iPhone 5 - Everything You Need To Know

Overview

Every year, Apple releases a new version of its popular iPhone handset, and this year, the company is set to release the fifth itineration of the handset. While we don’t know exactly what Apple will call the new iPhone (more on that below), we do have an idea of what the company might add to the handset and improve. In this Web resource, we’ve compiled all the information you need to know about the upcoming iPhone. And what’s more, we’ll be updating this page with more news, as and when it becomes available – so don’t hesitate to come back to the resource, or even bookmark it.

Read on, and find out everything you need to know about the iPhone 5.

Hardware

A dual core A5 processor

The rumor

The “Apple A5″ chip is a dual core processor that  is currently featured in the second generation iPad, where it is clocked at 1GHz. Apple claims that the CPU of the A5 is twice that of the Apple A4 (which powers the iPhone 4, original iPad and fourth generation iPod touch), and that the GPU up to nine times as powerful.

Since the release of the iPad 2, a series of rumors have hit the Web claiming that the iPhone 5 will sport the same Apple A5 chip.

Our take

Last year, the original iPad featured the Apple A4 chip, and soon after its launch an A4-equipped iPhone 4 was announced at WWDC by Steve Jobs. Interestingly, the A4 made its way into the fourth generation iPod touch and the second generation Apple TV. To sum it all up, in terms of Apple’s iOS devices, 2010 was the year of the A4.

Apple A5: a dual core processor, clocked to 1GHz on the iPad 2 (source: Engadget)

This year, Apple released the iPad 2, which featured an all new dual core processor – the Apple A5. As mentioned, this special piece of silicon is responsible for the second generation iPad’s impressive speed. This is especially noticeable when the iPad 2 runs bigger, more graphically complex apps – while the original iPad might stagger and struggle at the prospect of destroying the God King in Infinity Blade, the iPad 2 doesn’t even blink.

Because the Apple A4 made an appearance in the iPad, iPhone 4, iPod touch and Apple TV, it’s a very fair assumption to expect the fifth generation iPhone to feature the very same chip. Furthermore, we’re expecting the fifth generation iPod touch and possibly even the third generation Apple TV to be A5-equipped, too.

However, our expectations aren’t founded on speculation alone. Over the past few months, reports have hit the Web claiming that Apple is currently “handing out A5 chip equipped iPhones to developers,” in an attempt to get the App Store ready for the launch of an A5-equipped iPhone 5. Other rumors involve T Mobile USA, who has reportedly been testing an A5-equipped iPhone for Apple. Furthermore, evidence of an A5-equipped future iPhone has also been found within iOS 4.3.

Even if these stories hadn’t hit the Web, we’d still expect Apple to launch an A5-equipped iPhone this year, simply because the iPad 2 features an Apple A5 chip. However, the large quantity of “evidence” that has already been published has lead us to believe that an A5-equipped fifth generation iPhone will very likely launch later this  year. For more information, check out the references below.

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A bigger screen

The rumor

Apple’s current iPhone handset has a 3.5 inch screen. However, a variety of rumors claim that the upcoming iPhone 5 will feature a bigger screen. To begin with, we heard that the iPhone 5′s screen would be a massive four inches (in order to compete in the four to seven inch smart phone category). Then we heard the actual figure was 3.7 inches.

Our take

When considering whether Apple will increase the screen size of the iPhone, we must not only consider the physical screen size, but also the number of pixels on the screen. We find it highly unlikely that Apple would change the number of pixels displayed on a single iPhone screen. iOS apps are designed to be displayed on a 3.5 inch screen at 320 x 480 points. iOS developers can count on a certain number of pixels for each element while designing an app. So we are confident that the resolution of these apps will not change, as any changes would harm the user experience.

Of course Apple can choose to change the screen size, without changing the number of pixels, or points, on a screen as they did when they released the iPad. Apple allows iPhone apps to run on the iPad’s 9.7 screen in “2x” compatibility mode. In this mode, each single pixel is doubled, as not to affect the user experience of the app.

While the user experience remains intact, viewing apps in compatibility mode on an iPad shows a clear loss in image quality. If iPhone and iPod touch applications are not “universal” and can not run natively on an iPad, the apps are double scaled, resulting in a pixelated display that just doesn’t look right. So the question is, would Apple want to sacrifice the clarity of an image to increase the screen size?

Another thing to consider is the iPhone’s famous Retina display. Both the iPhone 4 and fourth generation iPod touch feature a super high resolution display of 960 x 640 (326 pixels per inch). Since, a great many apps have been updated to take advantage of this high resolution display. If Apple increased the size of the iPhone’s screen, would the resolution still be “Retina” quality?

Back when Steve Jobs announced the iPhone 4 (and explained the Retina display), Apple’s CEO noted that any screen with a resolution of over 300 pixels per inch can be considered “Retina” quality, because at this resolution, the human eye cannot distinguish between individual pixels in the display. Therefore, increasing the screen by a fraction – to 3.7 inches – could maintain a resolution of 300+ p.p.i., resulting in a Retina display for the fifth generation iPhone and would presumably offer no noticeable loss of image clarity.

It’s a difficult situation: Either Apple increases the size of its screen and decreases its pixel density, or Apple maintains the size of the iPhone’s screen (in a market where many other smart phones feature sizeable screens).

For example, two of the iPhone’s biggest rivals – the Nexus S and Samsung Galaxy S – feature four inch screens, and as a result, both handsets can compete in the four to seven inch smart phone market.

Resolution aside, Apple would have to overcome a variety of other obstacles if the company increased the size of its iPhone screen. Namely, where would the screen expand into? Either Apple would reduce the width of the handset’s bezel, resulting in an edge to edge display (discussed below), or the company would simply increase the size of the handset itself.

Because of all of these implications (and despite the persistent rumors), we don’t think the fifth generation iPhone will feature a bigger screen or even an edge to edge display.

The iPhone could indeed feature a bigger screen, but how big could the screen be? (source: M.I.C. Gadget)

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An edge to edge display

The rumor

It has been speculated that the iPhone 5 will be around the same size as the iPhone 4, and that the bigger screen will be possible because the device will feature an “edge to edge” display. This would mean that the fifth generation handset would have a thinner bezel, and a screen that extends almost to the very edges of the iPhone.

Our take

Some of these rumors go as far as to call for the entire surface of the iPhone to be a glass display. In an early beta version of iOS 4.3, Apple added the ability to activate gestures on the iPad, and some people even managed to make this work on the iPhone. However, due to the size of the iPhone 4′s screen, gestures aren’t all that effective.

When you consider the nature of gestures, they could indeed use some additional screen estate. Some even think this would allow Apple to get rid of the Home button: There’s a gesture to return to the Home screen, and a gesture to activate the multitasking bar or even fast app switch. All of these mean that, with gestures enabled, it’s possible to effectively interact with an iOS device without using the Home button.

However, the implications of increasing the iPhone’s screen are great (as discussed in the previous section). A bigger screen would result in a different resolution and pixel density. This would affect the way iOS applications – and even the iOS itself – is displayed.

Essentially, we think that if Apple decides to increase the size of the iPhone’s screen, it’ll thin the bezel, resulting an in edge to edge display. However, as mentioned, we think a bigger display is unlikely. Also, we don’t believe Apple would ever get rid of the iPhone’s only button. Too many users rely on it, and gestures, even on a slightly bigger screen aren’t that effective on a device such as the iPhone.

In order to add a bigger screen to the iPhone, Apple might have to thin down the bezel - but by how much? (source: iDealsChina)

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A universally compatible handset

The rumor

Apple’s next generation iPhone may be “universally compatible,” meaning one single device would be able to run on any network in the world. Currently, this is not the case: In North America, two separate versions of the iPhone 4 are on the market – that is, a GSM (AT&T) version and a CDMA (Verizon) version.

If the iPhone 5 is universally compatible, it will be down to one particular chip: Qualcomm’s MDM6600, which can handle both GSM and CDMA. Interestingly, the CDMA iPhone 4 includes this very chip, even though the handset is not universally compatible.

Currently, having two separate versions of the iPhone 4 is an issue for Apple – namely because each handset runs a different version of the iOS. For this reason, a universally compatible handset is a necessary creation.

Our take

As mentioned, Apple’s iPhone 4 exists in two different versions, and each handset runs a different version of the iOS.

Here it is - that famous Qualcomm chip (source: iFixit)

For this reason alone, we think Apple is going to want to release a “universally compatible” fifth generation iPhone, which would be able to handle both GSM and CDMA networks (AT&T, Verizon, et. al.).

However, it gets better: After “tearing down” the Verizon iPhone 4, it was revealed that the CDMA iPhone includes a global GSM/CDMA chipset (Qualcomm MDM6600), which has the ability to handle both networks. As we reported, back in February:

Of course, the chipset on its own doesn’t make the Verizon iPhone a GSM phone. After all, it’s missing the required basebands, firmware and sim slot.

The presence of this important chipset in the CDMA iPhone 4 does suggest that Apple may be planning on releasing a universally compatible iPhone 5, later this year. Obviously, this would be more convenient for Apple – a global handset would mean that the company wouldn’t have to manufacture two different handsets, which include different components.

More importantly, Verizon’s CFO recently announced that he thinks the next iPhone handset will be universally compatible.

Perhaps this means that Apple will ship an “unlocked” iPhone 5, which every carrier can use. However, if you want your iPhone subsidized, it will of course be locked to one carrier.

Essentially, we’re expecting Apple to launch a universally compatible handset later this year.

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Additional U.S. Carriers

The rumor

Currently, Apple’s fourth generation iPhone is available on AT&T and Verizon Wireless in North America. However, this could change with the iPhone 5. A recent rumor states that Apple’s next iPhone could be available on T-Mobile USA and Sprint as well.

Our take

AT&T’s recent acquisition of T-Mobile USA suggests that the iPhone could move to “America’s largest 4G network.” However, T-Mobile’s network is slightly different from AT&T’s (namely the frequencies of their 3G bands), and it would take Apple a lot of work or even yet another device to be able to support it. Because AT&T and T-Mobile will very soon become one, it’s unlikely Apple will do this.

Sprint on the other hand is a much safer bet. When Apple launched the iPhone on Verizon, it told the press that the CDMA iPhone isn’t a Verizon exclusivity, which makes a strong case for a Sprint iPhone 5.

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LTE

The Rumor

As major carriers are deploying LTE around the U.S. and the world, many people believe and predict that the next iPhone will be LTE-capable. That is, feature a much faster data connection in certain cities.

Our Take

Apple has shown to be very careful when adopting new wireless technologies for the iPhone. The original iPhone for example only featured an EDGE data connection, when 3G was already widely widespread. The reason was that 3G chipsets weren’t very mature at the time of the iPhone 2G, and needed a lot of power to function. We believe this is the same case with LTE. Not only is LTE not yet available in many cities, but the few handset that support it can only withstand a few hours of use, which clearly isn’t good enough for Apple.

Furthermore, many sources (here and here) have confirmed that decision.

References

Improved cameras

The rumor

Currently, Apple’s iPhone 4 handset features a rear facing camera (which is capable of taking still images at five megapixels and recording HD video at 720p), and a front facing VGA camera (capable of capturing both still images and standard definition video).

However, the iPhone 5 could feature an improved set of cameras manufactured by Sony (as opposed to OmniVision). Specifically, various rumors have noted that the device will feature an eight megapixel digital camera manufactured by Sony.

More recently, OmniVision demonstrated a 12.6 megapixel digital camera, and many speculated that this would feature in the iPhone 5, instead.

Our take

It’s very likely that Apple will increase the quality of the handset’s cameras in the iPhone 5. This is something that company did with the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4.

Apple will probably improve the quality of its cameras, but by how much? (source: AppAdvice)

However, while many of us are expecting Apple to introduce better cameras with the iPhone 5, the key question is: Who will manufacture them? OmniVision manufactured the iPhone 4′s cameras, and many of us expected them to be manufacturing the iPhone 5′s – until Sony CEO Howard Sterne suggested in an interview that his company would provide the fifth generation handset with an eight megapixel camera.

Following this, OmniVision announced its very impressive 12.6 megapixel camera (which also records HD video at 1080p), and many of us wondered whether Apple would instead stay with OmniVision, instead of choosing Sony.

Furthermore, Apple has been pushing FaceTime HD recently, and has launched the service – which offers high definition video calling – with new Macs. Because of this, we think Apple’s fifth generation iPhone will support this service, and could feature a HD front facing camera, as opposed to the current VGA camera.

More recently, various reports have hit the Web claiming that Apple’s iPhone 5 will feature two rear facing camera-like holes, one of which is for the camera itself, and the other being for a relocated flash unit.

We definitely think Apple will launch improved cameras with the iPhone 5, and will very likely add support for FaceTime HD, too.

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Near Field Communication

The rumor

Near Field Communication (NFC) can greatly expand the functionality of a smart phone. (The technology itself involves the transmission of data across a short range.) However, what’s more important is how NFC can transform your smart phone into a variety of different things. Here are some examples:

E-payments – with an NFC capable smart phone, users can pay for shopping wirelessly. Simply enable an “e-payments” app on your iPhone, enter a PIN (or some other means of verification) and touch your handset against a mobile payments device. For a demonstration of the process, be sure to take a look at this YouTube video.

Ticketing – it could also be possible to pay for public transport via an NFC capable smart phone. With a payments device built into every mode of public transport (buses, trams and the subway), it would be possible to pay for your journey by simply touching your smart phone against the device when entering or leaving the bus, tram or subway: Customers would be billed for their journey accordingly.

Computer personalization – a recent article outlined how an NFC capable smart phone would allow users to “customize” guest computers, simply by placing their smart phone near the computer.

However, while a variety of articles and online sources suggest that Apple will debut this technology with the iPhone 5, a more recent article claims that Apple has confirmed (to carriers) that the technology will instead debut with the iPhone 6.

Our take

We thought an NFC capable iPhone would surely launch this year, until we read this report. Now, we’re not so sure. We’d recommend our readers not to hold out for an NFC capable iPhone 5. Instead, the feature may debut in the iPhone 6. Furthermore, as of this moment we haven’t heard anything regarding NFC partners, who would team up with Apple to provide the above services. Apple isn’t going to roll out NFC until the company has a series of partners on board.

With regards to NFC apps, we’d expect to see a built in “e-payments” app launch with the appropriate version of the iOS. Indeed, this has already been confirmed by a recently released Apple patent, which outlined the application.

Near Field Communication is something a future iPhone will definitely feature, but will that handset be the iPhone 5? (source: AppAdvice)

Furthermore, we’d expect to see a computer personalization app to be built into the iOS, too. According to a recent rumor, this feature would allow iPhone owners to load up their own Mac’s profile on a “guest machine,” via an NFC capable iPhone handset. Essentially, apps, documents and other files would be displayed on the guest machine, but actually stored in the cloud. If a user wants to open an app or other file on the guest machine, it would then be downloaded to that machine, and opened normally.

Near Field Communication is an important feature for the iPhone to have, essentially because it can allow for so many more features to be added to the device. Currently, many of these NFC related concepts haven’t yet been developed. However, Visa is already testing an e-payments system in Europe using NFC capable iPhones (they’re equipped with chips), and some services – like the recently released Lockitron – support NFC capable devices. Furthermore, other smart phones on the market – like the Nexus S – feature an NFC chip, meaning you can definitely expect to see some more NFC related services launch soon. We want an NFC capable iPhone, and you should, too.

However, we still don’t think the technology will debut in the iPhone 5. Check out the references below for more information.

References:

Same design

The rumor:

Apple radically altered the design of the iPhone with its most recent handset – the iPhone 4. A variety of reports have stated that the iPhone 5 will feature the same design as the iPhone 4, and that the two handsets will look similar.

Our take:

Initially, the design of Apple’s iPhone 4 was considered a failure by many, due to the “antennagate.” Because of the design of the handset (which involves a stainless steel antenna running around the outside of the iPhone 4), many users experienced signal failure when making calls, due to the position of their hand in relation to the antenna.

Things escalated: Apple held an “antennagate” press conference, and the the company’s Senior Vice President of Devices Hardware Engineering either quit or got fired. Apple gave iPhone 4 owners free cases for their handset, and most of us forgot about the issue.

Interestingly, since “antennagate” came to an end, Apple went on to release two more iPhone 4 handsets which featured a similar, slightly modified design: The Verizon (CDMA) iPhone 4 and the white iPhone 4. This would suggest that Apple could be considering carrying the design of the iPhone 4 over to the iPhone 5.

Apple's iPhone handsets have changed over the years, but what will the iPhone 5 look like? (source: AppAdvice)

However, we should remember that a bigger screen and an edge to edge display would result in a “tweaked” design. If Apple does increase the size of the iPhone’s screen, we’ll obviously see a slightly different design launch with the iPhone 5 – although it could retain many of the iPhone 4′s design elements (like a glass back, the infamous antenna, etc.).

More recently, various reports have hit the Web claiming that Apple’s iPhone 5 will feature two rear facing camera-like holes, one of which is for the camera itself, and the other being for a relocated flash unit.

We can’t be sure that the iPhone 5 will look similar to the iPhone 4, but we think it probably will. For the other side of the story, check out the below section, which discusses the possibility of a different design launching with the iPhone 5.

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Different design

The rumor:

A series of rumors have noted that the iPhone 5 will feature a different design to the iPhone 4, and that the two handsets will look unlike one another. Besides having a bigger screen (with a possible edge to edge display), other rumors suggest that the iPhone 5 will feature a metal back and will look more like previous iPhone handsets (first to third generation).

Our take:

As we have discussed above, a bigger screen and edge to edge display would result in a slightly different design launching with the iPhone 5. The question is: How different will the design be? Will Apple carry iPhone 4 design elements over to the iPhone 5 (like the glass back and antenna), or will the company offer a radically different iPhone 5 design?

Could the iPhone 5 feature a metal back? (source: 9to5Mac)

Recent rumors have suggested that, while Apple isn’t going to offer an all new design with the iPhone 5, the upcoming handset could look markedly different to the iPhone 4. Essentially, this rumor suggests that Apple’s iPhone 5 will look more like previous iPhones – the original iPhone, the iPhone 3G and the iPhone 3GS – as opposed to the newer iPhone 4.

Other rumors have partially collaborated with this story, claiming that the iPhone 5 will feature a metal back (like the original iPhone), but a bigger screen. Interestingly, another rumor has suggested that the iPhone 5 will feature a curved screen.

More recently, various reports have hit the Web claiming that Apple’s iPhone 5 will feature two rear facing camera-like holes, one of which is for the camera itself, and the other being for a relocated flash unit.

It would be unlike Apple to release an all new iPhone design with the upcoming handset. Instead, it would be more in keeping with the company’s ethos for Apple to save the change for a later upgrade. However, anything could happen.

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A 64GB version

The rumor:

Apple’s iPhone 4 is currently available in either a 16 or 32 gigabyte version. However, the iPad (which is quite similar to the iPhone on a hardware level – Apple A4/A5 chip, front and rear facing cameras, etc.), is available in either a 16, 32 or 64 gigabyte version (and the iPod touch is, too).

As you can see, the size of the iPhone's flash storage has gradually increased over the years

Because of this, many Apple fans are hoping that a 64 gigabyte version of the iPhone 5 will be available to purchase.

Furthermore, images of a prototype iPhone 4 (with 64 gigabytes of internal storage) recently hit the Web, suggesting that Apple was planning on making the change in the iPhone 4, but decided against it. Perhaps the company is saving the change for the iPhone 5?

Our take:

It’s quite obvious why we’d like the iPhone 5 to be available in a 64 gigabyte version. Some people (not necessarily myself), really need to have as much internal memory on their iOS devices as possible – for some, a mere 16 or even 32 gigabytes is not enough to house all the pictures, music, movies and apps that might have been accumulated over the years.

However, Apple’s rumored iCloud service, which could store media in the cloud, could mean that users simply won’t need 64 gigabytes of storage. This is a possibility, since we’re expecting Apple’s online service to offer a cloud based music service, and even an online locker for pictures, videos and other files.

Many Apple fans would undoubtedly appreciate a 64 gigabyte iPhone handset (source: M.I.C. Gadget)

In short, it would be a good move for Apple to make a 64 gigabyte version of the iPhone 5 available to customers, and in turn, some customers would undoubtedly appreciate it.

However, do we think Apple is going to release a 64 gigabyte iPhone 5?

Obviously, this kind of hardware improvement is an easy improvement to make to the iPhone, especially when you consider that the iPod touch – whose fourth generation version is very much like the iPhone 4 – is available with 64 glorious gigabytes of internal storage. Furthermore, it would appear that Apple was considering debuting a 64 gigabyte iPhone with the iPhone 4, then changed its mind. Because of this, we can’t be sure that Apple will launch a 64 gigabyte iPhone this year, when the company didn’t want to release one last year.

As mentioned, it wouldn’t be impossible for Apple to release a 64 gigabyte fifth generation iPhone. And if Apple’s iPhone 5 is evolutionary rather than revolutionary (think iPad 2), the company might throw in an extra 32 gigabytes, and pass it off as a new and exciting feature. Who knows?

In short: It could happen, but it won’t definitely happen.

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A physical keyboard

The rumor:

A few rumors claiming that Apple is planning on releasing an iPhone with a physical keyboard have also hit the Web. (As opposed to a virtual, touch screen keyboard, a physical keyboard is the kind BlackBerry smart phones boast – i.e., “actual” buttons.)

Our take:

You don’t need us to tell you how absurd the idea of an iPhone with a physical keyboard sounds. Since Apple’s very first iPhone and iPod touch launched, the company has concentrated on enhancing the “touch screen experience.” Just think: Not only did the company release a touch screen computer, but Apple also developed a touch based means of interacting with desktop computers (the MacBook trackpad and Magic Trackpad), and even developed gestures for iOS devices, which essentially eradicate the Home button.

A recently released Apple patent outlines the possibility of a physical keyboard (source: 9to5Mac)

For this reason alone, we think it’s incredibly unlikely that the iPhone 5 will feature a physical keyboard. If you’re looking for something like that, head over to the BlackBerry camp.

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Software

iOS 5

We’re expecting most software related improvements to the iPhone to launch with iOS 5, later this year. Because iOS 5 is such a huge topic, we’ve addressed it separately on a different Web resource (which you can check out here).

However, we’ve also included a link list below of new features we expect to see launch in iOS 5. If you click the link, you’ll be taken over to the appropriate section of our iOS 5 Web resource.

Here’s what we think might appear in iOS 5:

Below, we’ve included some software features we expect to launch with the iPhone 5 only.

FaceTime HD

The rumor:

If Apple improves the cameras in the iPhone 5, we’re expecting the company to add support for FaceTime HD. This new version of FaceTime (which has been appearing in new Mac computers for a few months now), allows Apple fans to make high definition video calls.

Our take:

We’re definitely expecting Apple to launch a FaceTime HD app for the iPhone 5, simply because we think the handset will feature improved cameras. If this is indeed the case, Apple will certainly update the FaceTime app, allowing iPhone 5 owners to make high definition calls to other users of the service.

Furthermore, this is a change we would expect to see in the fifth generation iPod touch and also in the iPad 3. In time, all of Apple’s iOS devices will support FaceTime HD.

References:

Photo Booth

The rumor:

Apple’s iPad 2 features a Photo Booth app, which morphs a photograph taken using the iPad’s front facing camera in real time. This is made possible by the iPad’s powerful A5 processor. If the iPhone 5 features this very same processor, it may be possible that Apple will release an iPhone (and iPod touch) version of Photo Booth later this year.

Our take:

We’re expecting the iPhone 5 to feature an Apple A5 processor. If this is the case, we’re also expecting Apple to release some iPhone 5-only apps that take advantage of this powerful processor. It is very likely that Photo Booth will be one of these apps.

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GarageBand for iPhone

The rumor

Back in March, Apple released GarageBand for the iPad. The app, which integrates with the desktop version of GarageBand, allows amateur musicians to compose tracks on the go, on their iPad. Could this app premiere on the iPhone 5?

Our take

Because GarageBand is compatible with both the original iPad and the iPad 2, it obviously doesn’t require the power of the Apple A5 processor to run. For this reason, if Apple was planning on releasing an iPhone version of GarageBand, we would have expected the app to have debuted on the iPhone 4. However, it didn’t.

Presumably, some other reason persuaded Apple to make GarageBand an iPad-only application. This may have been down to the size of the iPhone’s 3.5 inch screen (which would have made interacting with the digital instruments difficult), or for some other iPhone-specific reason. Because of this, there’s a strong possibility that Apple will not make GarageBand available for iPhone and iPod touch users later this year, even if both devices sport an Apple A5 processor.

However, if the iPhone 5 features a bigger screen, Apple might consider releasing the application in the iPhone App Store. A recently released patent application suggested that Apple was considering a GarageBand for iPhone app, and a slightly bigger screen might make interacting with the app possible.

Overall, while we’re expecting Apple to release a PhotoBooth for iPhone app, we don’t think the company will make GarageBand available on the iPhone – simply because of the device’s size.

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Voice Recognition

The rumor:

Apple’s iPhone already features a Voice Control service, via which users can speak commands to their iPhone, and have the device perform a variety of actions. However, the service is relatively basic and does not integrate with every built in iOS app. Recently, Apple has been rumored to be in talks with Nuance regarding the company’s voice recognition technology, prompting many to speculate that an improved Voice Control service could launch with the iPhone 5.

Our take

A variety of rumors claiming that Apple has been “in talks” with Nuance would certainly suggest that an improved Voice Control service will launch with the iPhone 5. Furthermore, this could be made possible through the handset’s rumored Apple A5 processor, which we’re expecting to feature in the iPhone 5.

Additionally, Apple purchased Siri, Inc. last year. Siri, Inc. developed the popular Siri Assistant app, which relies on Nuance voice recognition technology to provide users with a digital P.A. This would also suggest that Apple is planning on launching an improved Voice Control service. And because of the Apple A5 processor, this service could likely be iPhone 5-only.

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Naming

While the next iPhone will be the fifth generation of iPhones, it’s not clear yet how Apple will be branding it.

iPhone 4S

The Rumor

According to some industry insiders, this year’s iPhone might only be a very slight upgrade from the current iPhone 4 model. As it did with the iPhone 3G and 3GS, Apple might therefore not name the fifth generation handset the iPhone 5, but rather the iPhone 4S – the “S” standing for “speed.”

Our take

In our opinion, it’s a given that the next iPhone will indeed feature a dual-core A5 processor. It will therefore be much faster and naming it the iPhone 4S would fit the device very well – if that’s the only change. However, we’re hoping that there will be more to this year’s iPhone than just a faster processor, in which case Apple will want to mark this difference by giving it a brand new name.

Furthermore, the original source of the rumor states that Apple hasn’t decided on a name yet, and that iPhone 4S is an invention of his own.

References

Release date and pricing

In the past, Apple has unveiled its new iPhone handset at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference, which takes place annually around June. This year, the conference will start on June 6, and finish on June 10. Because of this, many of us initially expected Apple to announce the iPhone 5 on June 6 in a keynote presentation. However, more recent reports have suggested otherwise.

Release date

The rumor:

A variety of rumors have recently hit the Web, which suggest that Apple will not release the iPhone 5 in June. Instead, it has been suggested that Apple will release the handset in fall, after announcing it at the company’s annual September event.

Our take:

A lot of different sources have suggested that this is going to be the case, which would lead us to believe the theory. Obviously, nothing has been confirmed by Apple – and furthermore, it would make sense for the company to stick to its yearly cycle. However, the increasing interest in the iPad (which is announced and released around February or March) and the waning interest in Apple’s iPod line suggest that the company may wish to space out the announcement and launch of its two most exciting iOS devices – the iPad and iPhone.

Essentially, it could likely happen – but we’re not entirely sure.

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Pricing

The rumor:

While no concrete rumors have hit the Web regarding the iPhone 5′s price, history suggests that the handset will retail at $199 and $299, for the lesser and greater models respectively (as mentioned, Apple could introduce a 64 gigabyte handset, which might eradicate the 16 gigabyte model).

Furthermore, when launched, the iPad 2 retailed at the same price that the original iPad did.

Our take:

We would expect the iPhone 5 to retail at $199 (lesser model) and $299 (greater model). However, we could be wrong – and, if Apple releases three different models (16, 32 and 64 gigabytes) the pricing may shift.

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