back to article iPhone 5 rumors: bigger, smaller, cloudy, keyboard-equipped

The latest round of iPhone rumors point in multiple directions at once: a larger screen, a smaller phone, a slide-out keyboard, and cloud-only operation à la Google's still-gestating Chrome OS. Let's start with that larger screen. According to a DigiTimes report on Tuesday, "upstream component suppliers" say Apple's next iPhone …

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FAIL

Cloud only service? I dont think apple would be that stupid...

I know cloud based computing and devices are very trendy and are more than possible for static devices but IMO its useless for a mobile device. 3G service even when you can get it is generally laggy and data rates are paltry. Add in the pitifully small data allowances and I really dont see how a mainly cloud based mobile device at the current moment in time is a starter. I really dont think anyone will appreciate having an expensive paperweight when you are somewhere where you cant get a signal. Additionally if in an area without edge or 3G(and often even in these areas) it will take forever to do the simplest task due to the fact that mobile operators networks just arent upto the task.

Admittedly I am talking with experience of the UK but I hear its a similar situation in the US, Canada, mainland Europe, Aus and Japan.

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Silver badge

Two significant areas without Edge or 3G...

Aeroplanes and subterranean railways. No tube trip is complete without seeing somebody listening to music or playing a game on an iPhone. It's difficult to believe Apple is happy to cut off those customers.

A 4gb budget device I could possibly believe, 0gb I don't.

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Stop

Oi, Myslewski. NO!

> they don't comment on unreleased products, or on rumours and speculation.

But elReg does.

Keeps the clicks coming I suppose. Yawn.

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Same for ATV2

It has "no local storage" but has 4GB of storage.... Apps, the OS, buffer area, etc, all there. You just can;t sync other things to it. No local music, i don;t know if Apple would do that... They'll probably ship either 4 or 8 GB, and leave you some small space for a little music for when signal is not available, and certainly all your games/etc will be local.

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SRS
Go

The latest iPhone - picture

Here's what it will look like - slightly bigger than the previous model, with a different display aspect ratio, pixel density and colour palette.

http://retrothing.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/2007/10/04/myz88.jpg

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Jobs Halo

@SRS

That is the business version; the consumer model is here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ephemeria/3683380042/

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@SRS

Yay, I had one of those at school!

Thanks for bringing a smile to my face...

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Think Big, Think Small, Think Beyond?

Sounds like stuff we heard from HP.. a bigger phone, a smaller phone, cloud services, keyboard.. sure the leaks didn't get mixed?

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Megaphone

Bandwidth!

The more that gets parked "up there" (which in a certain sense is centralisation of *your* data in *their* hands) the greater the demands on bandwidth to get it up and down. Given that we are now facing a situation where smart-phones are/will be out-selling pcs where the hell are we going to get the bandwidth on the necessary scale? When the world, his missus and their dog are down-loading high-res video, playing on-line games via their pocket shiney etc, how the hell is the rate of growth of the required infrastructure going to keep up?

Not speak of course of the way that "certain folks" are going to find ways via downloaded apps and the like to piggy-back on that bandwidth with all sorts of consequences for the individual punter, the loading on the system and of course, security.

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Big Brother

And don't forget Egypt....

Pretty damn easy to switch the whole thing off in an emergency.

But we don't need that - last autumn two days without internet access as BT centres went down.

I don't use anything in the "Cloud" unless it duplicates everything on local drives....

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Agree! Current Viable Use Cases for Mobile Personal Cloud Limited

I guess the answer to "how the hell is the rate of growth of the required infrastructure going to keep up?" is that it is not and will not for a while ... and on current roadmaps never will.

The use cases of personal 'MOBILE' cloud are extremely limited and represent scaled down cloud. It is clear that FTTx is required to make cloud properly viable, but that then limits it to fixed access at home ... or at best over WiFi or local Femto/Pico cell type solutions where the fibre is backhauling a relatively small 'mobile' coverage. Even LTE, once one strips out the hype, is only likly to be 'better than', but 'not good enough'.

So for fully mobile (as opposed to sitting at a coffee shop on WiFi 'mobile'), cloud services are likely limited to emergency access, light weight entertainment and synchronisation type cloud services. Following on from the comment on synchronisation, I think a key element of 'mobile' mobile cloud (as in not in a WiFi hotspot, but over 3/4G) is the 'essentialness' of a local cache to minimise the data tranfer requirements within cells.

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jai
Silver badge

nano

if there is an iPhone nano, it's not going to be as capable as the main iPhone.

and i'm not sure that you'd be able to play games on a 2/3 size screen, let alone a half-size model. the screen can shrink and the pixel density can increase, but your fingers are still the same size and will get in the way even more.

Angry Birds will be impossible to play on a smaller screen, because you won't be able to get the same accuracy.

So i'd see the iPhone nano being vastly reduced in capability of running apps - and for that, perhaps it would work with a cloud element - but it sounds to me like the cloud rumour is mixed up with the one about MobileMe allowing cloud access back to our iTunes collections.

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2/3 size /= 2/3 screen

there's pleanty of bezel to remove before shrinking the screen, several phones are no shipping with no or very little bezel. We're also in a 3D world, and thichness shrink is also part of 2/3 smaller. If the screen went as low as 3.2" from 3.5, it would be about it. I doubt the screen itself will actually change size. It will likely be 3GS resolution, though retina is possible if they switch to a different screen on the full phone (since supply would be instantly available).

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Resolution

Well, a 4 inch 1024*768 display would have a "retina-class" ppi of 320, as well as synergy with the current Ipad.

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Grenade

i'm sure they won't

but please do not add a slide-out keyboard apple. i loathe slide out keyboards - the moving parts and slide mechanism are prone to breaking and they rattle disconcertingly when the phone rings on vibrate setting: they're well microsoft.

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You don't have to join the tech pissing contest.

Maybe you're used to a Pavlovian dash for your debit card as soon as Apple releases new shiny but you don't have to. The old iPhone is a perfectly capable device (once you slap an oversized rubber band over it).

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Grenade

Please don't add a keyboard

Because it makes my decision far easier. No keyboard = not interested.

I tried using on screen keyboards when a work colleague got an iPhone 3GS. For me they are unusable. I now have a Motorola Droid, and the on screen keyboard is still unusable. Fortunately, the slide out keyboard is quick and easy to use.

I don't have to try out the iPhone 5 if it doesn't have a keyboard.

Incidentally, when I tried the iPhone 3GS there were 3 big flaws that stopped me considering one. Firstly, and most importantly, the unusable keyboard. Secondly, the speed on AT&T was so dreadful that it wasn't worth trying to use the internet. Finally, it annoyed me that the built in apps were highly inconsistent about whether they supported rotation or not. This was really important since the portrait version of the keyboard was even worse than the landscape version. The landscape version I could type in a password successfully once out of 5 times. The portrait version I never managed to type in a password correctly.

Since they have already made the beast available on Verizon, and if they add a keyboard, I could actually be interested. Seriously (and I'm the biggest Apple hater around).

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I'm with you...

... I don't have amazingly large fingers but I find on-screen keyboards intolerable, especially without a stylus.

Best 2 things about my N900 - the totally smooth and non-rattling keyboard mechanism which opens the brilliant keyboard, and the stylus. I actually LIKE the resistive screen, the N900 is probably the best example of the tech though.

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I will not conform to your title fascism

I think we should be looking to the new nano as a comparison to any forthcoming iphone nano.

This would keep consistency across the brand, but would also offer a very apple like touchscreen interface but with minimal 'appage'. Noone complains they cant play angry birds on a nano, if the iphone nano is sold in the same way then user expectations should be similar.

I would expect (and have always wanted) a candybar style phone wityh a good touchscreen - becasue then this would also be much more similar to the 'proper' panavision widescreen ratio. something the same shape and size as a bog standard nokia candybar handset but with a touchscreen.

I just dont know if i can give up my big screen now though. But i suppose i'm not the target market for this device.

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revenue streams?

"And as we've said many times before, Apple has never met a revenue stream it didn't like."

It doesn't appear to like the budget PC stream...

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what stream?

The budget PC steam doesn't exist. Most budget PCs are sold at a loss, or margins measured in tens of dollars, with a single support call from someone who did not opt for an extended warranty inverting that case. They're also buffered by metric tons of crapware and bloat, which Apple won;t stoop to ever again.

Also, it's about experience. People do not buy Macs for surfing facebook, they buy them for the AV experience, storing tens of thousands of photos, and working with home movies, and that requires GPUs. You won't be finding Sandybridge, let alone AMD/nVidia GPUs, in $400 machines anywhere.

If they want a web box with some limited storage ability, and simple apps, and limited multitasking, I could see a desktop knockoff of iOS eventually being born, maybe by version 6.0, and coming on a $250-350 machine with quad ARM core, enough GPU to do 1080p basic editing (the iPhone can do 720p editing), and using a common 1080p display/TV and BT keyboard/touchpad. anything more, and we need to wait for the replacement to Sandybridge in order to make macs affordable to build and still meet user expectations (engouh time to turn celerons into Sandybridge as it looks today).

Apple doens;t care about the price, they care about the the user first, profit second. $400 macs don;t make money, and don;t do what people ask, and that's no go on both counts.

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FAIL

"Caring about the user first"

Really.

Of COURSE they do. Because everything about their business practices and their products, from the extortionate price to their fucking "walled garden", from an almost incomprehensible restriction on what you can do and what you can't, to arrogance that unfortunately rubs off on the owners (Q: How do you know if someone has an iPhone? A: They tell you.) shows how much they care about the user.

i.e. about as much as every other business.

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iPhone - it's a nostalgic experience

For those of us who have used Nokia, Siemens, etc for a few years, using an iPhone is a nostalgic experience; constant worry about battery charge and always losing signal. It's like 1997 all over again! If Apple wants to improve the phone then leave it as it is, give it a real 5-day battery and real-world signal sensitivity so I don't have to get on to the roof to talk to my clients.

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I dont get it

Why would apple make a mini iPhone. Sure there are many billions of inhabitants of this planet that dont want a feature rich smartphone. But they want two things, a small phone that works well as a phone (its prime feature after all) and they want it to be cheap. Theses are 2 areas where apple just doesnt operate.

Then you say no onboard memory will mean no on board apps. That just doesnt add up. Apples entire business model for the iPhone series is designed around creating footfall through the app store.

Sorry, this runour doesnt add up.

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Bronze badge

But....

what you say makes sense until you ask why Apple make iPod minis and iPod nanos. Where is their app store footfall? A small iPhone would like still be a serious iTunes revenue generator via the iTunes interface. Just like the minis and nanos.

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Re: But....

iPod Minis and iPod Nanos are intended to be used with the iTunes Music Store; they are a completely different product than the iOS devices like the iPod Touch or iPhone.

As the parent poster said, the iPhone's appeal is iOS itself, not its phone-call making capabilities. And, as opposed to the little iPods whose primary function is as a music player which directs traffic to the music store, an iPhone Mini with just phone functionality will not offer any additional product or service enticement from Apple. Thus, it makes no sense as a strategy.

-dZ.

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it is likely

Apple does cheap, provided "cheap" comes with little sacrifice to the user experience.

They don't make $400 PCs because i3s + GPUs can't be built cheap, and OS X doesn't do Celeron with IGP.

A $200 phone (off contract) is a free phone on 1 year contract. A slight limitation on the device blocking video streaming except on wifi, and a $15 2GB data plan covers what 90% of people can do with it. Making a device smaller has little impact on call reliability, there are a thousand phones a fraction of the iPhone's size that do great calling.

No on-board user memory /= no local apps. LOOK AT THE ATV2! it has 4GB storage, it's just not user accessible for FILES. A phone with apps, but that relies on the cloud for media streaming and documents is not a big deal, since as you say, primary concern is that it is a phone, and if you have no signal, it's useless either way. That said, i doubt apple would completely block local music storage, they'll let iTunes auto-fill from a play-list available local storage...

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You know Apple

"And you know Apple: they don't comment on unreleased produts, or on rumors and speculation."

They merely fuel the existing rumours and speculation, also known as free publicity from the pants-wetting fanbois.

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That time of year again?

When some random people make up some random shit that might sound a bit plausible and the technology blogs publish it until their keyboards are worn and broken?

I wonder how you get to be an "analyst" or an "insider"? Does it pay well?

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Grenade

The Cloud

"I know cloud based computing and devices are very trendy and are more than possible for static devices but IMO its useless for a mobile device"

Completely disagree. Mobile devices are the reason to jump to cloud services.

The advantage with cloud services is that you store 1 set of data in 1 place.

It doesn't matter if 3G is patchy. At least I only have to maintain my Google calendar in one place and I can view it on multiple devices. Same with contacts. It can sync whenever it can.

If 3G is unavailable you are in no worse situation than having a calendar stored on your phone ... and another one on your pc ... and another one on your laptop ... and another one on your work PC etc. All of which you have to maintain separately.

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local caching is not out of the question

People think it;s ONLY in the cloud, and they're wrong. The cloud is not the only place, its the central place. Everything doesn't use only whats there, it syncs to/from it. You still have local copies of a lot of things.

Even ATV2, which has no local storage, has 4Gb of local storage... The OS, ATV Apps, buffering, file lists, etc, are all local. Sync an ATV with your PC, turn off the PC, and you can still see everything other than the remote file store. Your calendar, e-mail, etc would be LOCAL on an iPhone nano. Without a signal, you can't make calls, can't stream files, but there are few places, even in rural america, i can't get at least SOME signal (though in some places, doing that indoors is a no-go, but indoors I probably have WiFi unless I'm so far off the path that DSL doesn't exist. But, this is not an iPhone, this is a phone with (some) iPhone features, and iPhone 3GS (at least) performance. It plays some games, runs most apps, streams files and (likely only over wifi, to get a good data plan price for the people looking for cheaper devices) video. I doubt they'll cut much back from iOS at all. I do not expect it to be scaled back to iPod Nano status having a locked configuration and highly limited features, unless it's REALLY small and intended as a messaging-only device with some streaming capability and no more, and I really don;t see the appeal in that at all.

Dropping $400 from the device cost might mean having no local music, though with some local storage there, i doubt Apple would prevent iTunes from auto-filling what's left of the 4GB local storage with personal data.

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However

This article says that it would be a cheap phone to make and sell because it would have little memory.

The problem with swapping memory for cloud storage is that the customers would end up shelling out less for the phone in the first place, but then need to be subscribed to 1Gb+ or unlimited data plans.

That not only transfers the revenue from Apple to the network, but it also puts you on a contract which would probably give you a free phone of a much higher spec anyway.

So who on earth would buy one in the first place?

Maybe that was the wrong question, if it has an Apple logo on it they won't be able to make them fast enough.

Right question:

Why would Apple bother to make a phone that reduces their revenue and gives more to the operators?

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FAIL

"...Windows Phone 7 – which supports an on-screen keyboard."

Umm, actually I think you will find that soft keyboards on Windows Mobile devices go back quite a lot further than that. Many early PDAs did not come equipped with a hardware keyboard.

I still have an early HTC - the Qtek 9090 which was variously branded as an O2 XDA / Orange SPV / T-mobile MDA device in the UK. It runs Windows Mobile 2003 and has a hardware keyboard as well as offering several forms of soft keyboard input and handwriting recognition.

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"the cloud is the future"..... for how long though........

"the cloud is the future".....

Exchange the word 'Cloud' for the word 'Mainframe/Client system' and you get closer to the truth.

Sure the Mainframe/Client maybe back 'in vogue' again at the moment because its got a shiny new name but give it 10/15 years and 'Cloud' will become old fashioned - especially when your phone can carry a few hundred terabytes......

There's nothing new in computing apart from the names attached to rehashed old ideas.

Thingi

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Shhhhhhh!

If the general public ever work that out we'll all be out of a job.

Rules:

1) Centralise everything that's distributed.

2) Distribute everything that's centralised.

3) Profit!

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Nano Clouds

More and more iphone users stream their podcasts instead of downloading them.

A lot of iphone users listen to internet radio or to stream services like pandora, spotify or last.fm

A lot of ipad users (the lucky bastards who can) watch streamed videos from netflix and the sort.

So a cloud only iphone isn't that crazy.

In a Nano, however, it's strange, since if you're going for the cheaper model you'll probably won't be willing to pay for higher phone bills.

Enter the rumour about Apple becoming a virtual operator and it starts getting interesting.

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Silver badge

Re: Nano Clouds

An iPad is designed to be used sitting down, or at least when you are not walking around. That means somwhere where there is WiFi, or on public transport. I'm not sure that an iPhone Nano would be used in the same way.

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Silver badge

Apple vaporware? Brick phones?

Iphone 5? Ipad 2? Let's have actual news on actual products. I might as well make the revolutionary claim that there'll be an Ipad 3 after the Ipad 2, and that it'll be slightly better too; and there'll be a new version of Android, and Nokia will release some new models of smartphones too.

I do agree with the article that even if we took the rumours as fact, it's nothing special. Just Yet Another phone.

It's also unclear to me why bigger phones means better - some people like the smaller sizes. Indeed, once upon a time, being bigger was seen as *worse*, and people would refer to older larger phones as a "brick".

"No tube trip is complete without seeing somebody listening to music or playing a game on an iPhone." - are you sure these aren't Ipod Touches? I thought I was seeing a lot of Iphones too, and wondered if they'd become more popular, then I realised they were Ipods.

Michael C: I don't know anyone who uses a Mac for complex tasks like AV editing. They use it for the same things that most other PC users do.

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What about ...

... an iPad with a slide out keyboard, 2 mm thick of course.

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How do you spin a lower pixel density?

By saying you view it from further away.

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Grenade

Nexus S appears twice

You have the device listed twice as both a Google Nexus S and a Samsung Nexus S . Given the identical specs I assume that is the mistake.

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Woof Woof

Love the iPhone, have owned 3 of them for Dev purposes

A smaller form factor would win out with those of us with smaller hands - ie: a lot of the female of the species.

C'mon Apple, roll the puppy out

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Grenade

How about ..

..the ability to add your own words to the dictionary such as proper English words such as curses.

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Thumb Up

iPhone shuffle?

When will we get the iPhone shuffle, that's what I want to know!

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IPhone Shuffle?

Great idea. It's easier just to call someone at random than decide who to call anyway.

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Jobs Horns

One thing we do know about it...

It will change everything, yet again.

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Big Brother

iPhone 5 will change everything again

This time, you will have to surgically implement the "phone" in your head. It will use patented direct control interface. You make request to the phone by simply think about it in your mind. In exchange, your mind is also directly controlled by Steve. One new function of the new iOS will be called THINKPOL.

*Everything happens in your mind*

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Roaming

at £1per MB for European roaming I wonder how many people will enjoy racking up a £squillion phone bill when they take their cloud enabled mini device away on holiday with them

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Flame

All clouds are balls....

...unless someone else pays the mobile and or fixed broadband bills - and no, an advertising subsidised option is NOT an option - so stick that Google (which will no doubt roll it out any second now) in your creepy hole.

Now go away and start again.

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Joke

Maybe it'll have ...

... a slide out blow-job device, with fluffy cushions to rest your head on and go... aaahh, fondle me baby...

... a 3D projection screen that'll be able to reflect your content off the surface of the moon

... dispense all manner of tasty snacks via slot in the side - toasted waffles dripping in honey butter, crispy wafer thin MSG laden pringles, hot thin wedges of fat soaked bacon...

... inflatible raft, able to transform into a hot air baloon

... Your own personal Jesus, who will perform miracles on command

I can't wait, the future is almost here, life doesn't get any better than another Apple device, guaranteed to 'change the way you think' baby...

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