Back in February I wrote an article outlining my predictions for the next version of the iPhone. (For my purposes hereby referred to as iPhone X.) Rumors have run like crazy for the last few months about what the iPhone X will be. Thinner, lighter, the same as the current, faster, curved, larger, two versions. You name it, some knucklehead with a blog has come out and said it. With the announcement that Apple will be hosting a talk about iPhone X on October 4, now seems like as good of a time as any to double down on my predictions.
For the record, I make no serious attempt to back these predictions up with any hard facts. Take it all with a grain of salt.
Prediction #1 — Steve Jobs Will Introduce the iPhone 5
Unless his cancer reaches a point which seriously prohibits him from doing so, I believe that he will do everything in his power to be the one on stage to show off the new iPhone. Rumors of his impending doom are being greatly exaggerated
I still maintain that Steve Jobs will be present at the announcement, even after his recent retirement as Apple CEO. I think he will be there to hand it off to Tim Cook in some way, or perhaps participate in some FaceTime chat to highlight a new iOS 5 feature. At the very least, his presence will be felt.
Prediction #2 — Hardware Updates
I’m going to go on record by saying that the iPhone 5 isn’t going to look drastically different than the iPhone 4. While the antenna design my be altered slightly, the dimensions are going to be the same. In my opinion the market isn’t ready for something drastically different, yet. That will probably come with next years version. Aside from the well documented attenuation problems, the design of the iPhone 4 is solid. My best guess is, Apple won’t alter it much except to correct that flaw.
On this I will 100% totally double down.
The iPhone X will be what most are calling the iPhone 4S. An upgraded version of the current device. There will be only one device announced, but it will not be a revolutionary new device. The larger, thinner version will come in 2012. What you will see next Tuesday will be an evolutionary upgrade, along the lines of the iPhone 3G to 3GS. Same form factor, better guts.
Expect the A5 dual-core processor, upgraded camera, more memory, and possibly NFC integration, reworked antenna. Don’t expect a lot more than that.
Prediction #3 – Networks
- No LTE. It’s not needed, the chips that are out to support it are not mature, and suck a lot of battery life. Besides that, cellular networks around the world are not deploying it at the level where it’s even going to be utilized except by a few lucky few.
- Support for fake-4G also known as “HSPA+” — although I really hope that Apple doesn’t ever call it 4G. Enhanced 3G is all it is.
Again, 100% double down. There will be no LTE iPhone X this year. Save it for 2012 when the revolutionary device is released and when all three of the US carriers have a more robust LTE network. AT&T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint. Yes, I believe there will be a Sprint iPhone X, and it’ll be the same phone that AT&T and Verizon get. The iPhone X is going to have the same radio as the current Verizon iPhone 4, because it supports GSM/CDMA, therefore, as I’ve said before, it’s going to be essentially the same device on all three networks.
Prediction #4 – Software
Obviously with the release of a new iPhone comes updates to iOS, in this case bringing us to version 5.0.
We’ve seen from the already released iOS 5 betas that I was correct about most of this. We’ve got iCloud now, we’ve got wireless sync, we’ve got over the air updates on WiFi (that rock) — I’m going to add onto all of that and say there will be some at present unreleased features that will be exposed. Along with Twitter I expect to see Facebook integration into the core of the OS. Most importantly though, I expect to see voice commands take off and become a mainstream, front and center feature.
Prediction #5 – Most of this will be wrong
In all five of these areas, I’m probably going to be wrong more than I’m right. Predicting what Apple will do is like predicting the weather in Kansas on the day they announce the iPhone 5.
Actually, I think I’m going to be right about most of this stuff. But Apple is free to prove me wrong. However, I’m not making any plans to dump my current iPhone 4, once the “X” is released. I’ll be saving my money for the revolutionary upgrade in 2012.