NEWS ANALYSIS: Apple is launching the iPhone 5 later this year, according to the latest reports and rumors. But don't expect that it will be a major upgrade with surprising new features.
iPhone 5 will be launching this fall
, according to most reports. And when
that happens, the company is expected to offer up everything from a fresh
design to a bigger display. Better yet, the device could include 4G LTE
service, near-field communication and a host of other improvements that the
rumor mill says will dramatically improve the iOS ecosystem.
However, the rumor mill doesn't have a respectable track record for accuracy
when it comes to speculation about Apple produce features. Although it's a
near-certainty that Apple will launch the iPhone 5 in the fall, talk of it
appearing with eye-popping new features is likely to be wrong. In fact, there
appears to be a much better chance that, save for some nice upgrades here and
there, the iPhone 5 will not be a major update at all.
Wondering why? Read on to find out:
1. All signs point to nominal upgrades
Although some people would like to argue that the addition of 4G LTE service
and a quad-core processor to the iPhone 5 makes it a major update, that's not
really the case. Those are simply iterative upgrades that would be expected
from the iPhone maker to keep up with the competition. Even a slightly larger
screen, while nice, is not a surprising addition. All of the proposed features
in the iPhone 5 look to be rather, well, mundane.
2. What's really major at this point?
It's hard to see what could be construed as a major update at this point.
Smartphone designs are well-defined by now. And
unless Apple can come up with some radical new feature no one has thought about
, it's hard to see how the iPhone 5 will be a major upgrade. It didn't
used to be like that when Apple practically defined what should go into a
smartphones. But now that the product sector is starting to mature, it's hard
to find anything that's startlingly new.
3. Apple doesn't appear to care about major updates
Apple seems to have lost its appetite for major updates. Over the last
couple of years, all of its products have come with a few nominal upgrades that
didn't blow anyone's socks off. Perhaps Apple has decided that major updates
are too costly and sticking with a slow and steady approach makes more sense as
long as the sales and profits keep rolling in.
4. An enterprise play
was more likely to deliver major updates to its smartphone years ago
company was really only targeting consumers. However, now the firm is going
after enterprise customers, as well. Enterprise customers tend to shy away from
major product upgrades that also require them to update their application and
network platforms. IT decision-makers like iterative updates that logically
follow their predecessors. And Apple seems to understand that.