If you're hoping that the iPhone 5 will be a thoroughly redesigned handset, one analyst says to chill: the next iPhone will make only "slight modifications" to the iPhone 4 when it ships in the fourth quarter of this year. For bigger changes, you'll have to wait for 2012's iPhone 6. AppleInsider reported on Monday that Ming-Chi …
This analyst may be right, in that a model of the iPhone very similar to the existing will start manufacture in September. However, we suspect a separate, larger model with a bit more CPU/GPU oomph vs this later will begin manufacture very soon to be on sale in Aug/Sep. This wuold be consistant with other apple policies of releasing a new model now and a lesser model a bit behind it, and it would also end the 3GS manufacturing, allowing Retinas currently used in IP4 models to be re-allocated into a small model 5 as the demand for the larger phone takes away that of the older one freeing up that use (which would not be available until the prior shipped).
The iPhone's 3.5" screen is looking rather dated, compared with competitors' 4" and higher screens. The retina display is all very nice but the high resolution is almost wasted on such a comparatively small screen. If the iPhone 5 doesn't get a larger screen, I might just jump to the Android or WinPh7 camps.
On the contrary
The primary thing that dictates the best screen size is the size of an average human hand. The bigger necessarily equals better crowd are primarily those that have decided they want to criticise and have worked backwards to find any distinguishing feature. I'd rate it about equal with "the Android user interface is worse because it doesn't have CoverFlow" on the scale of valid criticisms.
Of course, that doesn't mean Apple won't ship a bigger screen. At this point, distinction from the previous years' model seems to be getting ever more slender across the industry, so giving people anything on which they can try to rationalise an upgrade is advantageous.
There are some of us who have large hands and don't wan't a diminuitive-feeling phone in our hand. The iPhone may be nice for 80%ile or even 90%ile, but apple is hamfisted with it's one-size-WILL-fit-ALL attitude. It make some beautful, alluring products, but if i were a consumer of apple products, I'd want that phone to be comparable in size to my HTC EVO 4G. Not saying my EVO is hands-down better than the iPhone. But, I like having 6 screens to spread out icons and widgets. Too bad, though, that the EVO battery life sucks compared to the iPhone. And, it seems, the iPhone screen reorientation is snappy-fast. But... ultimately, we use what we're drawn to and entrapped by our carriers if we leapt for subsidized phones.
Do you struggle to hold a banana as well? or should that be the size of an inflatable banana just so you can get a grip on it?
The resolution is not wasted, it is advantageous to not be able to see the pixels on a screen. Home cinema owners owners used to complain about "screen door" effect of early projectors, being able to see the pixels and the gaps between them.
So Apple should make a bigger screen with a lower resolution just like Android phones? great idea mate, I'm glad you're not in charge of R&D at Apple as their products would be all "me too".
You must have big pockets as the iPhone is already big, I've seen 4 inch phones and they're too big. Tip, hold it closer to your face and it becomes bigger :)
Phone me when we have full coloUr, high resolution, roll up, flexible displays in our portable 'smart' devices. None of this from any manufacturer is game changing.
Guess we're gonna have to wait until this 'market reset' is on its way out...
You only have to look at apples previous product releases to see whats happening next, so thats not really news. Although the recent schedule extensions they have put on their previous clockwork timed product announcements does seem to me that apple are pulling back slightly, for what purpose? I dont know, logic would conclude a period of outer lull belies a skunk project in the making, if you ask me. But then I am having a beer or free..
not trying hard enough
>when we have full coloUr, high resolution, roll up, flexible displays
Passe - we want direct neural connection, and we want it now!
But all I keep hearing is that GUIs are for retards... and all the nerds want to go back to typing-in archaic commands to make their PCs useable again? (ubuntu anyone?)
If it's good enough for a PC - it's good enough for a phone... so let's get rid of that nice colourful screen and go back to a monotone green on black - with no icons and windows nonsense?
the white iPhone 4 is really the the iPhone, after all, this all so a color change is a major new feature. Therefore, the iPhone 6 is really the true iPhone 5. The white iPhone 6 will be the iPhone 7.
Yet another iphone release
As opposed to....
...yet another dull as dishwater Android handset from Samsung/LG/HTC etc etc.
Bored of the bleedin' lot of them. Everyone bleats that their chosen phone is best. Whoopee.
An outlook of sorts
It's a bit sad with all this wonderful technology that most of the users seem to spend the new-found capability of all these great devices, Apple, Android whatever bleeting how bloody marvellous it is compared to the competition, and then don't achieve anything worthwhile outside of their bleeting.
"Dearly beloved we are gathered here today, to mark the passing of Richard. He will be fondly remembered for his Engadget baiting posts, but barely anybody remembered him for that, what with his two Asbo kids he and his wife spawned into the world who have offered nothing but taken everything. He sadly left this realm having to have his own arse wiped for him, his legacy to the world was having only ever argued about which phone was best on Gizmodo. Amen."
Makes you think.
3.5", 4" yaddy yaddah
The one thing that surprises me is that in the quest for large screens, it does mean those of us with smaller hands will increasingly find it hard to find a phone that is comfortable to hold to make a phone call (call me old fashioned) and was one of the reasons I went for a HTC Mozart as the 3.7" screen size was about right, maybe even still a smidge too big as after an hour on the phone my hand can start to ache due to having to stretch my hand ever so slightly more than usual around the phone, so a small screen size actually has an ergonomic advantage for some people and manufacturers would be wise to maintain a smaller screened version of their phones that aren't secondary citizens to the 4.3" waggling crowd.
Re: 3.5", 4" yaddy yaddah
The flip size of the coin is that us with sausage fingers don't get on with small screens. My fingers obscure an area 4 letters wide on most touch keyboards!
I used to get on well with the very unfashionable resistive screens because I could tap with my finger nails, unfortunately now I have a capacitive touch screen, my typing speed has certainly slowed down. It doesn't help that tip of my fingers appear to be too tough and leathery for them to be detected on most phones and I have to tilt them a bit. HTC Desire HD seems to be the only one I've tried that recognises my fingers straight on. Unfortunately the HD isn't mine, it belong to my girlfriend who loves having the big screen, it's probably something to do with Angry Birds!
On the subject of the iphones, this is somewhere Apple's single model plan does fall over. Sure it does make for a simple upgrade path (assuming you follow the "way"), but it does means that if your hands aren't the apple definition of "standard", you've either going to find the device too big, or too small.
Maybe they should errr on the side of smaller, I can't imagine any guys needing to hold a phone on a call for an hour!
@Vicky Lamburn Re Screen sizes.
I have to say that I agree, the physical dimensions of ones phone if one spends a fair amount of the working day "on the blower" do have a considerable effect on user comfort. Amusingly enough my personal experience is the opposite of yours (I suspect the shovels I have at the end of my wrists are to blame!). My little old Wildfire (3.5 in) is for me far less comfortable than my Desire Z (3.7 in) when using it for a long conversation despite the fact that the "Z" is much heavier as well. It has to be said however that the competition in this (currently) ever expanding market is such that there are and will IMV continue to be a range of sizes that should ensure that we do not end up in a "one size must fit all" situation.
I'd advise getting a headset if you spend a large amount of time on your mobile.
I spend a fair amount of time on my phone during the day so have a headset, which has also made me think that I would actually benefit from a 7" or 10" tablet as a phone, since I don't need to hold it next to my ear most of the time and I would then have a great big screen for Angry Birds.
"The iPhone 4 is still selling quite well, and to undercut it by announcing that an improved model will appear in a mere matter of months would seem unlikely."
Erm, you mean the same pattern they've always done?? The 4 would just become the supplementary model, much like the 3GS is still on sale now, and the 3G sold alongside the 3GS.
Reckon they'll fix the antenna?
There's nothing wrong with the antenna
If you really deserved an iPhone, you'd imagine a better and more streamlined reality in which the antenna actually does work.
If it doesn't work, it's the user's fault for holding it wrong, and for not believing hard enough in better living through electromagnetic mind control.
Handsize / finger size
With the move to touch screen the screen size becomes really important. If you're fingers are too big it becomes really difficult to type on the screen. Blokes I know with iPhones complain that their pinkies hit about 4 letters at once when the screen is used in portrait mode. Similarly I can't type reliably on my son's Orange San Francisco in that orientation. A larger screen is helpful for large pinkies.
It doesn't make sense to assume that bigger is better, you need to choose a phone that works for you, and size will be one factor in deciding. A phone with a 10" screen might make it better for typing, it would make it better for viewing webpages, but it wouldn't fit in your pocket and you'd look a total plonker holding it to your ear.
I'd kind of like to see a phone with a 10" screen that's just one inch wide.
It would be most impressive!
'hit about 4 letters at once when the screen is used in portrait mode.'
'The fingers you have used to dial are too fat. To obtain a special dialing wand, please mash the keypad with your palm now.'
The simpsons. lol
I like my iTouch
Not sure why all the hype about the iPhone 4, most of what it does, including making video calls can be done from the iTouch at a fraction of the cost - you can also carry a wi-fi connection on your person whilst out and about - go figure.
Further, my 3 year old daughter loves her jailbroken iTouch 4, rather than the iPhone being the game changer, its actually the iTouch that gets my vote, its also 64 gigs of wow - great for playing games and totally out-manouvered Sony PSP.
My wife desires a iPhone4 though, its this desirability that Apple have captured, the 3GS being so boring in her opinion and oh so last year.
Here's to the iPad3 that will be my next Apple purchase to go with my iTouch, iMac, MacMini and MacBook - for now, I'll stick with my very old Sony Ericsson Phone, it actually does what I need it to do, make phone calls.
Enough of this megapixel willy waving! 5mp is enough!
On a sensor the size of hanging chad, squeezing 12mp onto it is insanity! The more photo-sites you cram into that little space, the more photons you need to "see" the image. Sure technology is improving, and sensitivity is increasing, but not that fast! My *real* DSLR with it's comparatively huge sensor is *only* 12 megapixels, and even with an f/1.4 lens it can get challenging in low light, but at least I have the option of deploying a real big flash.
Phone cameras are fine in sunlight, but as soon as night falls, or people move inside, the little LED flashes just can't provide enough illumination to maintain a fast enough shutter speed, or keep the amplification applied to the sensor (which increases the noise) to a reasonable level.
Can we look forward to some nice clear and stable "posted from my iphone" images on facebook please? Because at the moment most of the ones taken at night look as blurred and drunk as most of the people in the picture!
Matching a 5mm lens with a 12MP CMOS is like fitting a Ferrari engine to a Vespa. Although probably less spectacular, now I think about it.
@ Steve Evans - awwww maaate!
You were doing SO SO WELL until you mentioned facefook ^_^
The lens/camera combo sounds marginally less likely to kill you too.
Sure, the iPhone5 may have minor changes, but you'll still have the Apple sheep queuing up all over the country waiting to walk out while being clapped by Apple staff to show all your friends your new iPhone5..... which will look just like an iPhone4.
Wonder what Job's tagline will be on this one.... "This changes everything, again, and again"
I'll stick with Android and HTC thanks.
You appear to be claiming that neither Google or HTC have ever released minor updates to a product as the new/latest product? I can assure you that both have done just that.
And the same as it is for iPhone users, its up to you if you buy it or not. I'm an iPhone 3GS user and I'll probably upgrade when the next iPhone comes out. Sorry if that makes me some kind of "sheep" in your eyes, yet clearly going from android 2.x on an HTC Desire to 2.x+1 on a HTC Desire S is the height of individuality eh?
You know what, they're both decent phone platforms and I really wish that you and all the other idiot brain dead fanboys on both sides would realise that you're not true defenders of "the faith", you're just dribbling platitudes to justify your own personal choice between two perfectly satisfactory devices. Grow the fuck up.
Dont need to grow up, but thanks for your concern.
The difference is when Android releases a new version, there isnt this big fanfare, there arent hundreds of "sheep" queuing up outside shops just to have the new "iPhone" because its an "iPhone". How often for example do you see adverts on TV for HTC, or Android compared to the iPhone? Steve Jobs and his big claims of "this changes everything again". You comparing a software update to an actual physical product release, two entirely different things.
The point i'm making is that while they may be both satisfactory devices, you cant get away from the fact there are a lot of "sheep" out there who will go out and buy an overpriced phone, just to feel good about themselves and to show off to their friends that they have got an iPhone. Look at the iPad2, hardly any different from iPad1 but still morons queued up for 24 hours just to say they have got one and get their 3 seconds of fame as they walk out of the Apple store, no doubt too tired to even turn the thing on by the time they get home from their hours spent queuing.
My other complaint is with Apple themselves. I wouldnt own an Apple product just because I dont agree with their ethics. Who does Steve Jobs think he is? God? [oh he does?.......]
I think Rob was right, you should grow up. Nothing you said refuted his comments about the idiots on both sides of this *argument*
You just went on to confirm his statement.
the Dom Joly iPhone?
I think the point is if you aim at a niche or at the majority of the population. If you include teens and women everything above 3.5" is just too large for one-handed use. If you just aim at large-handed males or those who are totally happy to use both hands when dealing with their phone and have large pockets, 4" or 4.3" is actually better.
It's no surprise that the male/female ratio of iPhone owners is about 50/50 while it's about 75/25 with Android smartphones. There are many reasons for this but many Android phones going above 3.5" and as such requiring the user to use both hands and kicking it onto the other side of "practical" is one of these reasons.
The big question is...
How much more technology can you *usefully* stuff into a mobile phone? Let's take each bit in turn:
1) Comms. 3G, Wifi, Bluetooth: it's all already there. Sure, the next wave of cellular tech is incoming (i.e. 4G) but 3G is more than fast enough for most people - you can download maps, stream audio/video and upload photos of your pet to youtube, all pretty much in realtime.
2) CPU: 1GHz dual-core processors are now becoming the norm, which should be more than enough to run most apps, barring some edge cases such as Apple's GarageBand or high-end games.
3) Memory: Most handsets now come with 512mb RAM (and some high-end android phones have 768mb); given that the level of multitasking you can do is generally limited by the form-factor, do you need more?
4) GPU: Most high-end handsets are using a PowerVR SGX535 (or Qualcomm equivalent): this part is DX10.1 compatible and drives Intel's GMA 500 PC chipset. This may not be quite up to the level of a high-end Nvidia/AMD GPU, but it's more than enough for the majority of games, especially considering the small screen - both Epic and iD have managed to get high-end visuals up and running on the iPhone.
5) Display: handset displays are topping out at around 4" and a 1024*640 resolution (or thereabouts). The visual benefits from boosting the screen resolution will be minimal. The only other potential upgrade is to go "3D", but it's debatable how useful this is - there's all sorts of ergonomic issues (e.g. the 3DS doesn't require glasses, but does need to be held at a specific distance/angle - and a lot of people have reported issues with headaches, etc)
6) Battery life: this definitely needs to be improved - my Desire HD generally lasts about 1.5 days inbetween charges, as I use it as an ebook reader on the train. But cramming more powerful tech into a handset isn't going to improve this...
7) Form factor: Apple are obsessed with their one-button setup and the majority of Android phones are stamped out of the "PDA with four buttons at the bottom" mould. And while most Android handsets could maybe have a bit of weight trimmed off here and there, I think Apple's gone as far as physically possible on that front.
8) Camera: boosting the resolution isn't particularly useful, given that the sensor size remains the same (i.e. more noise/poorer quality picture). You could slap two cameras onto the back to take 3D pictures, but see point 5) - and camera manufacturers have already figured out a "pan and scan" way to generate 3D images in software. Improving the flash would be nice, though...
All told, I'm struggling to think of useful new features.
Oh, and won't someone think of the developers? The Android market is bad enough - you get everything from 300mhz Chinese ePads to multi-core high-end handsets. But Apple is starting to go that way as well: between the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, there's somewhere in the region of 9 distinct CPU/GPU/Ram/Display combinations. Admittedly, it's probably safe to ignore everything pre-3rd gen, but that still leaves the iPhone 3GS/4, the iPad/iPad2, and the iPod Touch 3/4...
Re big question
Come on, use your imagination! How about...
a pico projector
a semi conductor laser (low power for pointing/range finding or high power for small scale cutting tasks)
a far infra red camera
A thermometer / barometer / altimeter
A hazardous chemical sniffer
Hell how about an electric razor attachment?
electric/magnetic field non-contact sensors,
A load cell so you can weigh tiny tings to high resolution (what /could/ you use that for?)
ultrasonic distance measurer for estate agents
Se how far away estate agents are, do you don't have to get too close to them.
A telescope/microscope function for the camera might be nice too...
9) More storage
10) Better DAC
@There's nothing wrong with the antenna
Yes there is. The open circuit end of a monopole antenna is high impedance (zero current because you've run out of element, and thus highest voltage and *very* high impedance (Z)).
Because the end of the monopole is hi-Z, it is very sensitive to being loaded-down and/or detuned when touched. This hi-Z end of a monopole antenna is normally (instinctively) kept out of reach. The Iphone 4 has two external monopoles (differently tuned) with their hi-Z ends right next to each other where they can be touched, effectively bridging them.
It's a case of YMMV. If you have very dry hands and live in an area with strong signals, then it may never be a problem. But if you have hands that are damp with salty sweat and are in the fringe of coverage, then one false move and physics dictates that the signal will drop.
The wrap-around antenna is nice in some ways, but the design should be modified. One option would be to extend the monopole elements, bending them within the case (effectively end-loading). The hidden end would perhaps have to be effectively length-entended with dielectric. This would bring the hi-Z ends of the elements inside the case where they couldn't be touched. The part that remains outside would naturally present a lower impedance and would thus be less sensitive to being touched.
If anyone with any common-sense knowledge of antennas whatsoever had been in the room when the internal design of the Iphone 4 antenna system had been unveiled to management, they would have *immediately* pointed at the hi-Z ends and said, "You'd better insulate those ends..." I estimate the reaction time would have been about 1 or 2 seconds.
Sorry, but that is rubbish - the open end of a dipole has the _Least_ voltage, and _least_ effect on the rest of an RF circuit - I take it you only ever did lessons in steady-state electronics?
Here is the announcement you've been waiting for..
"If anyone with any common-sense knowledge of antennas whatsoever had been in the room when the internal design of the Iphone 4 antenna system had been unveiled to management, they would have *immediately* pointed at the hi-Z ends and said, "You'd better insulate those ends...""
In a company run by engineers, maybe.
Fact is that the iPhone antenna causes very little problems. Yeah, it's not perfect, but the worst thing that can happen is that you have to hold it a bit carefully if you're in a place with very weak reception. And even this is just gradually worse than with other smartphones. What you get for this is a nice, elegant, very compact, non-plastic design.
Thinking that people prefer the absolutely best technical solution in spite of any other disadvantages this solution may have is just plain wrong. They don't. Look at the shoes and clothes peole wear and the furniture they buy.
,,,"Yeah, it's not perfect"...
Blasphemy! Burn him!
The idea that resolution matters for the Iphone is a bit of a myth - for years, the Iphones had a dismal resolution, lower than the competition. Did Apple fans say this was a problem, or say other phones had better resolution? No, it was "Why would I need a higher resolution?" Yet along comes version 4, and suddenly having a high resolution is the most important thing in a phone.
Iphone 5? 6? 7? "New version in a few years will be better than current versions, and might implement some things that other phones already do"? All these articles are vaporware - let's hear about products that are actually available.
"yet another dull as dishwater Android handset from Samsung/LG/HTC etc etc."
Can you point me to the endless vaporware articles we get regarding speculation on future Samsung/LG/HTC products?
(Although yes, I do agree I tire of the Android versus Apple fanaticism. Most of us use neither operating system, and to me, all OSs are as good or bad as each other; it's other things like hardware, battery life, application support that are important. E.g., can either Android or Apple offer me decent mapping software that doesn't require Internet access all the time to read the maps?)
"can either Android or Apple offer me decent mapping software that doesn't require Internet access all the time to read the maps?"
Nokia can ...
... errr ...
Offline mapping apps
The App Store is full of these. Not exactly a new idea, especially since Apple has been and is selling millions of devices with no mobile data access (iPod touch and iPad WiFi).
brilliant?!? Just like being back in the 16 bit days!
@uhuznaa - Show me a teenager that has issues with holding 4 inches in their hand for half the day or more and I'll show you a liar :D
ps: Amiga fanboi to this very day ;D
Ok, my prediction!
Ok, not like it really matters...but what will it have? here's my prediction based on well, stuff. Everyone else is predicting, so why not :D
Internally it'll be typical Apple recycled parts. Same basically exactly the same motherboard components as the Iphad2. Same dual core CPU, same GPU, same pretty much all round. Why? it's the usual form they do on these things. Keep all the same parts to keep costs down and just keep on flogging the same stuff in a different size to the sheep.
Better camera, probably. Doesn't take much to change the sensor. Probably a fraction thinner also but solely for fashion purposes. Magnetic case thing will probably copy over from the Pad also. Glass back will probably of reverted back to metal.
Near Field Communications...yeah yeah, Apple keeps saying it isn't interested in it and won't have NFC. Which of cause means it won't, it'll have Apple(tm) Wigglyfluffcoms(tm)(c) which is just NFC with a fluffed out Apple branding because it'll work so much better, but in fact will just be no change whatsoever.
4G hmm, probably not yet...not enough market for it as yet.
Connector wise will be Apples usual proprietary crap dock connector, but this will be shipped with a micro-USB adaptor....why? because Apple signed up to the EU standard for this, and got a loop out of there sign up in December to allow them to ship a Micro-USB adaptor with future phones.
But due to it being just relatively smaller changes, it'll probably come out as a 4GS or something, and they'll leave the 5 for now....but it will be able to make calls this one :P