When Apple didn’t announce the iPhone 5 at its Worldwide Developers Conference, some were surprised. The company has, in the past, used its keynote at the conference to discuss its future software ambitions in addition to a new iPhone.
Since the iPhone 5 was a no show at this year’s WWDC, many have speculated on when Apple will finally unveil new hardware. Though some rumors have claimed it won’t happen until 2012, the most recent reports suggestApple will unveil a new iPhone in September.
For its part, Apple hasn’t commented on whether it willlaunch the iPhone 5 this year, next year or if at all. But based on its history, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if the company offered up a new smartphone later this year.
The only question now is what new goodies will the device offer? Perhaps more importantly, what new features will help the iPhone 5 break new ground?
Read on to find out:
1. GSM and CDMA support
Apple currently sells a version of the iPhone 4 for AT&T customers and another version for Verizon customers. If the company really wants to do something special with the iPhone 5, it should offer a single device that would allow users to either bring their smartphone to Verizon or AT&T for a service contract. If the top smartphone on the market offered that, and by doing sotook some power away from carriers, it could drastically change the mobile market.
2. 4G connectivity
Although there are some devices on store shelves already that connect to 4G networks, widespread adoption in that market won’t occur until Apple doubles down on the ultra-high-speed technology. Considering 4G is steadily becoming ubiquitous across the country, it would seem that the iPhone 5 would be the perfect device for Apple to support the new technology.
3. NFC compatibility
Last month, Google announced the launch of Google Wallet, a mobile-payments service that utilizes NFC (near-field communications). However, NFC technology is available on just a few smartphones right now, and payment processors have yet to roll out support for it in enough places to make it a mainstream success. If Apple brings NFC capabilities and a Google Wallet competitor to the iPhone 5, look for that all to change. Apple’s products have a way of causing dramatic changes in the marketplace, and NFC in the iPhone 5 could do just that.
4. A vastly improved camera
According to photo-sharing site Flickr, the iPhone 4 is now the most popular camera. It’s besting the Nikon D90, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and other popular cameras. However, the iPhone 4’s camera isn’t stellar in any way, and it’s in desperate need of improvement. In the iPhone 5 it would be nice to see Apple offer a vastly improved camera that capitalizes on the smartphone’s popularity as a point-and-shoot device. It would put the entire camera industry on notice that Apple is getting more serious about photos.
Dual-Core CPU Would Grab Attention
5. A better antenna
When the iPhone 4 launched, owners holding the device in what was called a “death grip” lost antenna strength. Following the outcry that resulted from that, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said it was an issue for all smartphones. What better way to break new ground in the smartphone space than to offer a device that doesn’t suffer from that issue?
6. That end-to-end display
Rumors surrounding the iPhone 5 suggest Apple might be unveiling a device that will have a full edge-to-edge display. If that’s the case, it would break new ground in the smartphone market. Currently, smartphones have a bezel around their displays. If Apple can deliver something that maximizes the iPhone’s usable space, it would force all other smartphone makers to follow suit.
7. A benchmark-setting screen size
Apple’s iPhone 4 currently has a 3.5-inch display, putting it toward the middle of the pack in the smartphone space. Other devices, like the Motorola Droid X, come with a 4.3-inch display. If Apple does offer an edge-to-edge display, it should make the screen bigger than competing devices-say, 5 inches. At that point, Apple can make its top competitors’ offerings look awfully small in comparison.
8. An even slimmer design
One of the nice things about the iPad 2 is that it’s much smaller than its predecessor. Its slim design makes it easy to carry around and throw into a purse or bag. Though the iPhone 4 is already a small, slim device,Apple should find a way to make the iPhone 5 even slimmer. If the company can continue to push the envelope on size and thinness, it could present a major new challenge for competitors to keep up.
9. Flash support
There would be nothing more groundbreaking than Apple’s addition of Flash support in the iPhone 5. Granted, such an addition would need to be made in iOS 5, but what if the company announced that functionality with the iPhone 5? Not only would it end a long battle between Apple and Adobe, but it would also offer iPhone 5 owners the opportunity to get more out of their Web-browsing experience than they do now.
10. A dual-core processor
Though other companies have already released dual-core smartphones, having such a processor built into the iPhone 5 would be an important addition for Apple’s smartphone. The iPhone 4 is quite fast now, but its dual-core-based competitors offer better performance. IfApple brings the same dual-core processor running in the iPad 2 to the iPhone 5, the company will be able to match competitors that have been capitalizing on their advantage for quite some time.