With Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich taking the Google OS to previously undiscovered levels of slickness and competency, and the likes of HTC and Samsung releasing enormously powerful smartphones like the HTC One X and the Samsung Galaxy S3, pressure is mounting on Apple to make a riposte.
1. It won’t be called the iPhone 5
No, probably not. But we’ll call it that for the purposes of this article. To date, only one iPhone has been named after its number, if you see what we mean (the iPhone 4).
2. It will be quadcore
Apple makes more of the user experience than it does specs. It wouldn’t surprise us at all if iPhone 5 stuck with an upgraded dual-core with improved graphics – just like the new iPad – rather than going “full quad”.
3. It will be thinner and lighter
Well, not necessarily: the new iPad was actually thicker and heavier than the last one, so Apple has proven it won’t shrink things at any cost.
4. It will use a larger screen
This has now become a key differentiator between the iPhone and its rivals. Our favourite rumour in this area is that the iPhone 5 will just get longer, for true (16:9) widescreen video and an extra row of apps.
5. The USB connector port will change
There are rumours that as part of a size-efficiency drive the connector will be replaced with a smaller alternative. Phones are all meant to charge via micro USB these days, too. This one is boring, but plausible.
6. It will have an entirely new design
The Wall Street Journal reports that “in-the-know” contacts say the next iPhone will feature a different form factor. But the iPhone – and other phones come to that – has barely changed shape since launch. We expect a refresh of materials, a thinner bezel but no major shape-shift. Oh, and it won’t be made of “liquid metal” – there isn’t the capacity to make enough of it.
7. It will be on sale in September
Two theories here: 1) Apple needs to keep up with the Android rush, so will replace the 4S after less than a year. 2) The 4S is selling like hot cakes and doesn’t need replacing yet. Our verdict: the latter.
8. Odds and sods
The camera will probably remain at eight megs and 1080p, with Apple trumpeting fast start-up, a burst mode and easier sharing to Facebook and maybe Picasa/Flickr. There’ll be no 3D or any of that, and NFC will remain absent due to ongoing pointlessness issues.
What do you think we can expect from the iPhone 5? Let us know your comments in the section below