As summer finally gets going, it’s customary to chatter about just what Apple has in store for the next-generation iPhone. Rumours about the iPhone 5 have been rife now for months, with talk of the phone bulking up to four-inches and rocking NFC smarts to put it on a par with the latest Google blowers. But if one analyst’s comments are to be believed, we could be a looking at an incremental update that’ll be very hard to get too excited about.
Concord Securities Ming-Chi Kuo reckons the iPhone 5 will pack an eight megapixel camera and an A5 chip just like the iPad 2. He’s garnered this gossip from contacts in the supply chain and has previously got his Apple analysis spot- on. His prediction also ties in with a number of other rumours which suggest features like NFC could be left out, as Apple waits until 2012 to make serious changes to its smartphone.
In that case, is the iPhone 5 really worth the fuss? On the face of it, no. The iPhone 4 remains a top-draw smartie almost a year after its release, and as prices of that phone drop, you can bet it’ll still have an ample shelf life.
A slightly boosted resolution on the camera isn’t going to make a world of difference to those using the iPhone’s camera for retro-grainy apps like Instagram and Hipstamatic. And while a new chip is all well and good, some extra processing snap is unlikely to tempt iPhone 4 owners to trade-up early.
It’s starting to seem that Apple is settling into a definite groove with the iPhone, following the approach it’s taken with its iPod line. Its music events have failed to set the world alight in recent years, largely because the element of surprise has pretty much been taken away. We all generally know what to expect from the iPhone 5, and it’s unlikely Apple will roll out anything distinctly different. That means it’s becoming harder for hardcore tech types to really champion the phone.
Sure, the iPhone 5 will be good. That we can almost guarantee. But worth the wait? Hardly. iOS will be Apple’s mobile focus this year, so if you’ve got a current-gen iPhone, you’re set to get a taste of the iPhone 5’s software without having to stump up for a new blower. The iPhone 5 will be for newbies and iPhone 3GS upgraders only.