I absolutely LOVE infographics! I almost view them as a form of art (coupled with some marketing spin). And, I love the iPhone (being pretty much an Apple “fan boy”), ok, well, I love technology in general, obviously. The folks over at NowhereElse.fr (a French technology blog) put together a really GREAT infographic that rounds up all of the iPhone 5 rumors that are floating around out there. With obvious things like having an A5 Processor to really wild options like a Physical Keyboard, the NowhereElse guys have it all included in the infographic. So, I figured I would go through each of these rumors and give them my own prediction.
Here is the NowhereElse infographic on The Complete iPhone 5 Rumor Roundup (source is their post here):
Pretty nice, no? I thought so!
HighTechDad’s Analysis of the Rumors
There are some very juicy rumors in this graphic so I want to break them down in more manageable pieces. Here’s what I think (and I’m by far no expert):
- Better Camera – I believe it is much more likely that there will be a bump in both the front and rear facing cameras. The bar is being raised by all of the Android phones out there so 5Mpx is looking pretty “bare minimum” now. I would expect the rear camera to get bumped to at least 6Mpx, especially as people are starting now to leave their point and shoot cameras at home and just carry one consolidated device. I think the chances are higher than 50%.
- Without Home Button – while I like this concept a lot, and frequently worry that my double-tapping of the home button for task manager will wear it out or eventually break it, I don’t think that we will lose the physical home button…yet. At least not in this version. However, we may see, with iOS5, the introduction of new swiping or multi-touch methods for doing other types of tasks. Also, the combination of the Home button and Sleep/Power button is something that is used a lot with restarts, DFU Mode, Recovery and other tasks, so I think there still needs to be a physical button. I agree with the 20% and might make it even lower to 10%.
- Bigger Screen – I think with the current form-factor, Apple might be able to squeak out a bit more real estate for the screen size. The thing to keep in mind is how that affects the Retina display and if existing iOS applications would need to be reworked in order to accommodate the changed size. This is something that is troubling Android developers as there are many Android devices that handle different resolution. Apple basically only has 3 types and is pretty controlled about that: iPhone/iPod Touch, iPhone 4 and iPad. If the Home Button were moved/removed, this might work with the current design. Agree with the 80% that the screen will get larger though but not sure how they will accomplish that.
- Better Resolution – this goes hand-in-hand with the previous items, however, bigger screens with better resolution means more costly to produce, which, in turn, means a potentially higher price point. I’m pretty sure that Apple doesn’t want to introduce a new version that is $50 or $100 more expensive than the current iPhone 4 so they will really have to do some magic to maintain that price point. Also with the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, market prices might be higher than normal but they have probably already pre-purchased things. I would put the percentage of this actually happening at 30%, but if the screen size does increase and we maintain the Retina Display, it’s a no-brainer.
- Same Design – now this is an interesting one. I actually like the current design even though my iPhone 4 is covered with a case and I rarely get to see it. I definitely think that they will get rid of polished glass on the back as it really doesn’t do that much for the phone. Brushed aluminum was something that Apple got rid of (remember the old QuickTime skins and when they dropped the brushed aluminum skin?) But, I like the mock-up of how it might look. If it makes the phone lighter and stronger and less prone to scratches, this would be a good choice. I agree with the 60% possibility of the design remaining fairly close to what it is with the iPhone 4.
- New Design – the design above reminds me of the iPod Touch. I’m not to sure that this will be the direction that Apple will go, it seems to me to be almost as step backwards. But, if it is thinner and if Apple is really trying to get those smooth edges into the mix, this might be a possibility. I would lower the possibility to about 30% though on this one.
- White Models – if they can’t produce a white iPhone this time around (and honestly, I don’t really know the appeal of it but that’s just me), then I have lost faith. Perhaps they will introduce MORE colors. However, this might be hard if they go with a brushed aluminum style, unless the dye is injected into the aluminum itself. Really people, just get a case! Agree, if the design doesn’t change dramatically that there is a 100% of this happening.
- Physical Keyboard – this will absolutely NOT happen. Enough said. Agree with the 0% on this.
- 64 GB Models – this may make the iPhone really really expensive, but people love storage. However, if it is coupled with a Cloud-based service, people might not opt for it. However, Apple likes putting in lots of storage options. Agree with the 50% here as well.
- Full HD Video Recording – if they bump up the processor, and the RAM, and the storage, then this is pretty likely that it will happen. 720p is more feasible though. Agree that the possibility of this would be around 30% or even a bit lower.
- Lower-Cost Models – I honestly don’t think that Apple will produce more models, especially since they have simply started discounting the older ones. The iPhone 3GS at $50 is perfect. They could do the iPhone 4 for $100-$150 and people would jump at it. They like keeping their product lines simple. So I think the chance of lower cost models being introduced is more like 10%.
- No More Storage – I don’t think that there would ever be a storage-less iPhone. Not everyone can have connectivity all of the time. If you took a picture or made a video or wanted to listen to music and you are out in nature with no cell coverage or Wi-Fi whatsoever, what would you do? I do think that some functions like a music subscription service “from the cloud” is a possibility, but it would simply complement what you do have stored locally. I disagree with the 50% rating, especially if there is no “lower cost” model. I view it more like 5%.
- 3D Display – there have been a few phones announced recently at CTIA this week that have 3D display and while it is cool, I honestly think it is a huge waste of research time and money. What’s the point really? 3D TV and hand-held games are struggling. Yeah, it would be cool to play a 3D version of Angry Birds or watch a movie, but I honestly think this type of tech should be used elsewhere. Do you really want to be walking down the street in an already 3D world, trying to seem some sort of 3D pop-up iAd (literally)? I would put this possibility even lower at 5%.
- Better Battery – I’m guessing that unless some new battery technology were introduced (or perhaps a solar charging option), that the battery would remain about the same. Apple may be able to squeak out a few more minutes or optimize the iOS version a bit more to get better gains. But for the most part, I agree with the 20% likelihood of a better battery.
- CDMA Model – yep, I think this is a given. I agree with the 100% possibility.
- R-UIM MicroCards Compatibility – honestly, I don’t know enough about this technology to weigh in. However, I do think that Apple will “keep it simple” and not have that much diversity if it can’t be a universal model. Having distinct Verizon and AT&T (T-Mobile?) phones is enough of a splintering. I would put the possibility of this down at 10%.
- Two SIM Card Tray – see my previous statement. Apple will follow the K.I.S.S. rule of Keeping It Simple Stupid. And it would add to the bulk/size. Agree that there is zero possibility of this.
- NFC Technology – yep, I’m pretty sure that this will be built in to the next iPhone. It will make the iPhone 5 even more useful for people and making Apple a huge eCommerce engine in the process. I agree with the 80% likelihood on this one.
- A5 Processor – yeah, this is another obvious one. Apple needs to put its investment to work. Having the A5 powering the iPhone will make it highly competitive with other high-powered Android devices hitting the market is critical for Apple now. Agree with the 100% possibility.
- More RAM – in order to make the iPhone 5 truly an awesome gaming device (even more than it is now) as well as to be able to handle better video capabilities, Apple will bump the RAM to 1 GB. Hopefully this won’t equate to a price increase as a result. Agree with the 60% likelihood here.
- HDMI Output – I don’t think that there will be an HDMI output port on the iPhone 5 but I do think that it will be supported much the way the iPad 2 is, with an accessory cable. Agree with the 60% possibility but would even raise it to 70%.
- 4G/LTE Support – yes, this has to happen soon. The iPhone 5 might be a stretch given that the networks are still rapidly building out their 4G/LTE infrastructure. If not in this one, definitely in the iPhone 6! Agree with the 50% here.
- Enhanced Voice Controls – this is one area where Apple is behind and definitely has neglected. There are so many things that Apple could do with this or enable for other App developers to do. I think it is highly likely (more than 60%) that Apple will put some more effort into Voice Controls, but this is more of an iOS type of improvement.
- iTunes Cloud – the time has come for this. MobileMe will have free and paid versions (perhaps even phasing out the paid version to compete more with Google Docs and Microsoft Office Live online). I believe that you will be able to access your complete iTunes library “via the cloud” but also have key playlist stored locally. I think a 75% possibility is better for this one.
- iOS 5 Launch – yes, this will be right around the time of the launch of iPhone 5. I think it will be backwards compatible to the iPhone 4 but not the versions earlier than that. (There will still be support for iOS 4 for older devices, I believe and would hope.) I think there is a 100% chance of this happening.
- Available this summer – I don’t think it will even be announced this summer (but the rumor mills will continue to churn). People are just too distracted in the summer. But late summer/early fall might be a possibility if they want to hit the holiday season running. Agree with the 20% here.
- Available in September – yes, if it IS going to launch in 2011, the September time frame would be ideal to get back-to-schoolers and holiday shoppers. Apple is now riding the iPad 2 wave and they are focusing on that effort. I think an 80% possibility is pretty on the mark here.
WHEW! That’s a lot of stuff to go through. Apple is on such a high now with the successes over the years of the iPod, then the iPhone, then the iPad (and now iPad 2) that they need to really knock the iPhone 5 out of the park.
What are your thoughts on the predictions and rumors? Leave a comment and let me know!
HTD says: I can’t wait for the iPhone 5, regardless of what it has (or doesn’t have)!