Apple released on April 25th, that they will be holding this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference between June 11th-15th. There is a very good chance that we will get a peak at the iPhone 5 during this Conference as this has been the usual trend for Apple. A lot of talk suggests that the iPhone 5 will be released sometime after the conference as was the case with the iPhone 4S but another school of thought is that the October release date for the 4S was most likely an unfortunate consequence of Steve Job’s diminishing health. That being said, Apple may continue to release the iPhone on the June-July cycle. All of the wireless customers that started a 2 year contract when the iPhone 4 came out will be ready for a new phone around June or July which is something wireless providers may want iPhone ready for. This is the major reason I think apple would opt for the June-July time frame. At the very least, a peak at iOS 6 is certain to come.
So what should we expect to see on the iPhone 5? The iPhone 5 should have a completely different look from the iPhone 4 and 4s. Among other things it has been rumored that it may have a curved glass piece, I think if this is the case, the back of the phone may remain glass but be curved so the top and bottom of the phone are thinner. The new model will most likely have a beefier new processor. I would not be surprised to see the A5X chip which means good speed and graphics, The only limitation here is the size of the A5x is a bit larger than previous chips. It may be possible that Apple will ditch the classic connector and go with something smaller in order to make room for the larger footprint of the A5x. The camera will probably be a 10 megapixel camera with even better low light sensitivity. The new iPhone may actually have a bit larger screen. A larger screen makes sense since it will be harder to get better resolution with the retina display without going bigger. I don’t think Apple would stray too far from the current form factor however. There were rumors of the phone having a projector. I don’t think the new rev will have a projector since the technology would probably kill battery life and there are not a whole lot of practical reasons a projector is needed. Then again, the UI geniuses at apple may figure out some projector feature we can’t live without. The last rumor I’ve heard is the wireless charging support, which may be a definite possibility.
iOS 6 probably has more exciting possibilities then the next iPhone revision. With the phone Apple is generally limited, with software the possibilities are limitless. nevertheless here are a few predictions I foresee happening with the new platform.
More robust and feature capable “Siri”
Let’s face it, “Siri” is pretty impressive, but it’s still a little bit off from being something most of us will use practically. Yeah it can text people and clear your schedule but of all the things we do with our phones, it would be nice if it could handle more. The current release of “Siri” is basically a trial of something that will most likely mature into something awesome. The best thing that can be done for “Siri” is by giving the developers a way to interface with it. Let the army of developers create stuff that will make “Siri” useful.
Better camera features
The camera is a bigger deal than most of us probably imagine. I would expect to see a whole bunch more camera feature sets for editing and sharing. I think given the importance of photo sharing in today’s lifestyle there may be a good probability that iPhone will have integrated photo sharing capabilities that play well with sites like Pintrest or Instagram. Last iteration of iOS added the HDR feature in the camera. In iOS 6 Apple may improve upon it and add other advanced features found on newer cameras.
Another possibility is camera intelligence of some sort. Apple has already delved into using the built in macbook cameras to create signatures. Apple may already be looking at using the iPhone camera to operate the phone in some ways. what if the iPhone can read sign language? There is a whole gamut of “Siri” like possibilities that can be done with the camera. Most importantly you may be able to do a few action much more discretely.
With the introduction of gestures on the OSX Lion, They have proven to be extremely useful. There has not been much change to the way users interface with the iPhone since it was conceived. Apple may introduce a few new quarks to the way the iPhone is operated. while the four finger swipe may be a bit too cumbersome for proper usability, a few things may be better with the introduction of more gestures.
The WWDC always holds surprises and we will most likely see some preview of what is to come. Apple is an exciting company because they always deliver, and they usually give us a surprise when they do. Just when you think there can’t possibly be anything Apple can do to a phone to make it better, they come out with something no one ever though of. I have no doubt that this year will be more of the same.