iPhone 5: what we think we know

iPhone 5: what we think we know
It seems like ever since Tim Cook took charge of Apple, security measures at the company have not been as tight as they used to be. Just look at how alleged iPhone 5 components, mockups, and dummy units are constantly being exposed online, not to mention the flurry of iPhone rumors that we have to deal with every day. 

Of course, that isn't necessarily a bad thing since we kind of get to know what the smartphone will have to offer before actually hitting the shelves. In fact, today we decided to sum up all the iPhone 5 rumors in one place, just to have an idea as to what the smartphone is shaping up to be. Care to join us for a ride through rumorland?

First, let's give it a name 

When it comes to naming the next iPhone iteration, there's three possibilities that come to mind: iPhone 5, iPhone 6, or simply The new iPhone. If the latest leaks are to be trusted, the latter option seems the most likely since that is what is written on the device's retail packaging. Besides, Apple switched to a simpler naming scheme with the new iPad, which we expected to be called the iPad 3, as you might recall, and this also leads us to believe that the iPhone is to follow suit. "But what about that huge number 5 in the Apple press event invitation?" you ask. Well, this may seem like solid evidence, but it does not necessarily indicate that iPhone 5 will be the handset's moniker. Another interpretation of this could be that a total of 5 new devices are to be announced on September 12: four new iPods and the new iPhone itself. The least likely name for the device seems to be iPhone 6. Sure, we are expecting the 6th generation of the iPhone to be unveiled, but from a marketing standpoint, skipping a number just doesn't seem right, unless Apple wants people to wonder what happened to the iPhone 5.


Design

One thing that all rumor sources agree on is that the new iPhone will be physically bigger – as wide as the current model, yet taller in order to accommodate a new display with 16:9 aspect ratio. But at the same time, it is also expected for the smartphone to be very slim – well under 8 millimeters along its entire body, which could potentially put it in the same category with ultra-thin handsets like the Motorola DROID RAZR. Check out these photos in case you are wondering what the new iPhone might look when being held. It is also said that the 3.5 millimeter headphone jack will be moved to the smartphone's bottom side, but other than that, we expect the new iPhone to be pretty similar to its predecessor, with a lock button on top, and volume buttons and silent switch on the left side.


Display

The bigger LCD screen we just mentioned is expected to be of 4 inches, with a resolution of 1136 by 640 pixels. That translates into a very high pixel density of 326ppi, just like on the iPhone 4S Retina Display. With an aspect ratio of 16:9, those movies and YouTube videos will occupy the entire screen without being cropped on the sides, video games will be even more enjoyable, while room for a fifth row of icons will be made in the user interface. The question remains whether with those extra 0.5 inches of display real estate, the smartphone will be as easy to use with a single hand as the current model. Some claim it will, some claim it won't, but it seems like that will be up to each individual user to decide.

Processor

Until recently, little was known as to what kind of processor we'll find under the hood of the new iPhone. However, spy shots that surfaced about a week ago seem to confirm that an Apple A6 chip, supposedly made by Samsung, will be providing the smartphone with processing power. Now, in case you're wondering why Apple won't equip its new iPhone with an A5X SoC after putting the first iPad's A4 inside the iPhone 4 and then iPad 2's A5 inside the iPhone 4S, that's because doing so doesn't make sense. What makes the A5X better than the A5 is the mighty GPU, but while the new iPad needs all that graphics performance for its high-res Retina Display, the new iPhone won't really require that much GPU power. Therefore, it seems logical Apple to develop a new processor with performance suitable for the new iPhone and power efficiency to ensure decent battery life.


Camera

Whether you like it or not, there is not going to be a huge leap in the camera department. It is rumored that an 8-megapixel camera will be situated on the new iPhone's back, and its performance should be similar to that of the iPhone 4S's 8MP shooter. That isn't too bad, of course, since the 4S can take some pretty decent photographs, as many of our smartphone camera comparisons have shown. The module itself will be smaller in order to fit inside the slim body of the new iPhone. However, rumor has it that the front-facing camera is due for an upgrade (finally!) and will now support HD video calls over FaceTime.


LTE and NFC

This one is a no-brainer. Nobody expects Apple to release the new iPhone without LTE support, especially when the new iPad has LTE, and even cheap Android mid-rangers can run on 4G airwaves. LTE connectivity on the iPhone, however, might be available only in the U.S., and only through select carriers, just like the case is with the new iPad. What's far less likely to make an appearance on the new iPhone is NFC (near field communication) technology, which is used for contact-less payments and exchange of data between devices. The thing is that NFC is not that widely adopted in many markets yet, which would seriously limit the things that users will be able to do with it. But then again, who knows, Apple might put an NFC chip inside its smartphone after all and enable its use when the ecosystem is ready. Besides, doing so would be a huge incentive for retailers to adopt NFC payments throughout their outlets.

Software

There is little doubt that the new iPhone will be released with iOS 6 pre-installed. In other words, expect around 200 new features to be available with the new iPhone, including Apple's new 3D maps with turn-by-turn navigation, deep Facebook integration, FaceTime over Cellular, and many more. What you should not expect seeing, however, is a YouTube application as it has been removed, meaning that users will need to watch lolcat videos via Safari or a YouTube app that Google is expected to release for iOS. For a full list of what new goodies the platform contains, check out our full iOS 6 coverage


Nano SIM card

Apple was first to introduce the Micro SIM card with the iPhone 4, and it seems like history is bound to repeat itself with the new iPhone's arrival. Given the number of leaked photos we've had so far, the smartphone is expected to use Nano SIM cards, which are even smaller and therefore leave more precious room inside the device for additional circuitry. So yeah, folks that are upgrading will have to get a Nano SIM card from their carrier and won't be able to pop in their old one, which is a slight, but manageable inconvenience.

Accessories

We expect seeing a new, smaller dock connector on the new iPhone, not the well-known, but kind of old 30 pin one. Therefore, included will be a new cable that owners will use to hook up their smartphone to a computer, or to simply charge its battery. A smaller dock connector will also free up some valuable space inside of the device, so that additional components can be installed, just like what the introduction of Nano SIM cards will do. Another accessory that might be altered is the wired headset. Photos that were leaked a few days ago suggest that the earphones have been redesigned, but whether that rumor holds water or not will become known in about a week.

Battery life

Since the new iPhone will be bigger, one might think that a beefier non-removable battery will be installed. However, the only leak of what is said to be the new iPhone's battery shows a 1,440mAh cell. In comparison, the iPhone 4S has a 1,430mAh battery, which indicates that the new smartphone model will last about as much as its predecessor on a single charge, if not even less due to possible increase in consumption by the bigger screen and LTE radio. Of course, Apple might have balanced things out by applying some advanced power management techniques, but we'll be keeping our fingers crossed for a bigger battery up to the smartphone's announcement.


Launch date and pricing

Rumor has it that the new iPhone will hit the shelves on September 21, and something tells us that pre-orders will go live soon after the smartphone is announced officially. As is tradition, iFans will stand in queue in front of Apple stores nationwide hours, if not even days, prior to the device's arrival. Nothing is certain as far as pricing is concerned, yet judging by what previous models have been priced at, a base model with 16 gigs of storage will probably cost $199 with a 2-year contract. Doubling its storage will probably cost you an extra $100, and a 64GB model will most likely be priced at a cold $399 on contract. 


Related phones

iPhone 5
  • Display 4.0 inches
    1136 x 640 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP (Single camera)
    1.2 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A6
    1GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, not expandable
  • Battery 1440 mAh
  • OS iOS 10.x

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