Apple iPhone 5 Roundup: More Questions Than Answers

Here at OSM we know how many readers are Apple enthusiasts and many people want to know all the news and speculation regarding the next-generation iPhone, or iPhone 5. Among our most recent posts were a dual SIM slots rumor, plans to shrink the headphone port to make the phone slimmer and news on a White iPhone 4 or 5 coming very soon. However we wanted to reflect on the many questions that people are asking about the iPhone 5 and speculate on some answers.

Essential to our quest is an article by Dan Frommer over on Business Insider who has come up with 10 essential questions about the iPhone 5. We are going to look at those questions and link to our previous articles where relevant, so that you can find out more. The first question speculates over what may appear in iOS 5, the Apple operating system and makes the point that the software is what makes the iPhone stand out. Suggestions for improvements by developers include better notifications and more background processing features. Improved camera and photo management apps would also be a boon.

Moving on to the design, we feel that people really want something a bit different now and Apple needs to endeavor to keep up with changes in design. We published an image recently of a possible new design with aluminum backing (see above) and thought it looked pretty good. Then there is talk of ‘cloud’ storage and this is an issue we addressed when we recently asked how much storage you might need on the iPhone 5, with many feeling that Apple may offer an improved MobileMe service.

As far as the question of a release date, that’s one that everybody would like to know the answer to, but of course nobody knows yet except for those in the Apple upper echelons and they’re not saying! Saying that the educated guess is June or July at WWDC as this is the traditional time for an iPhone launch. We also posted an article recently hoping that the release of the iPhone 5 will run smoother than that of the iPad 2, with plenty of inventory available so let’s hope for that. Moving on to the question of NFC (near-field communication), many people were expecting this feature that would enable mobile payments. However only yesterday we told how it doesn’t look like it will be coming to the iPhone this time around.

As to the question of whether the iPhone 5 will be able to support 4G LTE networks that also looks unlikely and may not come until the following iPhone incarnation. As far as a dual-mode chip enabling the same handset to be used for GSM (AT&T) and CDMA (Verizon) networks, that’s still possible although didn’t arrive on the iPad 2. There has also been some speculation about an Apple social network but we’re not holding our breath on that. However there is a possibility that Apple may work more with Facebook and Twitter to integrate the apps more in iOS devices.

On to the age-old question next, is size important? We told of different prototypes being tested, one being a smaller iPhone, but that speculation seems to have died down recently and we still think it’s possible that the iPhone 5 will have a larger screen. We’re coming to the end of our rundown of questions but also want to speculate on a special case for the iPhone 5. The new Smart Cover for the iPad 2 is simply ingenious and has received a lot of positive attention, so is there may be a chance that Apple could come up with a similar surprise for its next iPhone.

Lastly there’s the question of pricing for the iPhone 5? The iPhone price has stayed pretty consistent for the past 2 years and there was talk of a cheaper iPhone being bandied around along with rumors of cheaper data plans so fingers crossed on that one. That’s it for now then but we shall, of course, endeavor to keep you informed with news and speculation on the iPhone 5 as we hear it.

What are your thoughts on these questions and what further questions would you like to see answered about the iPhone 5? We’d welcome your comments so please do send them in.