Apple’s iPhone 4S has so far proved to be a winner among consumers and enterprise users alike. The device comes with the 3.5-inch Retina Display made popular in the iPhone 4, as well as an 8-megapixel camera, a dual-core processor and support for Siri, a voice activated virtual personal assistant that only further improves Apple’s chances of differentiating its latest smartphone.
That said, as with other Apple products, many folks are looking beyond the iPhone 4S to determine what the company might have planned for its follow-up, the iPhone 5. That device, which Apple has yet to even confirm exists, will likely deliver several improvements that will quite likely make the iPhone 4S look obsolete in comparison.
But just because it will have all new features doesn’t mean that the iPhone 5 will be a guaranteed success. For the iPhone 5 to continue Apple’s smartphone record of strong sales, the device must come with the features consumers and enterprise users are after.
Read on to find out what improvements the iPhone 5 needs to be a more worthwhile option for customers.
1. First and foremost: 4G
Apple is obviously feeling pressure from its 4G-equipped competitors. With the iPhone 4S, the company said users will be able to connect to the Web via 4G-like speeds over 3G networks. However, that’s only available to AT&T customers. All others will be able to access the Web only at 3G speeds. In the iPhone 5, Apple must put all those issues to rest and bring 4G to the device. It’s the smart move.
2. A bigger display
When Apple showed off the iPhone 4S earlier this year, it displayed a device featuring the same 3.5-inch screen found in previous versions of the smartphone. It was a disappointment, considering many Android-based handsets come with 4.3-inch displays. If Apple wants to stay competitive, it must bring a 4.3-inch screen to the iPhone 5.
3. An improved Siri
Siri is a fine addition to the iPhone ecosystem, but it falls short at times. When reciting an email, it sometimes misunderstands the user and includes wrong words. And when trying to find information about more sophisticated topics, it starts to break down. Siri is a fine first step in voice command from Apple, but many improvements must be made in the iPhone 5 to make it a must-have for smartphone buyers.
4. A revamped design
Prior to the launch of the iPhone 4S, there was hope that the device would come with a new design. But it features the same design as its predecessor, the iPhone 4. Apple can’t make that same mistake with the iPhone 5. If it wants to continue the unbroken string of successful iPhone introductions, an improved design is a necessity.
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5. 3D support
Consumer Reports has recommended the iPhone 4S to consumers, something it had withheld from the earlier iPhone 4 because of concern about the model’s antenna design. However, it also noted that some Android-based handsets beat out the iPhone 4S, thanks in part to their 3D support. With that in mind, it would be nice to see the iPhone 5 add support for 3D graphics, 3D video capturing and more. Like it or not, 3D is the future in the mobile space.
6. An end to the accessories
One of the biggest complaints many people have with the iPhone is its reliance upon accessories to do simple things. For instance, the device doesn’t allow users to connect a USB device or an HDMI-equipped product without an accessory. It would be nice to see Apple fix that in the next iPhone.
7. A Google Wallet competitor
When Google announced Google Wallet earlier this year, allowing users to make payments with their mobile devices, it was clear that an arms race in that space was on. Yet Apple didn’t bring near-field communication or a mobile-payment solution to the iPhone 4S. It needs to do so with the iPhone 5.
8. Continued processor improvements
Apple’s decision to bring a dual-core processor to the iPhone 4S was welcome. But in the iPhone 5, Apple must deliver an improved processor-perhaps the A6?-that would help it keep ahead of competing smartphones. One of Apple’s key success factors over the years has been its ability to deliver as much performance to customers as they needed. And it can’t let that slip with the iPhone 5.
9. Groundbreaking battery life
Let’s face it: The battery life on Apple’s iPhones is by no means groundbreaking. The iPhone 4S has up to 8 hours of battery life on 3G, which is far from ideal. It’s about time Apple invests its billions of dollars of cash on-hand and delivers groundbreaking battery life. It would make the iPhone 5 all that more impressive.
10. FaceTime over a wireless network
Apple’s FaceTime has proved extremely popular among Apple customers. But so far, Apple has been unwilling to support the service over wireless networks. Instead, it forces customers to connect to a WiFi network before engaging in a video chat. With the iPhone 5, Apple should change that and make wireless network support available to those who want to have video chats via FaceTime.