Though it seems a little odd that Apple has chosen the 4th day of a month to announce the 5th version of the iPhone, that’s what the gang at All Things D are reporting today. They feel very confident that this will be the date that newly-appointed CEO, Tim Cook, will take the stage and introduce the highly anticipated successor to the iPhone 4.
The report also suggests that the next Apple smartphone will be available at retail mere weeks after it makes its worldwide debut.
But this is by no means a sure thing. T-Mobile in the U.S. has already said that it is not going to offer it this year – a surprising statement given the cloak of secrecy that Apple usually enforces around all of their new products. Perhaps T-Mobile is right, insofar as AT&T is likely to be Apple’s chosen launch partner in the U.S., a relationship that dates back to the very first iPhone. T-Mobile might just have to wait their turn.
Of course, most of the speculation so far has been around which features will or won’t be a part of the next iPhone. We’ve pretty much heard it all. Every one of the following items has been tossed around as potential inclusions:
- LTE (the next iteration of 4G connectivity which both Bell and Rogers have recently launched in Canada)
- NFC (Near Field Communication) which is the technology behind Google Wallet and which has already been included in several other handsets including the newest BlackBerry and Google Nexus S phones.
- A5 processor – this one seems almost a given because it’s already at the heart of Apple’s iPad 2.
- 8 Megapixel rear-facing camera – I think this is a strong contender as Apple has made it clear they consider the iPhone’s camera to be a major feature. I would add to this that a dedicated camera shutter button on the iPhone 5 makes sense, given that the volume buttons are poorly positioned on the current iPhone 4 to act as shutter releases, even thought that is exactly what Apple is enabling in iOS 5.
- Larger display, thinner chassis – While it’s unlikely that Apple will re-tool the pixel ratio and resolution of their Retina Display, they might very well enlarge the dimensions of the screen itself. Most of the new “superphones” that have come to market this year are sporting displays in the 4″ range and it definitely gives these handsets an edge when it comes to readability and multimedia. A thinner chassis feels logical but I expect Apple to maintain the heft associated with the iPhone 4 – it’s one of the reasons the phone feels so solid in your hand.
But the other thing that some folks feel is a strong contender for October 4th’s announcements is a cheaper iPhone 4 – likely to be dubbed the iPhone 4s – that will be used to give Apple a more competitive product for emerging markets where price is a bigger barrier and where Apple has traditionally been outsold by RIM and other players.
We hope to find out more in the coming days so stay tuned!