Apple Inc.'s next-generation iPhone 5 will be facing a good deal of competition from Android devices if it arrives in September or October, as rumored.
The latest rumor comes from TiPb blog, which says that Apple's next smartphone could go on sale Oct. 7 in the U.S. In addition, a DigiTimes report citing an unnamed Taiwan-based supply chain maker said that Apple is boosting its total order volume for the iPhones by 12 to 13 percent in the second half of 2011, and it is expecting to make more than 56 million handsets.
Amid rampant speculation in the blogosphere, it is anticipated that the next iPhone could come as a world phone, compatible with both GSM and CDMA. It is also believed that the phone will feature a SIM-less design, including up to three to four internal antennas.
Apple's iPhone 5 is also expected to boast of significant hardware and software upgrades, along with an 8-megapixel camera and A5 dual-core processor found in the iPad 2 to give stiff competition to other dual-core smartphones found in the market today.
While the A5 dual-core chipset can challenge the Galaxy S2 and other NVIDIA Tegra 2 chip-based Android phones, it cannot match the power of dual-core 1.5GHz chipsets.
An earlier report said Taiwan SemiConductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) had started trial production of the Apple A6 line of processors. It is reported that the TSMC manufactured A6 chipset will incorporate 3D IC technology.
It has also been reported that TSMC is in production with 3D IC technology and is in a race with Intel to manufacture a 3D IC chip. EETimes reported that TSMC could deliver processors with 3-D interconnet by the end of 2011.
If that report is true, Apple could further delay the iPhone 5 launch as it places a faster A6 chipset in the upcoming iPhone. Recently, Computerworld reported that certain Taiwanese suppliers of Apple claim they are starting the production of 25 million iPhone 5 units that would be delivered in the second half of this year, essentially confirming a December release.
And a few analysts predict that the other features of iPhone 5 will most probably remain the same with minor tweaks, also it will most probably come without 4G and LTE support.
Hence, Apple would rather delay an iPhone 5 than release a phone with an A5 processor to tackle the mighty Androids with 1.5GHz dual-core chipsets.
The top iPhone 5 contenders are: Motorola Droid HD, Samsung Celox, HTC Holiday, Samsung GT-i9220, and Samsung GT-i9250.
First, let's take a look at the rumored features of iPhone 5:
Apple iPhone 5
-- A5 processor in the range of 1.2-1.5 GHz
-- Aluminum metal backing of the original iPhone instead of the current glass surface back piece
-- A teardrop design, like the new iPod Touch, with the top being thick and then tapering to a skinnier bottom
-- An improved antenna
-- More RAM, possibly 1GB
-- Better camera (perhaps 8-megapixel) with 1080p video playback and panaromic photo capture capability and an improved dual-LED flash unit
-- Bigger edge-to-edge 3.7- to 4-inch curved glass screen (iPhone 4 has 3.5-inch screen)
-- A SIM-less design
-- 3-4 internal antennas for both GSM and CDMA networks
-- 4G connectivity
-- iOS 5, which will be true multitask capable and come with loads of new features such as News Stand, Reminders, Delta Updates and iMessage
-- Improved speech recognition features
-- Wireless charging capability
-- Better talk-time and standby time
-- Near Field Communication (NFC) technology
-- Panoramic photo capabilities and 1080p Full HD videos
-- Stronger gaming capabilities supported by multi-core A5 processor and Imagination Technologies' PowerVR Series6 mobile graphics processing architecture.
Motorola Droid HD
An unofficial Android device from the Motorola camp under the moniker Droid HD just showed up alongside the Droid Bionic in leaked pictures posted by a tipster. Engadget posted the pictures on its Web site.
A snapshot of the phone reveals that the Droid HD is much thinner than the Droid Bionic. It is believed that Droid HD will bring the goodness of Gingerbread on a 4.5-inch display with a whooping 1280x720 screen resolution.
The phone is also expected to sport an 8MP camera capable of shooting videos in 1080p. Snapshots reveal that the phone has a SIM slot and a MicroSD slot on the left side and a volume rocker and power button on the right side.
Engdaget observes that the phone would be around 8.5 or 9mm thick. It was then rumored that it will feature a Texas Instruments' OMAP processor, 1GB RAM, a screen larger than Bionic and a lock button on the side.
Samsung Galaxy S2's beefed-up 4G LTE version, which first reared its head in Korea, is back in the limelight, as pictures of the phone were released by Japanese site Amelbo. The Galaxy S2 look-alike is called the Celox.
The 4G LTE compatible Celox sports a super-sized 4.5-inch Super AMOLED display with 800x480 screen resolution. It is expected to be powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8060 processor.
It is also surmised that the phone will have an 8MP rear-facing camera and a 2MP front-facing camera. The phone will come pre-installed with Android Gingerbread. The phone, though, is a tad bit heavier compared to the Galaxy S2. Celox weighs 4.5 ounces. and is 0.36-inch thick. It is also due to be fitted with a 1750 Li-ion battery. The phone is expected to be released on the SK Telecom network in Korea.
Celox offers 800MHz LTE support, and thus it will possibly be targeted at Europe as both Verizon and AT&T support 700MHz LTE. However, a different version of Celox could be launched in the United States. Samsung Celox's features are similar to rumored features of Samsung's Hercules, which is expected to arrive on the T-Mobile network.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8060 processor has the capability to support a 16MP camera and the ability to capture and display 1080p stereoscopic 3D video or 8 megapixel stereoscopic still images. Thus, there is greater room for optimization in Samsung Celox.
The photos were posted by a member of XDA Developer forum, who spotted the HTC Holiday being sold on Craigslist. He then purchased the device and posted the pictures online. The Holiday is rumored to boast a 4.5-inch display, supposedly the first of a new wave across the Android landscape with 4.5-inch displays.
It is rumored that HTC Holiday will feature a 4.5-inch capacitive screen with 960x540 screen resolution. It is expected to be powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm MSM8660 processor. It will offer 1GB RAM and will sport an 8MP camera. Holiday is surmised to run on Android Gingerbread juice. The phone is slated to be released on AT&T network. The phone optimizes Android's latest version of OS for smartphones, the Gingerbread.
Another rumour suggests that Samsung might be taking the smartphone war to another level with the introduction of a 5.3-inch Android-based smartphone which may take its rivals by surprise.
The Samsung GT-i9220, in comparison to its 4.3-inch predecessor Samsung Galaxy S2, is rumored to arrive with a 5.3-inch display soon. The GT-i9220 is also expected to arrive with the first HD ready screen that will use Samsung's Super AMOLED Plus HD technology at 1280x720 pixels.
Though nothing much is known about the device at the moment, the expected specifications include a 1.4GHz dual core SoC, which may possibly be a Samsung Exynos model. An 8 MP rear camera and a front-facing camera whose specifications are part of the design are yet to be revealed.
The device will run on Android OS 2.3.4 or Gingerbread juice and at least 16GB of onboard storage with 1GB of RAM.
If the rumored smartphone is real, it may overtake Samsung Galaxy S2 as the best selling smartphone on the planet, and cause further problems for the upcoming iPhone 5, according to an ITProPortal report.
A new rumor suggests that Samsung is working on another superphone called GT-i9250, which has pretty sweet specifications. It will run on the Android Ice Cream Sandwich OS and would have a 4.65-inch huge screen with resolution of 1280x720.
Though nothing much is known about the device at the moment, the speculated features also include 1.4GHz dual-core processor and a 5-megapixel camera.
Apple's delay has been Android's gain, as it has given phone makers sufficient time to upgrade their wares to challenge the upcoming iPhone5 and compelling Apple to further delay the phone's release. It is yet to be seen how these five Android superphones fare against the iPhone 5.