In addition to crippling heat and sexy beachwear, each summer ushers in the pre-next-iPhone hype cycle and accompanying rumors of what new and amazing things the upcoming iteration of the device will be able to do. 2012 has been no different so far and thanks to copious amounts of information from parts manufacturers, it looks like Apple fans (and haters) will have much to talk about this fall.
1. The New iPhone Will Run iOS6. This was obvious, but Apple's next mobile platform boasts important features such as total Facebook integration, improved Siri support, no more Google maps, and better cloud sharing. Good things all around.
2. There Will Be A Bigger Screen. Finally. Finally. Finally. In an age where 4" screens became the standard (thanks to eternal enemy, Android), the iPhone has been stubbornly clinging to the smaller 3.5" ones, until now. It's looking like the next gen device will indeed be larger, and as a bonus, even thinner than before as well. No word on the potential weight or battery life yet though.
3. It Will Have A New USB Connector. Yep, that 30 pin connector that's become one of the iconic symbols of the digital age is going the way of the dinosaurs in a few weeks. While nobody's exactly sure what the reason is for the switch, I'm guessing it's some combination of wanting to make it sleeker (and get some extra dough selling adapters to everyone that has the old one) and faster (USB 3.0 compatible perhaps).
4. You Can Browse The Web Using LTE. Another long, long overdue feature. If the next iPhone isn't LTE capable, there is absolutely no reason to buy one, no matter how many zillions of pixels they can cram onto their screens. LTE is the standard of 2012 and if Apple doesn't upgrade, they'll miss the boat completely.
5. Actually, It Won't Be Called The iPhone 5. Because, it's technically the sixth generation iPhone, not the fifth. To avoid confusion, Apple's been slowly eliminating the number association with the product (think "The New iPad"), so this thing will probably be called simply, "The New iPhone."
1. The Battery Will Be Larger. Battery life has been a concern for smartphones since day one, but look for Apple to bolster the battery with the increased space thanks to the smaller USB connector. This doesn't necessarily translate to more battery life because the phone could use more juice than before, but only that the batter will physically be bigger to make up for it.
2. Near Field Communication Capability. This could be coupled with iOS6's Passbook feature to use for payment processing in places like supermarkets, department stores, or even public transportation. It's a new technology but it could prove to be quite nifty if it makes its way onto the new iPhone.
3. A Completely New Design. Apple's sold you guys the same phone (with different innards) twice now and if they go for the trifecta it could be a disaster. People need to see a tangible difference in the body style to justify the pricey upgrade, not just beefier guts. What's the show-off value if the current generation looks identical to the one from two years ago?
1. Widgets. Enh, don't think it's happening. iOS has always been very meticulously structured and adding widgets just wouldn't conform to their Godly standards. Don't hold your breath for this.
2. True Multitasking. Another feature that's almost guaranteed not to be included. Theoretically it would leech precious battery life and from what we've seen from iOS6, it's not written into the operating system. Maybe next year.