Apple’s new iPad hasn’t even been on store shelves for a week and the company is already claiming sales of 3 million units. While consumers flock to the tablet formerly known as iPad 3, the rest of the media rumor mill has already moved on to speculating about the next big thing from Apple: iPhone 5.
Of course, based on recent experience, theres no reason to think iPhone 5 is actually what Apple will call its next smartphone. Whatever the name, there are a host of features in the new iPad that would easily make the next iPhone more appealing than its predecessors.
4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) connectivity is chief among these, of course. The high-speed wireless communications protocol is available in the United States from AT&T and Verizon. Other nifty features of the new iPad: The advanced processor offered by the new iPad, as well as the vastly improved new Retina Display. These are among the top 10 features wed like to see in the new iPhone.
1. 4G LTE
iPhone 4S lacks 4G LTE wireless connectivityas does all its iPhone predecessors. In January 2011, Apple expressed reservations about accommodating the 4G LTE antenna in a small form factor such as the iPhone. However, a lot has changed since then. Not only has 4G LTE made its way to Apple’s new iPad, but Verizon and AT&T have been rapidly expanding the reach of their high-speed networks. The improved download speeds offered by the next-gen wireless network, combined with the iPads powerful new processor, results in what Wall Street Journal critic Walter Mossberg describes as a buttery smooth user experience. One can only assume that Apple will fast-track to resolve any antenna challenges so it can bring 4G to its next iPhone.
2. A5X processor
Although Apple has been rumored to be working on the quad-core A6 processor, the company didn’t deliver that in the new iPad. Apple has typically introduced its next-gen iPhone processors in the iPad first. While the A5X doesnt have a direct impact on apps that are dependent on the Internet, activities that are processor-driven are noticeably faster.
3. Aluminum back
Years ago, Apple offered an iPhone that came with an aluminum back. Later versions have offered a mostly glass finish. Given how well-received the new iPad’s design has been so far, an aluminum backing could make a nice differentiator for the next iPhone.
4. Improved Display
Although Apple stuck with the 9.7-inch display size for its new iPad, its new Retina Display features four times more pixels than the iPad 2. While wed like to see the next iPhone offer a display thats larger than the current 3.5-inch option, equally important is the crisp resolution that the Retina Display can offer.
iPhone 5 Needs These New iPad Features
5. Enhanced camera
The well-received Apple iPhone 4S camera was made available on the new iPad to much critical praise. Camera-equipped smartphones and mobile devices have proven enormously popular with consumers and business users alike. Staying ahead of the pack in photo quality is something Apple will likely focus on for its iPhone 5.
6. Upgrade strategy
The new iPad was rumored to be a major upgrade over its predecessor, the iPad 2. Instead, it was viewed by many critics as an iterative update, despite several advanced new features. And this iterative update is experiencing soaring sales so far. Is this what we can expect for Apples future upgrade road map for the iPhone?
7. Keep the price the same
Apple made the exceedingly intelligent move of putting the new iPad on store shelves for the same price points as the iPad 2. If the new iPad was brought to the market at a higher price than its predecessor, it might have faltered during its opening weekend. By keeping the price the same, however, Apple all but ensured the device’s future successand preserved its margins in the process.
8. iPhone 4S Pricing
At the same time, Apple acknowledged that some customers are looking for cheaper products. And for those folks, the company kept the iPad 2 on store shelves and dropped its price by $100. When the iPhone 5 launches, Apple should do the same with the iPhone 4S.
9. Forget multiple versions
For years now, critics have been angry with Apple for not offering multiple versions of its mobile devices. Some want to see a so-called “mini” version, while others are calling for an enlarged screen size. Apple, meanwhile, has stayed with the plan of releasing a single version of its iPhone and iPad each year. It’s the smart move, and it’s something it should stick with when the iPhone 5 launches.
10. Carrier agnosticism
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Apple must ensure that the iPhone 5 is available on Sprint, AT&T and Verizon networks. The new iPad is available to both AT&T and Verizon customersboth of which offer 4G LTEfollowing its earlier strategy of staying carrier-agnostic. The last thing Apple should want to do is get involved in exclusivity deals again. They don’t help Apple or consumers.