The internet, as usual, is teaming with rumors about the iPhone 5. So many different rumors. Some say the iPhone 5 will have LTE. Others believe it will have 4 inch screen or even 3D. Of all the rumors though, the most telling is the recent story from Reuters stating that the next iPhone would be coming in September; but that it would only be faster and with an upgraded camera. That’s it, no other big changes. Is it possible that history is about to repeat itself?
Think back to 2009 and the follow-up to the incredibly popular iPhone 3G. Not much was added to the third generation iPhone. It was much faster with an upgraded camera capable of shooting SD video. There were several new gizmos and hardware tweaks, but the general design of the phone was left intact. So little was changed, Apple didn’t seem to feel the need to change the name of the iPhone very much, they just added an “S.” Whether it was really for speed, super or stunning is anyone’s guess, but the iPhone 3GS was born.
Today we have the iPhone 4, the most successful iPhone to date. Apple sold 1.7 million during the first weekend and 3 million in just the first month. The iPhone 4‘s popularity hasn’t wained either. Verizon released their CDMA version in January, and just announced that they sold an unprecedented 2.2 million units during the first quarter. AT&T hasn’t seen any significant drop in sales either. With continued strong sales, why should Apple mess with success? Why introduce new design challenges? Why change fabrication processes? Why not just tweak the iPhone a little, improve where they can, add a few new gizmos; but leave the design of the phone unchanged.
If the Reuters story is correct, then Apple is planning on adding the new A5 processor and upgrading the quality of at least one of the cameras. They might then add few new gizmos and hardware tweaks to further improve performance. After that there is the obligatory iOS update. With those few changes the new iPhone would be a very compelling follow-up to the iPhone 4. In my opinion as compelling an upgrade as the 3GS was from the 3G.
What then should Apple call this new iPhone? Again if Reuters is correct we are looking at an evolutionary change and not revolutionary one, much like the 3GS. Maybe Apple does repeat history and just adds an “S” to the name and calls it the “iPhone 4S.” It could be anything, of course, the name would just indicate the amount of change. The idea is simply to tell customers that it’s still the iPhone 4; just better. The changes to the phone keep the product alive, keep it current and most of all keep it competitive. All designed to bring the user into another year, and yet another iPhone; maybe the much rumored iPhone 5.
Rumors are still circulating that the iPhone 5 will be released in 2012. What if those rumors are right? Maybe the iPhone 5 is the revolutionary update. While you chew on that, ponder on this thought. Next year June 29th falls on a Friday, exactly 5 years to the day of the release of the original iPhone. An iPhone 5 release on that date, must be appealing to Apple; but who knows.