With the Asus Nexus 7 set to be unveiled later today, the next Next Big Thing is arguably the iPhone 5. All eyes on October.
We got a taste of the OS side of things at WWDC 2012 with iOS 6, but of course that applies to a range of iDevices (albeit in different quantities). So what might the iPhone 5 offer in terms of hardware to convince peeps to upgrade?
The iPhone 4S famously looked identical to the iPhone 4, but included Siri as a cheeky exclusive. While Apple could easily pump out a near-identical iPhone 5 and inevitably break all former records, we expect it’ll be significantly different.
Here are the iPhone 5 rumours currently doing the rounds (and a couple of things I’ve just made up).
NFC (including contactless payments)
Apple was tipped to embrace NFC with the iPhone 4S, but reportedly backed off due to “lack of a clear standard across the industry”. At the same time, it was suggested Apple would introduce NFC with the next iPhone – the iPhone 5.
The iPhone 5 NFC rumours were cranked up again this week, with 9to5mac claiming to have found NFC-related junk in an iPhone 5 prototype hardware dump.
It’s probably fair to say there’s not a massive appetite for NFC and contactless payments in these waters. There are security concerns, transaction restrictions, and is it really such a great hardship to get your freakin’ wallet out?
But, having said all that, where Apple goes, others will follow. If Team Cook decides contactless payments are the future, the future they will be.
Ok, to be fair this one is more of a fear than a rumour, but might the iPhone 5 have an autostereoscopic 3D display?
Almost certainly not. You can count on one hand the number of autostereoscopic phones from major manufacturers, namely the LG Optimus 3D, LG Optimus 3D Maxx, and HTC Evo 3D.
Also, including 3D would make the iPhone 5 thicker, suck up valuable battery life, and serve to alienate the legions of people who are dead against 3D (including yours truly).
However, one of the big features in iOS 6 is Apple’s 3D Maps, and what would look better than 3D maps in 2D? That’s right, baby. 3D maps in 3D.
A larger display
Curiously, a recent survey suggested only 40% of iPhone owners want a larger display on the iPhone 5. Huh?
Every iPhone and iPod touch to date has rocked a 3.5in display, and Apple is keen to keep things one-handed. However, it’s rumour mania as far as a larger iPhone 5 display is concerned, and specifically we’re hearing it’ll retain the same width and stretch upwards, yielding 4in of diagonal real estate.
Keeping the same width would of course make the iPhone 5 compatible with existing iPhone/iPod docks.
It’s all about quad-core these days, with the HTC One X, Samsung Galaxy S III, LG Optimus 4X HD and Huawei Ascend D1 Quad. Will the iPhone 5 rock a quad-core processor?
Well, the third gen iPad surprised some people when it launched earlier this year with a measly dual-core processor – the enhanced A5X chip. Quad-core graphics softened the blow, somewhat.
As we’ve been saying, however: it’s not the number of cores you have, but what you do with them that counts.
Amusingly, I've just realised I've gone and ripped off a previous Mobot feature from October 2011, namely Crystal ball gazing: iPhone 5, which either makes me a prophet or an idiot. Probably the latter.