is a strong possibility, the idea of contactless payment is gaining momentum with other phone manufacturers and the credit card companies alike so leaving it out of the iPhone 5’s box of tricks would be a surprising move.

New Antenna

This is a no-brainer, in the wake of antennagate you can be sure that the iPhone 5 will sport the very best antenna Apple’s R&D team can come up with. We may also see a shift from the Infineon chipsets used in the iPhone 4 to something by Qualcomm.

Price

Given the state of the world economy it would be a bold move by Apple to make the iPhone 5 much more expensive than the iPhone 4 was at launch.

That said, the fabulously expensive iPad was launched in the depths of a world wide economic catastrophe and sold like hot cakes, so who knows?

If the iPhone 5 is significantly more expensive, it raises the questions of network subsidies and contract length. The only way phone networks have been able to keep offering the latest phones for ‘free’ without the monthly cost going past the pain point is to tie customers in to longer and longer contracts. So if the iPhone 5 is more expensive expect to see 30 and even 36 month contracts being offered.

Material

The iPhone 4’s glass and steel contruction – reminiscent of a modern motorway service station – caused quite a stir, so speculation is wild about what the iPhone 5 will be made of.

Carbon fibre or titanium are among the less ridiculous ideas, perhaps even the awesomely titled Carbotanium, a titanium weave carbon fibre composite used by sports car manufacturer Pagani for it’s space age Zonda.

But lets be honest, Apple could make the iPhone 5 out of Plutonium impregnated with the Ebola virus and there would still be queues around the block on launch day.

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