A report surfaced recently, saying that Apple is currently working on a new smartphone, called the iPhone 5S. That device will be available towards the middle part of 2013.
Given expected reappearance of the “S” in the device’s name, it would appear that Apple is following the same strategy with the iPhone 5 as it did the 3G and 4: launch a new product one year and a nominal upgrade the next. Whenever the “S” is attached to a device, customers know to expect the same design with some new features.
But just because Apple has made that move time and again, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’ll need to follow that plan in 2013. In fact, it would be nice if Apple actually delivered a more significant upgrade to the iPhone 5. As nice as that smartphone is, and as well-designed as it might be, it’s not perfect. Apple left some key features out of the iPhone 5. Customers took notice and are not too happy about it.
So, let’s cut through Apple’s marketing speak and get down to the features that should be built into an updated iPhone 5. Apple’s current flagship smartphone is great, but it has room for improvement.
1. Near-field communication
Near-field communication is one of the most requested Apple features. Yet, the company hasn’t delivered it. With near-field communication, users will be able to wirelessly share data and information and allow for a host of new services, like mobile payments. A recent report suggested Apple was in talks with an Australian company to deliver near-field communication to future products. Let’s hope that happens in the iPhone 5S.
2. An even better processor
Apple’s A6 processor, which is dual core, is nice and all, but it needs to be updated in the iPhone 5S. Looking around the mobile space, there are a host of devices running a quad-core chip. Hopefully Apple will deliver its own quad-core processor in the iPhone 5S.
3. An improved Maps
Maps is abysmal. The application was supposed to be the best replacement yet to Google Maps, but it’s really only a disappointment. Apple has promised improvements in the coming months and years. If the company is smart, Apple will deliver a vastly improved Maps with the iPhone 5S.
4. A more corporate-friendly iOS
Apple’s iOS platform is now in its sixth iteration. And although it’s always been consumer-friendly, isn’t it about time that the company finds ways to make the software more corporate-friendly? It would be nice to see multiple user sign-on, enhanced controls for IT and better security features. Will it happen?
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5. More storage, please
Apple’s iPhone 5 comes with 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB of storage. Is Apple still living in 2008? The world is changing. And user habits are changing. Now more than ever, customers need additional storage to handle video, audio and all kinds of other data-heavy exploits. Let’s hope Apple adds a 128GB model next time around.
6. Better hardware security
For corporate users, especially, improved hardware security would be a nice addition to the iPhone 5S. It would be nice to see onboard encryption come to the smartphone. Since it has a touch screen, couldn’t Apple add biometric security? Given Apple’s latest patents related to iPhone hardware security features, such additions might not be a stretch.
7. An improvement to the Retina display
Apple’s Retina display kicked off the mobile HD craze. But nowadays, competing products are trumping it. The Google Nexus 10, for example, has more than 300 pixels per inch, compared to the Retina’s 264 pixels. Granted, the jump from one to the other isn’t major, but it’s worth topping. If nothing else, it’s another selling point for the iPhone 5S.
8. Reduced prices on the 32GB model would be nice
As noted, Apple should increase the amount of storage available across its iPhone line. If it does so, the 16GB model will likely go away. But rather than offer a 128GB model for $499, Apple should simply cut the 32GB option to $199, make the 64GB model $299, and offer the 128GB version for $399. Apple’s current pricing works. And it shouldn’t change that in the iPhone 5S.
9. A bundled Lightning adapter
Although Apple believes it’s necessary to migrate to the Lightning port, the company’s decision to not include an adapter with the iPhone 5 is a crying shame. In the iPhone 5S, Apple should offer an adapter in the box. If nothing else, it’s a show of goodwill.
10. Wireless charging would be nice
As Windows Phone 8-based devices have proven, wireless charging is the future. So, why shouldn’t Apple accept that and offer wireless charging in the iPhone 5S? Enough with tethered charging. The future is now. And it’s about time Apple realizes that.