Apple is widely expected to unveil the hotly anticipated next generation iPhone at the media event on Wednesday, September 12, which will finally put an end to the rumors and speculations.
We take a close look at all the new features and improvements coming to the new iPhone based on the rumors and leaked parts.
Taller 4-inch Display
The new iPhone is widely expected to come with a bigger 4-inch display with 1136×640 resolution. The screen will be longer but not wider than earlier iPhone models.
The increase in height of the display will allow Apple to add one more row of app icons to iPhone’s home screen. You will also be able to play movies in full widescreen (16:9) format without any black bars at the top and bottom.
The taller/longer display will also be less disruptive for app developers as apps that use standard interface elements such as tab or navigation buttons at the bottom won’t have to make any changes as iOS 6 could auto-magically stretch expand vertically to show more content than the current iPhone.
Check out the video demo of what a taller 4-inch iPhone would feel like:
Two-tone Unibody Design
The new iPhone will look similar to the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4, but will come with a two-tone back plate with the central portion made of metal and remaining portion made of glass.
The reason the back of the device is still made up of metal and glass as opposed to one unibody piece is the antennas, which for the most part do not transmit signals through metal.
The next iPhone will get metal antenna bands like iPhone 4S and iPhone 4, but it looks like Apple has moulded them with the metal back panel to create a unibody enclosure. The unibody backplate should make it a lot more solid and compact than the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4.
Apple is likely to use in-cell display technology in the next generation iPhone. The technology integrates touch sensors into the LCD, which eliminates the need of a separate touch screen layer.
The absence of a separate touch screen layer will not only help make the screen thinner, but should also improve the quality of displayed images. The in-cell touch panel is expected to reduce the thickness of the device by 0.5mm.
The in-cell display and the metal backplate will allow Apple to make the next generation iPhone thinner.
Leaked parts and rumors indicate that next iPhone will be only 7.6mm thick. The iPhone 4S measures 9.3mm in depth, so a 7.6mm thin phone would represent an 18% reduction in thickness.
iPhone 5 enclosure (left) vs iPhone 4S
There have been rumors that the next iPhone will be powered by a variant of the dual-core A5X system-on-chip with quad-core graphics that powers the new iPad, but recent rumors indicate that the new iPhone may be powered by Apple’s next generation faster quad-core A6 system-on-chip manufactured using 32-nm process. The 32-nm chip technology should make the chip more efficient, which in turn should help improve battery life.
The next iPhone will come with 1GB RAM, twice that of the iPhone 4S
and the new iPad, which come with 512MB RAM.
4G LTE support
Apple’s next generation iPhone will support 4G LTE networks around the world. So unlike the new iPad, iPhone 5 should support LTE networks outside U.S. and Canada.
However, some carriers will still be left out as it is impractical to design chips with multiple radio antennas needed to support all of the 36 LTE bands around the world, iPhone 5 isn’t likely to work with all carriers’ LTE networks in all countries.
Apple is likely to use Qualcomm’s newer and smaller MDM9615 baseband chip in the new iPhone.
The leaked next generation iPhone battery revealed that it is thinner and longer than iPhone 4S’ battery. It also revealed that it has capacity of 1440 mAh (3.8V/1440mAh/5.45Whr), which is a marginal increase from the battery used in iPhone 4S, which has capacity of 1430 mAh (3.7V/1430mAh/5.3Whr).
Apple’s move to a higher voltage chemistry (3.8V instead of 3.7V) is supposed to provide tangible benefits to battery lifetime.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, the next iPhone is likely come with a taller display, include 4G LTE radio that are generally more power hungry and likely to be powered Apple’s next generation A6 chip, so it remains to be seen if it will come with improved battery life.
The new iPhone will be available in the same storage capacities as iPhone 4 – 16GB, 32GB and 64GB
The new iPhone will be available in black and white like iPhone 4S.
New Dock Connector
The 6th generation iPhone is widely expected to come with a new smaller dock connector.
The new dock connector will offer much faster I/O connectivity and transfer rates even with just a fraction of the number of electrical contacts as the current 30-pin dock connector.
It will also offer orientation independence, so it will no longer matter which side is up when you insert it into the new iPhone like the MacSafe on the MacBook.
There has been some debate about the number of pins in the new dock connector. Reports have claimed that it will come with a 8-pin and 19-pin dock connector, but based on recent rumors and code references discovered in iOS 6 beta, it looks like the next iPhone will come with a 9-pin dock connector.
Headphone Jack, Redesigned Speaker Grille
The smaller dock connector will make room for the headphone jack at the bottom. Current iPhone models have headphone jack at the top.
The speakers grills have been redesigned and appear to be a lot wider. The speaker on the iPhone 4S was noticeably louder compared to the one in the iPhone 4. Lets hope Apple continue to improve the quality of the built-in speaker.
It looks like Apple plans to adopt the smaller nano-SIM standard for the new iPhone. The nano-SIM card is 40% smaller than the micro-SIM card.
Check out the hands-on video of the physical mockup of the new iPhone, which gives a much better idea of what the it will look like if the rumors turn out to be true.
Apple’s new iPhone will come pre-installed with iOS 6, which was previewed at the WWDC 2012 Keynote. Apple’s next generation mobile operating system comes with more than 200 new features including an all-new Maps app, Passbook app, improved notification system, significant improvements to Siri and Facebook integration.
We gave it away in the title of the post. Apple could call the next iPhone – “the new iPhone” just like the new iPad or iPhone 6 as it’s the 6th generation iPhone, but reference to “5″ in the September 12 event invite seems to strongly indicate that Apple will call it iPhone 5.
Few more things:
- iPhone 5 will most definitely come with an improved camera, but we haven’t received any details.
- iPhone 5 will also come with a completely redesigned in-ear headphones.
- iPhone 5 is unlikely to include an NFC chip.
- Apple recently acquired Authentec in a hurry, so it remains to be seen if iPhone 5 will come with a fingerprint reader to provide enhanced security.
- Update: Apple is also expected to release accessories for iPhone 5 including cases, cables and adapters.
Panorama Photo mode
iPhone 5 may also allow users to take panoramic photos using the native Camera app.
iPhone 5 will be available at the same price points as iPhone 4S. So iPhone will be available for $199/$299/$399 for 16GB/32GB/64GB model.
Apple is also expected to introduce an 8GB iPhone 4S for $99 and offer iPhone 4 for free with a two-year contract with the iPhone 5 launch.
The leaked internal memo suggests Apple will finally discontinue iPhone 3GS.
Apple is widely expected to start taking pre-orders or on Friday, September 14 soon after the iPhone 5 announcement, followed by the release on September 21.
The second wave of international launch could be either on September 28th or October 5th.
It will be interesting to see which of these rumored features and improvements will make it to Apple’s 6th generation iPhone and if Apple has any other major surprises under its sleeve, though all signs seem to suggest that the leaked information is accurate.
We’ll be live blogging the event so don’t forget to join us at 10am PT or 1pm ET or 6pm GMT or this time in your time zone on Wednesday, September 12. Until then, let us know if you think iPhone 5 is worth an upgrade.
Note: As we get closer to Apple’s iPhone event, we expect a lot more details to be leaked, so we continue to update this post with the latest rumors.