Will an iPhone 5 Ever Show Up

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-10-05 Print this article Print

5. The iPhone 4S is a fine upgrade in its own right

All this talk of disappointment surrounding the Apple event seems to marginalize how impressive the iPhone 4S is. That device comes with an improved camera, a dual-core processor and download speeds of up to 14.4M bps. According to Apple, it will have a vastly improved antenna, compared with that of its predecessor. On paper, the iPhone 4S sounds quite appealing, which might have prompted Apple to keep the iPhone 5 on hold for now.

6. Pricing could have been an issue

As noted, producing major upgrades can get expensive, even for a company as big and powerful as Apple. And when products are expensive to produce, Apple has no option but to pass those costs on to the consumer. It's quite possible that iPhone 5 production costs would have been too high, and Apple would have had trouble bringing its price down to a suitable level. So, if it waits another year, it can get the iPhone 5 to a suitable price.

7. It seems to follow Apple's strategy

Looking at Apple's iPhone launch history, the fact that the company announced an updated iPhone 4 seems to make some sense. In 2008, a year after launching the original iPhone, Apple launched the iPhone 3G, a major upgrade. A year later, the company released the iPhone 3GS, which was a nominal upgrade over its predecessor. Considering the iPhone 4 was another major upgrade, it seems to only make sense that Apple would launch an update to that device this year, and then follow with the iPhone 5's major upgrades next year.

8. It would have hurt iPhone 4S sales

It seems clear now that Apple always planned to launch the iPhone 4S this year. But if the company followed through on the rumors and launched the iPhone 5 alongside it, there might have been a good chance that the iPhone 4S would have been lost on store shelves. Apple wants to see all of its products succeed, and to achieve that this year, it couldn't launch the iPhone 5 with the iPhone 4S.

9. Too many options in a short period?

Apple has run into a bit of timing problem. Last year, when the company announced the launch of the iPhone 4, it said that it was the biggest update since its handset launched in 2007. Moreover, the company promised a white model next to a black version of the device. The only issue was the white version didn't launch until earlier this year. With the iPhone 4S on store shelves, the sting of buying the iPhone 4 either last year or this year isn't all that great. But if Apple showed off a major update, the outcry might have been even worse than it is now. After all, does Apple really expect people to spend $200 or $300 on a new handset every year? Having too many options in a short period of time is not a good thing. And Apple has proved that.

10. Maybe it doesn't exist

All this talk of the rumored iPhone 5 seems to leave out one key item: Maybe the device never existed at all. Considering how many rumors that cropped up over the last several months were proven wrong yesterday, what makes anyone believe that the iPhone 5 is even being considered at Apple? Maybe the iPhone 4S is the so-called "iPhone 5," and perhaps Apple has other plans for a new handset next year. It's easy to speculate on what the iPhone 5 might look like, but it's not so easy to prove that it ever existed or will ever see the light of day. And that alone might be why Apple didn't announce the device on Oct. 4.

Follow Don Reisinger on Twitter by clicking here 


Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.

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