The next iPhone from Apple (let’s unofficially call it the iPhone 5 in this article) is right around the corner. Apple is expected to unveil the new smartphone at a special event on September 12, with a release date a few days later on the 21st. With that in mind, many of the top rumored features of the iPhone 5 will soon be answered.
Apple has had the iPhone 4/4S design on the market since 2010. Just like its predecessors, many suspect the next iPhone to be revolutionary all over again in not just design, but with new technology and features as well. Here is what Apple could do to make the iPhone 5 do just that.
Bigger screen (Part 1)
Certainly the most exciting rumor about the iPhone 5 is it being equipped with a bigger, or more specifically taller, screen. Consistent photos and videos (here and here) of the supposed outer shell of the next iPhone have revealed space for a taller touch screen; overall width of the entire unit appears to remain the same, pointing to the assumption that the next iPhone will sport an aspect ratio of around 16:9.
The current iPhone 4S’s 3.5 inch screen has been around since the original iPhone from 2007. Although the 4S did receive a bump in pixel density with its 960 x 640 pixel Retina display, its screen’s physical dimensions have remained the same. With a taller screen, the next iPhone is expected to sport a new 1136 x 640 pixel Retina display.
Bigger Screen (Part 2)
News about the next iPhone’s screen doesn’t end there. Appleinsider reports that Apple has recently filed a new patent for LCD screen technology that will now incorporate touch sensors directly within the display circuits. By following this procedure, less number of components would need to be manufactured and assembled in order for the touch interface to work on the screen. Ultimately, a thinner and taller display would mean more room for other components (see below).
While the iPhone 4S’s dual-core A5 chip is nowhere near slow, its current 3G data connection speeds may be what most users are most concerned with when it comes to performance. Many claim Apple disregarded the high speed data connection as a feature on the iPhone 4S when it was first introduced due to its higher draw in power, which would impede too heavily on battery life. Perhaps by fitting a larger battery within its slightly bigger dimension, the iPhone 5 can finally provide users access to the faster data connection without any sacrifice in battery life.
Near field communication
A lesser known technology arriving in a select number of mobile devices today is near field communication (NFC), which is essentially a radio transponder that can communicate and transfer data with another NFC equipped device or tag that is nearby. This technology can be used to simply exchange data exchange, start a function, and even process an electronic transaction.
While many believe that certain leaked photos of various iPhone 5 parts reveals a component that resembles an NFC chip, others think the otherwise, reminding us that most of the NFC rumors are based purely on the mystery part’s square dimensions.
Relocation of the headphone jack and front-facing camera
Leaked videos reveal not only a taller screen, but the relocation of the headphone jack and front-facing camera. As the creator of both the hardware and software of all their devices, Apple most likely took the opportunity to rearrange the internal layout of the device to further maximize space efficiency for newer components (hopefully).
Smaller dock connector
The 30-pin dock connector, which has been around since the third generation iPod (no, not the iPod Touch…the actual iPod music player from 2003), is supposedly being discontinued. A new smaller 9-pin connector has surfaced. Perhaps following the same idea with the relocation of the headphone jack and front-facing camera, the smaller dock connector could have been created to helped alleviate more space for internal components within the phone.
While a refresh in design is enough to satisfy many, the inclusion of new technologies like near-field communication (NFC) and a 4G LTE data connection on the iPhone 5 are yet to be official. When it comes to Apple’s attention to detail and efficiency, however, it’s likely that the taller dimension will allow for more room for those components and/or a bigger battery. The Apple iPhone, in its 5 year lifespan, hasn’t changed much in design, but has still managed to revolutionize the way we interact with the world. The next iPhone should be no different.