While Apple Inc. is tight-lipped towards its iPhone 5 release date, the smartphone is expected to face a good deal of competition from Android devices, particularly from HTC that has planned to introduce its biggest smartphone known as HTC Holiday.
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.
The recent breed of Android phones, like Samsung Galaxy S2, HTC Thunderbolt and Motorola Photon, found expression in 4.3-inch displays. The trend seems to highlight that the next barrage of Android phones will follow the 4.5-inch form factor.
Apple is rumored to increase the screen size of iPhone 5 to compete with Android smartphones, probably going for a 4-inch screen, compared to the current iPhone 4 screen of 3.5-inch.
Until now, the iPhone 4 was a generation behind Android superphones like the Galaxy S2 and HTC Sensation, but the appearance of Holiday reveal that Apple has a new breed of bigger and faster Android phones to counter.
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 arrival of such a piece from HTC is a cause of concern for Apple, which is rumored to release iPhone 5 only in 2012. Apple is due to release the next iteration this fall, but analysts are expecting only an iPhone 4S in the fall and iPhone 5 with a materially revamped user interface in 2012.
Here is a look at the speculated features of Apple iPhone 5 and HTC Holiday, which is expected for an early to mid-September release.
Operating system: HTC Holiday is expected to run on the latest version of Google Inc.'s smartphone operating system, Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread OS. On the other hand, Apple’s iPhone 5 will be running on iOS 5, which is the newest of the OS versions. The new iOS 5 is expected come with 200 new features that will include Improved Notifications System, News Stand and iMessage.
Though Gingerbread isn't quite as refined as iOS yet, it has true multitasking support and is Google's best bet yet against iOS -- at least until it releases Ice Cream Sandwich. It is left to see which platform will outsmart the other in the long run.
Camera: Apple's iPhone 5 is expected to have an 8MP dual-LED flash camera with 1080p video playback and panoramic photo capture, while iPhone 4 has 5MP camera with 720p video playback. The Holiday, when compared, will sport an 8MP dual-LED flash rear-facing camera with 1080p video playback and a 1.3MP front-facing camera for video chat.
Screen: The new Apple iPhone 5 is expected to have a bigger edge-to-edge 4-inch curved glass screen, compared to iPhone 4's screen size of 3.5-inch with multi-touch display. HTC Holiday is expected to have a 4.5-inch qHD display with 960x540 screen resolution.
Processor: Holiday will be powered by a 1.2 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor with 1GB RAM. Apple's iPhone 4 runs on 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor, and the iPhone 5 is rumored to sport a 1.2-1.5 GHz dual-core A5 processor, which powers the iPad 2, with probably a 1GB RAM.
Storage: There is no word about internal storage details of HTC Holiday yet, but it is expected to have an external storage via a microSD card slot of up to 32 GB. On the other hand, iPhone 4 has fixed 16/32 GB internal storage. Apple iPhone 4 doesn't have external storage, but that doesn't matter as 32 GB at the maximum is enough for the users. It is expected the iPhone 5 will have 16/32/64 GB internal storage.
Pricing: Apple’s iPhone 5 has been rumored to be priced at $600, while iPhone 4 is listed on AT&T at $299 for 32GB version with 2-year contract. The Holiday is expected to be priced at $199 to $249 at AT&T.
NFC: HTC Holiday and Apple iPhone 5 are expected to support near field communication (NFC). NFC technology can transform the device into a convenient way for payment and device communication. NFC has potential to do more than just money transaction. The technology could offer features that allow multiple mobile devices to sync for speedier information exchange and gaming.
But Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi cited that Apple will not adopt NFC-based mobile payment feature to the upcoming iPhone 5 until Apple is convinced that the technology's chicken-and-egg-problem is solved as the NFC requires widespread consumer adoption and critical mass with merchants.
3G: Holiday is expected to have HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) 21 Mbps and HSUPA (High-Speed Uplink Packet Access) 5.76 Mbps support. On the other hand, iPhone 4 has HSDPA 7.2 Mbps and HSUPA 5.76 Mbps support, while iPhone 5 is expected to have HSDPA 14 Mbps to 21 Mbps.
WLAN/Bluetooth/USB: HTC Holiday has Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot support along with advanced Bluetooth version 4.0 with A2DP and EDR. Apple iPhone 4, on the other hand, has Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth version 2.1 with EDR wireless technology. iPhone 5 is expected to have Wi-Fi and an advanced Bluetooth version.
Battery: The battery details of HTC Holiday is yet to be revealed but one can expect a huge battery for the huge smartphone. iPhone 4 has standard Li-ion 1420 mAh battery which gives up to 14 h of talk time on 2G and up to 7 hours on 3G with a standby time of up to 300 hours.
Apple certainly knows how to surprise and already has a few things in place like iCloud which can steal the thunder from Android devices. Apple's iPhone features are extensively varied from HTC Holiday, which means loyal Apple fan base remains the same. And for Apple, there is no reason to fear a potential loss with respect to buyers.