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Tuesday
Mar222011

Apple iPhone 5 Predictions

With the iPad 2 finally out, you can probably already gleen from it the features that Apple's future iPhone will have.  After all, after the original iPad debut with an A4 processor, the iPhone 4 did too.  So it's not all that far fetched to imagine the iPhone 5 will have the A5 dual-core CPU, as well as the better graphics chip.  Of course, just like the iPhone 4, it may not be clocked as high as it's larger brother, since it's a smaller device with a smaller battery.

Whether it will look like the iPhone 4 or a complete redesign is a toss up.  The iPhone 3G was a complete redesign from the original iPhone, yet the 3GS wasn't redesigned at all from the 3G.  The iPad and the iPad 2 was completely redesgined, however.  There is no pattern to fathom a guess from.  My guess would be a hybrid - it will look similar (shape, size, screen), but redesigned mostly to avoid past complaints (may no longer have a glass back, antenna redesigned, proximity sensor placement, etc).

I don't see the cameras changing - Apple doesn't change anything unless it has to, and since everyone is still gaga over the current 5MP back-illuminated cmos sensor, it will stay.  They might capture 1080p video, since the A5 dual core processor would allow it.

The ability to capture 1080p video might finally give Apple a reason to bump up the internal storage offerings, so we might actually see a 64 GB version.  There was a prototype iPhone 4 with 64 GB of storage floating around, so maybe it might finally materialize in this iteration.

As for the carriers, there is a possibility that Apple will be able to create a single iPhone model that works on both CDMA and GSM.  This will mean no need to have double the SKUs, a true global phone, and cheaper to produce.  How is this done?  Well, we already know the Verizon iPhone 4 already uses a Qualcomm chipset (MDM6600) that works with both CDMA EVDO Rev A. (the 3G Verizon and Sprint uses) as well as HSDPA and HSPA+ (the 3G and 4G respectively AT&T, T-Mobile, and other GSM carrier uses).  So even without having a true 4G radio chipset, it can already be a heavy hitting phone if it can work on all carriers (depending on the actual frequencies they are on).  Qualcomm actually has a chipset (MDM9600) that also includes LTE, which is even better, if Apple decides to use it.  At this point, however, I doubt it because of battery life concerns.  The current MDM6600 being used on the Verizon iPhone was obviously tested, so I am willing to bet this is the chipset they will use for the iPhone 5.

We're not sure why they didn't include a SIM card slot on the Verizon iPhone 4 so it would already be Apple's first true world phone.  It was probably the antenna design that held them back.  Maybe they can overcome this on the next iPhone.

So far, that's my prediction.  I don't think it's all that far fetched, but looking from the outside in, all the "improvements" added up could be big.  If Apple decides to sell the next iPhone as a completely unlocked non-carrier specific phone, it would make it an even more compelling reason to choose the next iPhone.

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