While many industry observers thought Apple would unveil two new iPhones at the end of 2011, in the end it was just one -- the iPhone 4S. But after record-setting sales, Apple is apparently gearing up to release what many have called Steve Jobs' last big project, the iPhone 5. Fresh reports suggest Apple will release the iPhone 5 sometime in March 2012, or by fall 2012 at the latest.
According to The Daily Mail, the iPhone 5 will be bigger than before, with a 4-inch screen (the iPhone 4 and 4S have 3.5 inch screens), and a new form factor. The paper reports that Apple has already received prototypes for the new iPhone 5, and that the product screens will be manufactured by Sony and Hitcahci. If the iPhone 5 doesn't make it out in March, other reports suggest a summer, or late fall 2012 release. But either way, most experts agree it is coming out in 2012.
Experts also seem to agree that it will be radically different than previous iPhone models, in both shape and capability. The new iPhone 5 is said to have LTE 4G capabilities, NFC (near-field communication) and a thinner body design. Jobs', the Apple co-founder and longtime CEO who died in October, was said to be working on the iPhone 5 before his death -- as his last big innovation.
PC Magazine had reported that Apple CEO Tim Cook, who took over for Jobs when he retired just before passing away, was in a meeting in October with Masayoshi Son, the CEO of Softbank Capital which distributes the iPhone in Japan and that Cook received a telephone call, and stepped away from the meeting.
I said, 'Where are you going?' (and Cook) said, 'My boss is calling me,' Son said, according to PC Magazine. That was the day of the announcement of the iPhone 4S. He said that Steve is calling me because he wants to talk about their next product. And the next day, he died.
The design and new features Jobs is said to have approved reportedly include a larger screen than those of previous iterations of the iPhone. Also, as many qualified reports suggest, it will have a slimmer profile.
CNET's Brooke Crothers said this fall a source he spoke with this week claims to have knowledge of the redesign, of the iPhone 4, saying the iPhone 5 is a 'complete redesign. This is a very large project that Steve dedicated all of his time to. He was not that involved in the 4S because his time was limited.'