Touted as the most hyped-up device to be released this season, the iPhone 5 has been tantalizing consumers for months and until October 4th, it is all just speculation, rumors, hopes and dreams. Apple is famous (or infamous) for keeping consumers (fanboys) in the dark about any details of their latest gadgets and of course this is no different. In fact, unless some drunken beta testers leave their test units in local bars, we never get to hear anything about what’s on Apples horizon.
October 4th is just 4 days away and I wouldn’t be surprised if people are already starting to line up to get the next iteration of the greatest smartphone ever to be sold (in terms of sales). Any poor souls doing so should be warned that October 4th is NOT a release day, but the day of the conference in which the new device will be announced. What can we expect? Well, there are basically two camps; those that believe the next iPhone will be a brand new device altogether and those that believe it will be nothing more than an iPhone 4 upgrade.
Like with the 3G a couple years back, Apple decided to release a faster and more beefed up iPhone called the 3GS rather than re-design the entire device. The 3GS was significantly faster and provided new features like video recording and more megapixels on the camera. The release of this phone was great for those who owned the first iPhone and skipped on upgrading to the 3G because of contract restrictions.
The yearly upgrades Apple was providing whether it be a new device or an upgrade set a tone in the community—that we could expect a new iPhone every summer sometime around June. This all changed when June came and went with no official talk of a new device. Then, on the heels of an unofficial announcement about a new souped-up iPad (not an iPad 3), theories began to speculate that Apple would do the same for iPhone…essentially creating an iPhone 4S. This way, Apple will have two new devices in time for Christmas and it will also pave the way for Sprint to gear up for getting the new phone.
If Apple is going this route, that will allow them to release an all-new device in the summer of 2012.
The consumers have spoken and they are saying this is what they want—an all new phone souped up and ready to move beyond the already-familiar iPhone 4 design. Rumors are abound that a possible new design would look somewhat like a teardrop as seen in this picture. There is no word on what would be under the hood at this time, but we can expect a faster device with a better camera, seamless support for iCloud and a host of other features that have been on the minds of iPhone users for years. Did anyone say Flash support?! Yeah right, probably never.
My problem with this idea is simple. Verizon just got the iPhone 4. Sprint may be on the bandwagon soon. If Apple releases a whole new device now, then Verizon users might feel a bit shafted that they jumped on the iPhone 4 so quickly just to have be made almost obsolete in short time. On the other hand, it might be possible that this was the cause of the delay. Plus, if Apple did go with an upgrade-only, then Sprint users would feel shafted come summer time if a brand new design is launched. Either way, I think someone is going to get burned on this deal.
Some around the Internet speculate that Apple really wants to release a new design because they lost so much money on those free bumper cases and they know the most money to be made revolves around accessory sales. What better way to get people to buy new cases? Of course!! Make a phone that no longer fits your old ones!
My two cents
I think in an effort to allow Verizon to have more time with iPhone 4 and let Sprint play catch-up, Apple will announce on Tuesday that the next iPhone will be nothing more than a 4S and not a brand new device. Then, next summer after all major carriers have the iPhone, Apple will launch a brand new updated device for all to have from the start. From there on out, they could continue to release phones on a yearly basis and not worry about anyone being left out…except T-Mobile! Speaking of which, they may still be absorbed by AT&T so it doesn’t really matter.
As for me, I’ve been using a Windows Phone for about 2 months now since I sold my iPhone 4 on eBay. I did this to not only have a real-world test of Windows Phone 7, but also to wait for this new iPhone…whatever it may be. I guess I’ll have to wait until Tuesday to see if I’m going back to iPhone.