Apple will finally be unveiling the highly anticipated fifth generation iPhone at the Let’s Talk iPhone event on Tuesday, October 4th, which will put an end to the rumors and speculations that started more than a year back.
So what can we expect from Apple’s next generation iPhone?
Here’s a look at some of the new features and improvement that we would like to see in the new iPhone. Some of them are based on the rumors and speculations we’ve heard so far and others are from our wish list:
- Form Factor/Design: We’ve heard conflicting reports about next generation iPhone’s form factor. Some reports indicate it will be a redesigned iPhone 5, while others tell us not to count on it. Unfortunately, even though most of us want a redesigned iPhone 5, the chances appear to be quite slim based on the recent evidence. We still hope that Apple will surprise us on this front, as a new iPhone that looks like CDMA iPhone 4 will be a slight let down, even though we still love iPhone 4’s design and form factor and more interested in the internals.
- Faster Processor: The new iPhone will most likely be powered by Apple’s faster dual-core A5 system-on-chip, which currently powers iPad 2. It is almost twice as fast as the A4 chip and offers up to 9 times faster graphics.
- Improved Camera: The new iPhone is almost certain to sport an improved 8-megapixel camera. We hope Apple also improves the front facing camera.
- RAM: iPhone 4 and iPad 2 come with 512MB RAM, but the new iPhone is expected to come with 1GB RAM to support iOS 5’s new Assistant feature, which is said to be one of the killer features of the new iPhone.
- Improved Antenna System: We expect next iPhone to come with an improved antenna system to overcome the attenuation and signal loss due to weak spots that has plagued iPhone 4 and also other smartphones. It remains to be seen if Apple introduces a redesigned iPhone to address the problem.
- HSPA+ Support: Though it seems highly unlikely that Apple will launch a 4G LTE iPhone this year, there is a possibility that the new iPhone will at least support HSPA+ networks. HSPA+ offers a theoretical peak download speeds of 21Mbps (up from 7.2 Mbps), which is marketed by many GSM carriers around the world as 4G technology.
- Improved Battery life: With better graphics and more resource-intensive applications being run on the iPhone today, an improved battery life is a very critical parameter. We hope that the new iPhone offers longer battery life compared to iPhone 4.
- Assistant: According to recent reports, the Assistant feature that will be powered by Siri’s artificial intelligence and assistant technology and Nuance’s speech recognition technology will be the biggest selling point of the new iPhone. It is expected to be available exclusively on the iPhone as it apparently will need 1GB RAM. You can checkout all the details and even a mockup video of how it will work here.
- Storage Capacities: The new iPhone may come in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB storage capacities this year. It needs to be seen how Apple plans to price these models, as until last year, the new iPhones were available in only two storage capacities, which were available for $199 and $299 with a 2-year contract. Based on iPad 2 pricing, it is possible that the new 16GB iPhone will be available for $199, 32GB for $299 and 64GB model for $399.
- World Phone: The new iPhone is expected to be a dual-mode ‘World phone’, which supports both GSM and CDMA networks. This will allow Verizon to operate on the same level playing field as AT&T. Currently, the CDMA iPhone 4 works if there is a CDMA network available in the country you’re travelling, which was a major showstopper for business users who travel frequently and wanted to switch to Verizon. It should also make it easier for users to switch carriers.
- NFC Technology: There’ve been several rumors, which claim that Apple will embed NFC (Near Field Communication) chips in the new iPhone, but at the same time some reports have suggested that it may not make it to fifth generation iPhone’s official feature list this year. NFC is a short range wireless technology that enables devices to communicate with each other to perform simple transactions. This technology has been in use in countries like Japan and South Korea – but is yet to take off in the West.
- LED Indicator: It would be nice if iPhone finally gets a LED indicator like the BlackBerry as it can be quite useful to indicate if you have a new message or notification, to indicate low battery etc.
- Improved Speaker Sound Quality: The sound quality on iPhone is pretty decent. However, there is always scope for improving iPhone’s built-in speakers.
- More Carriers: Non-availability of the iPhone on a particular carrier has been a deal breaker for many users in the past. The situation should improve with the launch of the new iPhone. We expect more carriers to offer the fifth generation iPhone when it is launched, including big ones like Sprint – the third largest carrier in the U.S. and China Mobile and China Telecom with approximately 600 million and 100 million subscribers.
- Bluetooth 4.0: Considering Apple’s decision to include less-than-a-year old Bluetooth 4.0 in the newly launched Mac Mini and Macbook Air, it seems that there are some chances of the next iPhone getting Bluetooth 4.0 than NFC. The reason Apple might go only with one of these technologies is space. If Apple wants to add NFC support in the new iPhone, then it would mean two chips, one chip for Bluetooth (like in the current iPhone) and another for NFC and knowing Apple’s obsession for slim devices, it can’t be ruled out. Currently, iPhone 4 and other Apple products support Bluetooth 2.1, a four year old standard. The merits of Bluetooth 4.0 include low energy consumption, larger area of coverage and better encryption.
- HDMI Video Mirroring: iPad 2 was the first and currently the only iOS device to support the video mirroring feature that lets users mirror their iPad screen on an HDTV using an optional adaptor. We won’t be surprised if iPhone 4, which will be powered by the same A5 system-on-chip, also supports it.
- 3D Graphics: Odds of the new iPhone coming with 3D graphics are low, but it cannot be ruled out as Imagination Technologies in which Apple holds 9.5% stake, had unveiled their PowerVR SGX545 3D graphics chip more than a year back.
- FM Radio: Since the Broadcom chips in iPhone 4, iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS support FM radio, it would be a nice to see Apple enabling native support for FM Radio in the new iPhone like iPod touch. Though there’re excellent radio apps available in the App Store, native support would mean that we will be able to tune in to a local radio station without the need of a data connection, which would be a money saver while travelling abroad.
- Larger Screen: Several rumors have suggested that the next iPhone will come with a larger 4-inch screen to compete with Android based smartphones, but again don’t count on it as it would mean the pixels-per-inch resolution will drop beneath Apple’s own threshold to qualify as a “retina display”. Thanks Tom for reminding us about it.
We would love to find out which of these 19 features are on your wish list, so drop us a line in the comments. If any feature hasn’t made it to our list then let us know as well, we’ve probably missed it and will be happy to add it.