Looking forward to the iPhone 5? You and everyone else, it seems. Alas, here's five reasons it’s not the hero handset you’re hoping for.
1 Design looks to be largely unchanged
Leaked snaps indicate that although the next iPhone is going to be taller and thinner, its look and feel will remain largely unchanged from the iPhone 4S. Which, you'll not need reminding, itself retained the design of the iPhone 4 - a phone that’s now over two years old. That's aeons in smartphone years.
In that time, Android phones have introduced whopping screens that blur the line between tablets and smartphones and have debuted innovative pebble-shaped form factors. But with those kind of sea changes abroad on phones running Google's OS, Apple's design department seems to have stood still.
If the snaps we’ve seen so far tell the whole truth and there really is no tangible sense of progression from design doyen Jonathan Ive this time around, you’ll be able to see the sense of disappointment from space.
2 Apple could once again fail to manage expectations
The iPhone 4S left many tech fans crestfallen partly because Apple allowed the hype whirlwind around the phone to blow up to Katrina proportions. That was in contrast to the iPad 2.
When a slew of rumours appeared suggesting the second-gen tablet would have a high density retina screen, Apple got in touch with select tech sites and leaked info to put them right about it. The result? Punters adjusted their expectations accordingly were grateful for what they got, not irked by what they didn't.
We've not heard of anything similar happening with the iPhone 5, with Apple seemingly happy once again to let iPhone 5-related rumours get giddier and more fantastical by the day.
That could mean that it really is going to be all we've been led to believe and that the quad-core processor, 4G support and the kitchen sink are present and correct. Or it could mean that Apple hasn't learned its lesson and is allowing the rumour mill to stir up expectations that the phone won't fulfil.
If it's the latter, it's the kind of PR mistake that might not hurt sales in the short term but could do real damage to the company's reputation in the long run.
3 'Steve Jobs' last device' chatter is raising stakes
Within weeks of the death of Steve Jobs and with his Princess Diana-style beatification and canonisation as one of modern life's few geniuses already underway, leaks emerged from Cupertino claiming that the iPhone 5 is the last iDevice on which the Apple founder was closely involved in its development.
Whether Jobs merits his exalted position is a moot point. But one thing is for sure. And that's that the billing the handset is being given means it has already acquired a kind of legendary status. That means it'll have to change the game if it's not to be seen as anything other than an anti-climax.
4 Four-inch screen feels superannuated
At the Galaxy S3 launch a few months back, the uSwitch Tech team of scribes laid out their handsets next to Sammy’s new wonder kit in the interests of comparison.
Stacking up against the S3 that day was an HTC Sensation, a Galaxy S2 and an iPhone 4S. And it won’t surprise you that it was the iPhone 4S, with its comparatively pokey 3.5-inch screen and over-familiar design, that felt and looked the most old-fashioned.
The apparent decision to boost screen real estate to four inches with the iPhone 4S is welcome. But we’d still have liked to see even more space given over to the display. And we think the combined sales of 15m units of the Galaxy S3 and Note, which rock 4.8 and 5.3-inch panels respectively, suggest the public would like more screen to play with too.
5 Points docked for incompatibility
Apple is about to ditch the 30-pin connector that’s been a fixture of the iPhone from year one in favour a new 19-pin port. Or at least that’s the rumour.
If so, it’s a seismic change. And given that the port has been present in every iPhone iteration so far, it’s arguably the most radical change the sixth-generation phone will bring with it.
Alas, it’s also perhaps the least welcome. Not least because it’s about to render scores of existing accessories obsolete in a snap, with what we’re guessing will be predictably angry consequences.
Sure, Apple will probably manufacture an adaptor. But we’re equally sure that it won't come in the iPhone 5 box. And we’re even more sure it’ll sell at the kind of premium price mark-up for which Apple is famed.