iPhone 5 rumors: bigger, smaller, cloudy, keyboard-equipped
Will Apple ape Google?
The latest round of iPhone rumors point in multiple directions at once: a larger screen, a smaller phone, a slide-out keyboard, and cloud-only operation à la Google's still-gestating Chrome OS.
Let's start with that larger screen. According to a DigiTimes report on Tuesday, "upstream component suppliers" say Apple's next iPhone will have a 4-inch screen, a smidgen bigger than the 3.5-inch display of today's iPhone 4.
Big whoop, say we.
If DigiTimes's sources are correct, upping the iPhone's display size will simply put it in line with many of the more-popular smartphones available today, as well as other recently announced but not-yet-shipping handsets such as the Acer Iconia Smart and Motorola Atrix:
- Apple iPhone 4: 3.5 inches, 960-by-640 pixels, 326 ppi, TFT
- Acer Iconia Smart: 4.8 inches, 1024-by-480 pixels, 236 ppi, TFT
- BlackBerry Storm:3.25 inches, 480-by-360 pixels, 185 ppi, TFT
- BlackBerry Torch 9800: 3.18 inches, 480-by-360 pixels, 189 ppi, TFT
- Google Nexus S: 4 inches, 800-by-480 pixels, 235 ppi, Super AMOLED
- HTC Evo 4G: 4.3 inches, 800-by-400 pixels, 208 ppi, TFT
- HTC Incredible S: 4 inches, 800-by-480 pixels, 235 ppi, Sony Super LCD
- Motorola Atrix: 4 inches, 960-by-540 pixels, 275 ppi, TFT
- Motorola Droid X: 4.3 inches, 854-by-480 pixels, 228 ppi, TFT
- Palm Pre3: 3.58 inches, 800-by-480 pixels, 260 ppi, TFT
- Samsung Galaxy S 4 inches, 800-by-480 pixels, 235 ppi, Super AMOLED
To be sure, no current smartphone matches the iPhone 4's 326-ppi pixel density. But if Apple plans to maintain the same 960-by-640 pixel resolution in a 4-inch display to keep app-display consistent, the pixel-per-inch count would drop to 288 ppi. After all the hoopla that Apple created around the release of its handset's "retina display", we'd be interested to see how Cupertino's marketeers will spin that spec slippage.
The purported iPhone nano is said to be on the order of one-half (WSJ) to two-thirds (Bloomberg) the size of the iPhone 4. Odds are that the device – if it even exists, of course – would take advantage of the dual-mode capability that iFixit.com turned up in its recent vivisection of the Verizon iPhone 4.
To our mind, this rumor makes a modicum of sense. After all, there are nearly seven billion souls inhabiting Planet Earth, and not all of them need – or want – a full-featured, full-sized, pricey smartphone. And as we've said many times before, Apple has never met a revenue stream it didn't like.
Take the iPod, for example. When it was released in October 2001, it came in exactly one configuration: big and expensive. In January 2004, however, it was joined by the iPod mini. The iPhone was announced in January 2007 and shipped in June of that year. Following the iPod timeline, it's just about time for Apple to drop a less-expensive, less-capable iPhone into the mass market.
Another of the week's iPhone rumors makes less sense to us here at Vulture Annex. As pointed out by AppleInsider, the Chinese-language website tw.apple.pro claims that there are three new iPhone prototypes in the works, one with a slide-out keyboard.
As quoted by the ever-amusing Google Translate (and tweaked by The Reg), a tw.apple.pro poster by the name of Anthony writes: "As for the so-called iPhone5, according to 'clip die' tomb said to me, there are three iPhone5 prototype: one is sliding cover [and] the introduction of the keyboard after the side cover."
Sparse evidence, to be sure – but sparser chance, in our opinion.
Admittedly, the iPhone took a boatload of flack for its lack of a physical keyboard when it was first introduced – including a memorably buffoonish turn by a laughing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer: "It doesn't appeal to business customers because it doesn't have a keyboard," he chortled, "which makes it not a very good email machine."
Soft keyboards are here to stay – we don't see Apple backtracking on their on-screen keyboard for the iPhone, no matter what "clip die" tomb says.
Next page: Cloudy, 'mind-blowing' iPhone nano
Cloud only service? I dont think apple would be that stupid...
I know cloud based computing and devices are very trendy and are more than possible for static devices but IMO its useless for a mobile device. 3G service even when you can get it is generally laggy and data rates are paltry. Add in the pitifully small data allowances and I really dont see how a mainly cloud based mobile device at the current moment in time is a starter. I really dont think anyone will appreciate having an expensive paperweight when you are somewhere where you cant get a signal. Additionally if in an area without edge or 3G(and often even in these areas) it will take forever to do the simplest task due to the fact that mobile operators networks just arent upto the task.
Admittedly I am talking with experience of the UK but I hear its a similar situation in the US, Canada, mainland Europe, Aus and Japan.
You know Apple
"And you know Apple: they don't comment on unreleased produts, or on rumors and speculation."
They merely fuel the existing rumours and speculation, also known as free publicity from the pants-wetting fanbois.
The more that gets parked "up there" (which in a certain sense is centralisation of *your* data in *their* hands) the greater the demands on bandwidth to get it up and down. Given that we are now facing a situation where smart-phones are/will be out-selling pcs where the hell are we going to get the bandwidth on the necessary scale? When the world, his missus and their dog are down-loading high-res video, playing on-line games via their pocket shiney etc, how the hell is the rate of growth of the required infrastructure going to keep up?
Not speak of course of the way that "certain folks" are going to find ways via downloaded apps and the like to piggy-back on that bandwidth with all sorts of consequences for the individual punter, the loading on the system and of course, security.
That is the business version; the consumer model is here:
If the general public ever work that out we'll all be out of a job.
1) Centralise everything that's distributed.
2) Distribute everything that's centralised.