Crystal ball gazing: iPhone 5

Crystal ball gazing: iPhone 5I had a vaguely interesting (maybe “interesting” is a bit of a stretch) conversation with a fellow geek recently, in which we discussed the iPhone 4S. Y’know, the usual stuff; “Why did it take so long to release when it’s not that different to the iPhone 4?” That kinda thing.

At one point we wondered if Apple could’ve gotten away with calling it the iPhone 5, but quickly shot that idea down in flames due to the identical form factor. However, it did get me thinking about what Apple might include in its radically different iPhone 5 when it does finally land.

Here are some random things we may or may not see.  My guess is pretty much as good as anyone else’s right now, I suppose.

1. Overhauled design

Again, this is the main reason Apple fanboys are currently snapping up an “iPhone 4S” as opposed to an “iPhone 5”. The iPhone 5 will inevitably be super-slim, possibly with a thicker-at-the-top thinner-at-the-bottom teardrop design.

Likelihood: 9/10

2. 3D

The sooner we see the back of 3D, the better. It’s cheap, gimmicky, and adds nothing to anything (er, other than literally adding a third dimension visually). Would you want to watch The Godfather in 3D? No sir, you would not.

Crystal ball gazing: iPhone 5To date, HTC and LG are the only major manufacturers to embrace autostereoscopic nonsense, though Samsung is rumoured to be working on a Galaxy 3D.

The difference is: those manufacturers have a huge array of devices. Apple, on the other hand, is surely unlikely to force the nascent technology on such a huge portion of its userbase. Surely.

Having said that, Apple does have a penchant for taking existing technology and suddenly making it must-have. A 3D iPhone. Christ, what a world that would be.

Likelihood: 2/10

3. NFC

Depending which analysts you listen to, NFC is either about to explode onto the scene in a colossal life-changing way, or – at the other end of the speculation spectrum – it’ll be a few years yet before we’re ready to embrace contactless payments.

NFC was talked about a lot in the early days of iPhone 5 rumours (back when we thought we were getting an iPhone 5 this year), but the chiefs at ye olde rumour mill ultimately concluded that Apple wasn’t quite ready to adopt the technology.

Indeed, by the time Apple fired out its “Let’s talk iPhone” invitation, NFC had pretty much been dismissed entirely.

However, NFC is beginning to take off, slowly but surely, and of course there’s now Google Wallet to contend with.

There are whispers that Apple’s NFC system might link in with users’ iTunes details, using their existing debit/credit card info to make payments. Interesting.

Likelihood: 7/10

Crystal ball gazing: iPhone 54. A bigger display

I was pretty stunned that after a 15-month wait Apple stuck with the 3.5in display size it first introduced in 2007. We’re living in big-screened times, man. A 4.3in display is pretty much standard for flagship phones at the moment (though obviously Samsung is pushing the proverbial boat out even further with the Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy Note, not to mention HTC's giants).

If the iPhone 5 comes along with a 3.5in display, I will literally eat my hat (fortunately I don’t have a hat).

Likelihood: 9/10

Conclusion

So that’s my two cents. I reckon we’ll see a teardrop iPhone 5 with a bigger display and possible NFC action. I don’t reckon Apple will touch the camera much (since the iPhone 4S’ snapper is significantly better than the iPhone 4’s), and hope to Allah the Californians don’t popularise 3D.

Read more about: Apple iPhone 4Apple iPhone 4SApple iPhone 5iOS

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8 comments

JanSt / MOD  Oct. 24, 2011 at 13:08

More of a note to myself than a comment - what happened to mandatory micro-usb port for chargers on mobiles? Or was that voluntary? #MustResearch

Stelph  Oct. 24, 2011 at 13:58

Thats still happening, apple conformed to it by providing an adapter.... not quite what the originators of the european law had in mind methinks....

http://store.apple.com/uk/product/MD099ZM/A

JanSt / MOD  Oct. 24, 2011 at 14:34

Oh, right.Thanks for the link :)
I guess it's not the worst solution- plenty of phones with micros-usb ports that only take the branded cable, while other cables are either loose, or won't fit because of the shape etc...

matt101101 / MOD  Oct. 24, 2011 at 23:45

I've charged a Kindle, SGS2, Desire, Samsung Jet and a Wildfire with all of the above's chargers on every one of the above devices. In fact I charge my S2 with a Kindle charger, just because it has a nice white cable and compact plug :p. I've never met a Micro USB device that won't charge with any old random Micro USB cable.

On a relevant note, I think the EU law makers would be pretty pis*ed off if they could be bothered to look at Apple charging people to be able to charge via Micro USB. I don't get why they don't just ditch the stupid 30 pin connector and use Micro USB like the rest of the world :/.

JanSt / MOD  Oct. 25, 2011 at 07:16

Bad example as it's not officially sold in the EU, but the Nook Color won't charge with any non-Nook micro-USB cable, nor will it reliable transfer files with a generic cable. There are some phones that'll only take the boxed cable because, purely by 'accident', it has an oddly shaped connector. I forgot which phone it was I used... but reviewers had problems, too. I'll keep my eyes peeled to provide you with a link ;)

JanSt / MOD  Oct. 25, 2011 at 07:34

Another example http://www.androidforums.com/samsung-captivate/233392-captivates-microusb-port-huge-design-flaw.html

It's not a major problem, generally, but it can be annoying - e.g. the Pre will take a generic USB cable, but due to the shape of the input socket, the Touchstone charger for the Pre will only take the official Pre cable.

Also, plugging the iphone 4's USB end into the wallsocket part of my HD2's charger the iPhone won't charge. Shocking, I know.

And I notice this has gone off topic twice. off-off-topic.

hard123  Nov. 5, 2011 at 18:09

So Jan,just to clarify the only two devices that don't conform to that EU one glove fits all approach are devices made outside and only sold outside of Europe? haha ;)

hard123  Nov. 5, 2011 at 18:09

double post

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