While it originally went without saying that we would see Apple release a new iPhone every summer, the late fall release of the iPhone 4S changed things. Now as we approach the summer of 2012, the big question is whether Apple will return to its usual summer launches at WWDC, or will they stick with a fall schedule now and have fans wait until October to see the iPhone 5.
Later iPhone 5 release date better for Sprint
One would think that just about every Apple fan would want to see the iPhone 5 launch in the summer, however that isn’t the case. In addition to those who just bought an iPhone 4S less than a year ago, Sprint in particular could certainly benefit with some extra time before the iPhone 5 rolls out. And the reason for this is LTE. Here’s why.
When the New iPad ’3′ launched, we saw Verizon and ATT only get the device, leaving Sprint off the Apple bandwagon despite the carrier jumping onboard with Apple just last year with the iPhone. The reason for this had likely to do with its LTE network. While Verizon and ATT were rolling their LTE network out at a fast pace, Sprint’s was still in its infancy and Apple may have found it not worthwhile to create a New iPad variant for the network. Now as the iPhone 5 reportedly nears and is expected to also come with LTE support, we may see Sprint find itself in another conundrum.
Plan A: unlimited LTE data
If the LTE iPhone 5 does launch on all three major US carriers, Sprint will find many of its users somewhat ‘handicapped’ because of little to no LTE coverage. In fact, Sprint is already trying to downplay the problem by offering an unlimited LTE data plan. Given that the biggest complaint with LTE on the New iPad 3 was just how quickly you could consume your monthly quota, being the only carrier in the US to offer an LTE buffet was an advantage. Unfortunately, with Sprint’s LTE coverage nowhere near Verizon and ATT, many users won’t be able to take advantage of it. That is unless Apple launches the iPhone 5 in October when Sprint has more time to increase its coverage map.
A Dow Jones report quoted Sprint’s chief financial officer Joe Euteneuer as saying that, “If you make the assumption that they launch a device at a similar time that they did last year, you’re basically done with the major markets.” So if Apple does in fact wait, then we could see Sprint not only offer decent LTE coverage but also unlimited data making it a double bonanza. However if Apple doesn’t wait until the fall, Sprint would have only covered 6 cities by WWDC 2012.
Anthony Wing Kosner, Contributor
I explore the art and science of producing and consuming content.
The iPhone 5 release date seems to be honing down to Fall, and iPhone 5 release rumors are alive well with features like a new iOS6 and revamped iCloud alongside an iTunes streaming service. Whatever your favorite theory is on the iPhone 5 release date (June or September/October), news this week brought concepts like a bigger four inch screen, sharper image with 50% more dpi (to match the iPad 3 release), a thinner iPhone 5 gained momentum with news from last week’s liquidmetal rumors, and finally the ever-present debate around the iPhone 5 release date: June at WWDC or in the Fall like the iPhone 4s release date from last year.
iPhone 5 Release Date
iPhone 5 release date theories are heavily split into two camps, I’m sure most of you are familiar with them by now: will the iPhone 5 release be announced at the WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) in June in San Francisco, or a release date announcement in the Fall (September / October) like last year. The week’s scuttlebut seems to favor an introduction of iOS 6 at the WWDC, with the iPhone 5 release date coming in the Fall (as per MSNBC), as per last year. Still, a few die hards seem to think the iPhone 5 release will be announced at the WWDC.
I favor the (totally unpredictable) yearly release theory of iPad release in the early Spring, new iOS at WWDC and the new iPhone 5 release in the Fall for two reasons: 1) from a PR perspective, Apple never goes too long without the next big thing for the interweb to speculate on. 2) From a production standpoint, Apple gets lots of breathing room to focus solely on single initiatives rather than too many overlapping items. The technology kiss of death is to take resources away from one item to focus on another item to try and release both on the same release date. Savvy technology peeps know better, and Apple is savvy like that.
Some believe on the iPhone 5 release date announcement as part of the WWDC logo. Michael Nace has us looking to the WWDC for visually embedded clues of “a succession of implied 5s throughout the multicolored WWDC logo,” but might be pulling our leg with the following “of course, if you cock your head to the right, you see what looks like a series of apps or screens shooting upward.” Can you see it?
iPhone 5 Features
The current consensus is revolving around the WWDC being for a software-focused launch of iOS6 and an iCloud upgrade. Theories abound, but in brief: iOS6 upgrades look to include an upgrade to Siri, which when launched last year seemed to be something that Apple was putting a lot of weight behind. It was a big launch, then Apple went back to the lab to “think different” and double down on new ways to use Siri. Hopefully we’ll see good new things, with possible inclusion of iPad and IPod Touch for Siri. Hot new iPhone features include the new NFC patent that could allow for iTunes purchases, according to the International Business Times.
iCloud is another area “ripe” for an upgrade. Things to look for include: improved coordination between devices (duh) and (hopefully) a package of some kind of that includes all or some of the following items 1) a streaming music service that features a monthly package for streaming music, 2) a streaming TV show service (that could go well with the supposed Apple TV or iTV) and 3) streaming music service. These could do well with social media interaction and “realtime listening” and “realtime viewing,” part of the promise of the oncoming connected TV and streaming music future. Renting online media is kind of dead, a la carte consumption for a monthly fee is oh so hot right now.
The debate on an iTunes streaming music service revolves around whether or not it would kill iTunes Music Store sales, so this one is 50/50. Same goes for TV shows and movies, plus: do they want to compete with Spotify, Netflix, Hulu et al? They could either continue down a road of media ownership or adapt to the current trend of streaming services. They risk falling behind if they don’t, they risk cannibalizing iTunes sales if they do. CONFLICTED! They could also do both, as a way to serve all interests. Streamers stream, buyers buy, everyone’s happy.
iPhone 5 Specs
Ideas right now for iPhone 5 specs include a larger iPhone 5 screen , with estimates going from 4 to upwards of more than 4.5 inches. Given the new trend of a bigger phone that merges the idea of a smartphone with a small tablet is all the rage right now, so it makes sense that Apple could think about making the the iPhone 5 a little bigger in width and height for a bigger screen and would allow for a bigger battery, always needed for longer screen time. eWeek talks of the research note from Peter Misek at Jefferies Securities as part the reasoning behind this rumor.
An improved screen 50% more dpi for a sharper image is inline with the new iPad 3, which came with its stunning retina display. If you haven’t seen the difference, it’s substantial, and makes sense that a new iPhone 5 feature would be an iPhone 5 with retina display. It makes text looks super crisp at small sizes, and the iPhone would benefit greatly from it.
We can also hope for a thinner IPhone5 based on 1) touch panels 2) liquidmetal “According to industry sources, the next flagship phones of [Apple and Samsung] are expected to adopt unprecedented materials for their main bodies, that is, ceramic for the Galaxy S3 and liquid metal for iPhone 5, both being thin, light and highly resistant to external impacts,” reads the report from ETNews.
4G LTE is fast becoming a standard feature for smartphones, so an iPhone5 without 4G LTE would be behind the times, not really something that Apple is known for. The iPhone 5 price is not known at this time, but the current iPhone price is set at $199-$299, so best guess estimates can start there.
Read more Digital Music News
Recently-granted patents suggest Apple will implement a near-field communication (NFC) chip into its sixth-generation iPhone — presumably called the iPhone 5 — but in addition to sending and receiving payments from customers to merchants, Apple will also reportedly use this chip to send and receive gifts from one iPhone to another.
While downloading and storing digital media with online service providers has become commonplace — more so than purchasing DVDs and CDs at physical retail stores — it’s not very easy to transfer digital files from one individual to another, usually because of copyright laws. Some digital distributors have systems for limiting usage and distribution of its products from the original purchaser to others, but often times, transferring a copyright-protected file from one device to another can result in the file being unplayable or totally inaccessible.
Apple believes it has a solution to this issue: A gift-giving platform where users have a standardized way for buying, sending and receiving media files from a media provider (iTunes) between multiple electronic devices (iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices). The process is simply called, “Gifting.”
One method for gifting requires the sender to authorize a gift charge to their iTunes account, which is then transmitted from the sender’s device to the receiver’s device — via tapping, or as long as they’re nearby — thanks to the NFC chip. The recipient may confirm the message via the same NFC connection, in which their own account information becomes associated with the original media file from iTunes. This way, there’s no confusion over the virtual ownership of the file. Also, if the gift giver’s payment account can’t be charged, the recipient can opt to pay for the gifted media file themselves.
If the recipient of the gift isn’t nearby — or you want it to be a surprise — the gift-giver may submit an official request with iTunes, which then processes the request and charges the initiator’s account for the given file. Then, Apple would create a gift file specifically for the receiver with various protection keys, like a DRM key, so the file is authorized for playback on the receiver’s device with no chance at violating copyrights. (Another version has iTunes sending the gift-giver the DRM key for the recipient, giving them the task of creating the gift file.)
Apple’s gift-giving solution also allows for media to be sent and received to two remote iDevices with a simple e-mail. The sender would buy the gift over iTunes, and the receipient would receive an e-mail with a corresponding gift certificate that can be downloaded to any of their devies. The patent allows for multiple gifts to be sent in a single transaction, as well as certain customization options for the gifts — including voice greetings and custom gift images, likely to conceal the gift’s identity before the receipient opens it.
Other Patents, Features To Look For In The iPhone 5
The iWallet. Apple won a major patent on March 6 for a nifty piece of technology, called the “iWallet”: A digital system that gives users complete control over their subsidiary financial accounts on their iPhones, and also allows individuals to send and receive credit card transactions on their iPhones, thanks to an NFC chip. Within the iWallet, users can see their entire credit card profiles, view their bank statements and messages, and even set parental controls for their children, should they also want to use their iPhones as digital wallets, too. Beyond the iPhone, the iWallet also lets users keep track of their payments and statements within the iTunes billing system, which keeps credit card information and records safe and secure. There’s a possibility that iWallet could also work with other Apple utilities, which could allow users to buy things like movie tickets directly within the apps, but only time will tell with that one.
Liquid Metal Build. Based on patent filings and reports, it looks like Apple plans to pack plenty of new features in to the iPhone 5. If Apple hopes to include all of the features it wants, it needs much more room within the device without making it any bigger than it already is. The solution? Make the other elements smaller and lighter.
Apple may accomplish making its next iPhone considerably thinner and lighter thanks to some recently licensed patents for “liquid metal,” which the company acquired in 2010 from Delaware-based Liquidmetal Technologies.
“The next flagship phones of [Apple and Samsung] are expected to adopt unprecedented materials for their main bodies, that is, ceramic for the Galaxy S3 and liquid metal for iPhone 5, both being thin, light and highly resistant to external impacts,” said ETNews’ Kim In-Soon. “The new phase of the rivalry is because neither one of them can get a decisive edge over the other solely with its OS and AP specifications, features or design.”
Apple acquired the licensing rights to various patented amorphous metal alloys from Liquidmetal Technologies in August 2010, but ETNews claims Apple will create a liquid metal alloy of zirconium, titanium, nickel and copper to create “an outer surface smooth like liquid.”
In-Cell Technologies. To make its next iPhone significantly thinner and lighter than its predecessors, Apple will reportedly adopt in-cell touch panels manufactured by Sharp and Toshiba Mobile Display. By effectively removing a layer between the multi-touch screen and the LCD display, these in-cell panels far outperform current “on-cell” touch screens, and they’re still powerful enough to resist scratches on the touch panel, resulting in “a longer product lifetime.” AUO Optronics, based in Taiwan, explains the difference:
“Compared to In-Cell technology, the conventional technologies have an additional sensing glass, which not only increases the overall thickness of the LCD, but also adds an extra lamination process step, translating to increased cost and relatively lower yield and reduced transmittance,” the company said. “Compared to the traditional resistive touch control, in-cell voltage sensing not only has the above advantages, but also is superior in that its sensitivity less subjective to environment changes, no calibration mechanism required, and capability of supporting multiple-point touch control.”
“In contrast to the traditional resistive and digitizer touch controls, since a mere light touch can be picked up, the operation interface of In-cell charging sensing is more humanized,” AUO said. “In addition, charging sensing not only can support multiple point touch control, but further support pen writing at present to meet different requirements by the clients.”
Reed Sanders from Technorati points out another powerful benefit:
“The current displays in the iPhone 4 and 4S involves a layer of sensing glass on the outside of an inner LCD screen. This capacitive touchscreen makes it thicker as it has two layers and an extra step in the assembly line. Moving to the single layer in-cell touch panel would remove a step in production as well, speeding up the manufacturing process. When you manufacture 30 million iPhone devices, saving two seconds becomes a large amount.”
Bigger screen. On March 21, Apple reportedly ordered 4.6-inch screens, to be featured in the company’s next iPhone. The report came from a South Korean publication, the Maeli Business Newspaper, which quoted an unnamed “industry source,” according to Reuters. But just two days later, iMore’s Ritchie said the iPhone 5 would keep the same 3.5-inch screen – the same size as all previous generation iPhones — but said it “could get a little bigger” than its predecessors, although not nearly as big as the 4.5-inch-plus Android smartphones.
So whom to believe, the Maeli Business Newspaper, or our old pal Ritchie? The truth seems to lie somewhere in the middle. In early January, as Apple was reportedly gearing up to begin production on the iPhone 5. A source from within China’s Foxconn manufacturing plant told 9 to 5 Mac that various sample iPhone 5 prototypes were floating around the factory floor, but there were a number of common features among the phones, including a display that measured at least 4 inches, and a longer and wider form factor that did not match that of the iPhone 4 or 4S. The Foxconn sources believed the iPhone 5 would retain the rectangular shape of its predecessors, which, if true, would put to bed any rumors of a slimmer teardrop design.
LTE Connectivity. It’s already a foregone conclusion that Apple will implement 4G LTE radio bands in the iPhone 5, given that Apple introduced the high-speed network on its new iPad, released on March 16 — likely done as a “practice run.”
LTE features significantly higher download and upload speeds compared to 3G technologies, but previous implementations of LTE in smartphones tended to ravage battery life, which was a major complaint from users. If Apple wanted LTE in the iPhone 4S at the time, it would have been forced to increase the phone’s thickness to accommodate a larger circuit board and a bigger battery. Apple CEO Tim Cook, in a company earnings conference call in April 2011, said ”first-generation LTE chipsets force a lot of design compromises.”
“The iPhone 4 PCB [printed circuit board] is already incredibly small, not leaving any room for an extra chip to enable LTE without shrinking the size of the battery,” said Anand Shimpi, a chip expert and CEO of Anandtech.
Fortunately, Qualcomm recently unveiled the fifth iteration of its new chip, which supports TD-SCDMA, TD-LTE, HSPA+, EV-DO, embedded GPS, and LTE on TDD and FDD networks worldwide. The chip works with Android and Windows 8 devices, but there’s a great chance this will be the chip inside the iPhone 5.
OLED Display. Apple is reportedly testing iPhone 5 prototypes with an A5X chip, which is the quad-core graphics processor used to power the Retina Display in the new iPad. But why would Apple need such a powerful chip for an iPhone? Given that the A5X chip is a graphics powerhouse, if Apple doesn’t drastically change the physical size of the screen to 4.6 inches, it may be changing the display’s overall quality.
On April 4, the Korea Times reported that Apple is interested in switching from LCD to OLED displays for its next round of iPhones and iPads. The reason behind the potential move would be Samsung, which recently launched its spinoff company called “Samsung Display” that aims to pivot away from LCD to focus more on OLED technology. Apple is by far Samsung’s biggest customer: The Cupertino, Calif.-based company bought $7.8 billion worth of components from Samsung in 2011, ranging from memory chips to LCD panels, but the company will reportedly buy $11 billion worth of parts this year, which could mean Apple is buying more expensive display material.
Apple has plenty of money to afford OLED screens in an iPhone-sized display, and it would make sense for Apple to ask Samsung to help build its iPhone 5 displays. Samsung knows how to build big, beautiful screens for any size device: Just imagine what Samsung could do with Apple’s Retina technology implemented into an OLED. Apple would effectively put distance between the iPhone and all other smartphone competitors for another five years, at the very least.
Crack-proof glass. Apple’s patent for crack-resistant glass, granted on Nov. 15, uses the same alumino silicate glass solution used in the iPhone 4 and 4S, but chemically treats it with potassium and sodium ions to achieve greater compression thresholds on the surface and edges of the glass, making it less susceptible to cracks.
Apple also included a handy feature that will appeal to everyone who’s ever dropped their iPhone: The patent calls for a shock mount to be placed between the glass and the body of the device, which will instantly inflate if the device senses it’s falling. If the iPhone’s internal accelerometer senses it’s falling, an actuator within the device sucks in the cover glass as it accelerates to the ground, protecting it from damage.
While crack-proof glass is all well and good, if Apple could somehow wrangle MIT’s researchers to build its newly-developed fog-proof, glare-free glass into Apple’s existing alumino silicate solution, Cupertino would be able to boast the strongest and smartest glass in any smartphone ever released.
3D Photography. Many would argue 3D technology is nothing new, or even overdone; Apple would argue that’s because nobody has done it right yet.
Apple says that while existing 3D cameras and video records can get three-dimensional information from objects, they’re generally incapable of getting detailed enough information in relation to the shapes, surfaces and depth of the objects. Apple’s solution involves a series of systems, tools and methods to capture a 3D image by using multiple sensors and cameras. One sensor would capture a polarizing image, while two other sensors would capture two different non-polarizing images, and Apple’s system would combine the images into a composite.
Apple has another solution involving different specialized sensors for capturing the image’s surface information, color imaging and luminance, and combining the data into another composite that has information about the depth and plurality of surfaces. Together, these systems and methods of capturing light and image information would create an incredible 3D image that can be seen without glasses.
Advanced Haptics. In the days before Apple unveiled its new iPad in March, a rumor from left field said Apple would implement an advanced haptics system into the iPad, which would give users the sensation of texture when they touched an object on the screen. Android devices currently have a type of feedback when you press a button on a smartphone, so it’s possible Apple will one-up its most fierce rival with unrivaled touch technology.
A touchscreen that created the sensation of textures would be an incredible piece of technology, but we’re hoping Apple completes the puzzle with one important piece of technology from Microsoft. In mid-March, Microsoft engineers unveiled a lag-free touch screen that responds to your finger’s touch in less than one millisecond. Current Apple devices only have a minor lag with their touchscreens, but this minor adjustment would make users feel like they’re really touching their work, drawing a picture, or handwriting a note. Apple has proven to us time and again that simplity is the key to an enjoyable experience, but speeding up the touchscreen would make the already-popular iPhone into the best touchscreen experience ever.
Multi-player gaming. The iPhone 5 might also be the first phone to feature a new piece of software for multi-player gaming. On March 15, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that describes a system for multi-player gaming, which allows groups of people to play the same game together and even see it from different perspectives according to the devices’ physical relation to one another. The system actually mimics that of the “Find My Friends” app, in which a user’s device detects other nearby devices that it recognizes as “friends,” and invites them to all join a common application. The technology also determines the relative position of those devices, so some games — like turn-based role-playing games or card games — can be played in a specific order.
What else would you like to see in the iPhone 5? Would you rather see the iPhone 5 released earlier, or later for the holidays? Let us know in the comments section below.
It’s a tantalizing bit of expectation building. Apple’s invitation to its annual developers conference is tagged with this phrase: “It’s the week we’ve all been waiting for.”
But if it’s that elusive iPhone 5 you’d like to see, you might need to keep waiting.
Apple announced Wednesday its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will be held June 11-15 in San Francisco. Tickets to the event sold out in two hours.
The conference has been the launching point for two iPhones (the iPhone 3GS in 2009 and the iPhone 4 in 2010) and, as such, talk of the yearly gathering inevitably turns to phone dreams among the Apple faithful.
The line on the invitation doesn’t do much to dissuade that hope. But keep reading, and you’ll find that that’s about it.
Like last year, when the new Mac operating system was front and center, this year’s announcement focuses more on software (you know, the stuff developers actually work with) than teasing a new product.
“We have a great WWDC planned this year and can’t wait to share the latest news about iOS and OS X Mountain Lion with developers,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of marketing, in a written statement. “The iOS platform has created an entirely new industry with fantastic opportunities for developers across the country and around the world.”
Of course, if Apple plans a big surprise, they wouldn’t admit it now.
But other factors also make a new phone seem less likely.
The iPhone 4S wasn’t rolled out until October of last year. It would be out of character for Apple to announce another phone only eight months later.
Also? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Apple announced Tuesday that it sold 35.1 million iPhones during the first three months of this year, outpacing analysts’ predictions. So, despite initial grumbling that, aside from a better camera and faster processor, the 4S wasn’t much of an upgrade over its predecessor, the current model is obviously doing just fine.
Some early pundits agree that given Apple’s announcements over the past 24 hours, we’re unlikely to see a new iPhone in June.
“Based on tempered expectations for the current quarter … it’s unlikely the company would plan for an iPhone release this summer and will almost certainly shoot for a fall release,” wrote Sean Ludwig in VentureBeat. “Instead, we expect WWDC to be a lot like last year, where software is in the spotlight.”
Apple, the world’s most valued technological company that propelled itself to the zenith of industry domination in a relatively short time, is at an unique advantage to observe two significant things, thanks to its lofty position: on one hand, it can look down and feel a bit elated by the plight of the giants dwarfed by its success, particularly SONY and Nokia; on the other hand, Apple can sense what’s it like, in the event of a potentially disastrous fall from such a height due to unforeseen circumstances.
With a share price that went past $600 mark and a mountain of cash – much more than what is in its own government’s coffers – at its disposal, Apple’s success continues unabated as the demand for its two impressive devices – iPhone and iPad – grows exponentially across the globe. In this context, there is nothing to get in the way to hinder the phenomenal accomplishment of the company – at least for now. As far as die-hard Apple fans are concerned, nothing can go wrong with the strategies adopted by the company in pursuit of its success. In short, Apple is unstoppable.
However, Apple knows very well how both the Roman Empire and the British Empire succumbed to the inevitable, despite having had their heyday in history for long periods of time. In corporate sense, Apple is also fully aware of the predicament of two technical giants which dominated the world of electronics and mobile devices for decades – SONY and NOKIA.
History is awash with ample examples that show how success bred complacency and how the latter simply carved out a short-cut to gradual extinction.
I am a loyal Apple fan too and immensely enjoy its iPhone and iPad, two of the most sought-after devices produced by the great company.
With the iPhone, as most of users, I can make phone calls, send texts, read emails, check my local weather update once in every three hours using the Met Office App, use a GPS App or maps to find my location or plan the route to my destination – by car, using public transport or on foot with impressive accuracy, get latest stock market updates, read a book with crystal clarity, listen to music or an audio book on the go and so on.
The whole list can be repeated in the comfort of home using the iPad, which, in my own case, is more or less a reading device: surf the web while lifting the cover in a split second to read newspapers, magazines, watch videos or listen to music. In addition, its facetime feature is immensely useful while making video calls on the internet regardless of my geographical position on the globe.
Although, they are on the dearer side in pecuniary terms, Apple products are value for money. Every single Apple product carries the vision of its late co-founder, Steve Jobs, in material form; offering optimal service to company’s customers through its products.
However, when I had to make a decision very recently whether to go for the New iPad or a laptop, I went for the latter: 500GB hard drive; 8MB Ram; i7 processor and other hardware essentials that go with them. The performance was amazing and I could do quite a few things that I couldn’t do with my iPad: use the web browser of my choice, not necessarily Safari; use flash contents without any hindrance; listen to music and videos using any format of my choice, to name but a few. So, there is nothing to fret over the choice made by me.
I know some of my friends, when faced with making a similar choice, went for a laptop as well. These are decisions made, not on impulse, but after careful thoughts; we were fully aware of the fact, that even the temporary abandonment of your favourite brand always leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
My friends and I joined a significant group of Apple fans who were not very impressed with its latest iPad, the New iPad, just because it has features, which its immediate predecessor, iPad 2, did not have: 3.1 million pixels on retina display; A5X chip with quad core graphics; 5MP iSight camera etc.
We were not lured by iPhone 4S to ditch iPhone 4 either, just because it has Siri – speech interpretation and recognition interface; in our opinion, the function of Siri is counter-intuitive: you verbally instruct Siri to type in a message for you, only to look at the message just to make sure Siri has done the job as you really expect of it to do – a waste of time – provided Siri understand your dialect very well – which is not the case in some parts of Britain, let alone in the world.
Although, iPhone 4S and New iPad did not live up to our expectation – and that of millions of other Apple fans – it does not stop us from looking forward to its next big product, most probably the new iPhone.
The internet is buzzing with speculations this week about the way the new iPhone will be introduced by Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple: some say it will be called iPhone 5; according to Korean sources, it is going to have a liquid metal casing which will make the phone wafer-thin and resistant to damage due to falls; in short, the improvements seem to be of cosmetic nature rather than that of functional.
Since Apple is always tight-lipped about its products, we do not know for sure what new features that the new iPhone is going to have. However, if speculators prove to be right – the features are just cosmetic – the company is going to set alarm bells ringing among its core investors and loyal fans, in particular and across the whole sector, in general, for not taking the flame of innovation beyond the general track of imagination.
The world wants Apple to surprise us, not just to progress in a linear manner from ‘A’ to ‘B’ and then to ‘D’ with a brief stop-over at ‘C’. This is what Steve Jobs, its late co-founder, used to do since he rescued the company from the brink of collapse in late 90’s. He did not just become a legend; he earned it.
Some argue that Apple has the same team which used to work with Mr Jobs in producing wonderful products – which is true; so have both Sony and Nokia -the brilliant engineers who have excelled in their respective fields by introducing Walkman, CD, DVD, PlayStation and user-friendly mobile phones respectively.
However, the competent professionals of the latter could not prevent the two electronic giants from getting into catastrophic downward spirals despite their unique skills: SP just downgraded Nokia to junk status; SONY recently announced fourth successive annual loss which ran into billions with the axing of thousands of jobs worldwide.
The struggle for survival of the two-once-great companies is a wake-up call for Apple. Since it does not have the man with the design vision at the helm anymore, it has to find the nearest substitute very soon, before its competitors are catching up with the sales curve.
In this context, Apple cannot afford to get the new list of features of iPhone 5 wrong; because, it contains all the psychological ingredients to make it company’s watershed moment.
- Asian Tribune