As different manufacturers like Motorola, Samsung and HTC have brought out high-end Android smartphones with the latest features, Apple has been silently working on what seems to be a product to answer them all.
In fact, HTC was the first to push its first and powerful smartphone, the HTC EVO 4G. Powered by 4G technology, the smartphone really took the mobile innovation to a new level. Following it, many smartphones have received the 4G treatment.
And then came the Motorola Atrix which had the revolutionary Webtop powered by dual core processor, a smartphone to act like desktop machine as well. Now the biggest player in the yard has come out in the form of Samsung Galaxy S2, seemingly a powerful slim handset that can act and sometimes behave better than the iPhone 4.
Apple who re-invented the smartphone has really hard time staying ahead as more and more users started shifting their base to find a handset that can meet their daily needs with the fast-changing lifestyle. From then on Android handsets have turned out to have more efficient features and bigger displays to meet the need of the hour. Apple is building its own eco system with its own software and hardware to match them. However, Android-powered smartphones have overtaken Apple and Android OS holds double the market share compared to iOS systems around the world.
Now Apple has come to a stage where the company plans to unleash the next generation iPhone during the tech giant's September press event, usually reserved for iPod updates. Hence, here is a look at how the iPhone 5 delay actually helps Apple to gain:
Building Hype With Rumors: Now Apple has resorted to hype-building process. The iPhone 5 rumors are circulating around like wild fire from different sources and Apple is aware of that. From the iPhone 5 prototype being lost in a bar to rampant rumors about specs in the past several months suggest that Apple’s next generation iPhone is round the corner.
The recent hype surrounding the iPhone 5 shows that Apple is planning to release two new models -- iPhone 4S and iPhone 5. Recently, Sprint has “confirmed” that it would be selling the upcoming iPhone 5 which is expected to be released in October. Sprint also recently raised its smartphone termination fee to $350, a move which some have taken as another indication that the company will soon begin selling Apple's iPhone.
The iOS 5 beta stages have given a new added dimension as the operating system is expected to go through the beta stage fueling the speculation of an eventual launch of the iPhone 5. And the latest Best Buy memo points to Oct. 21, where the vague “Apple fixture” is expected to be installed at an unnamed Best Buy location. However, the Best Buy-leaked information is turning out to be tricky as some reports show October first week as the launch time while few other reports point to mid-October.
On the other side of the globe, Germany's Deutsche Telekom has reportedly started taking pre-orders for the next generation iPhone, while France Telecom CEO has hinted at Oct. 15 as the launch date. Some other hyped up reports show that Foxconn and Pegatron have begun assembling the iPhone 5 in preparation to launch the iPhone 5 with a target of 25 million units closing in on Christmas. And several casing leaks from Europe, China and US have added fuel to fire.
With Sprint's unlimited data plan circulating for a while, Apple's iPhone 5 with possible design change is getting the much-needed attention. The biggest attention grabber of them all is the iPhone 5 prototype being lost in a bar. The company apparently lost the iPhone 5 prototype in a bar in San Francisco, and police later issued a statement that they had traced the lost device to a residence. Apple employees accompanied the police team while they raided the home. This incident is similar to the iPhone 4 prototype being lost last year which further fuels the speculation of Apple’s mind games. The whole incident is getting covered up as Apple is planning to update its security system.
All these incidents have led to plenty of mainstream media coverage, driving the Apple fans crazy. But HTC president has shot back saying that the iPhones are not that cool anymore as his daughter’s college classmates are now touting Android phones from Samsung Electronics and HTC. Meanwhile, Apple’s new CEO Tim Cook has come in a time where people are expecting a great phone. Interestingly, time and again Apple gets all the hype exactly right and then it produces an amazing product.
Buy More Time to Add Features: As Android, RIM and Windows phones are getting beefed up with amazing software, it seems Apple doesn’t want to stay behind as well.
The most interesting technical hardware rumor adaptations show Apple is prepping a phone with features like edge-to-edge 3.7-inch or 4-inch display to catch up with market, speech recognition capabilities, improved flash unit for camera, strong gaiming capabilities with A5 processor and Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR Series6 mobile graphics processing architecture, 8-megapixel camera, 1080p Full HD videos, panoramic photo capabilities, Qualcomm Chips to support GSM/CDMA technologies for AT&T/Verizon/Sprint, wireless charging, new design similar to Apple iPad 2, white model, voice controls similar to Android, high capacity battery, NFC support and increased RAM memory along with 4G support.
On the software front, Apple introduced iOS 5 during the WWDC 2011 keynote address. And the iOS 5 beta stages have revealed that Apple has adopted most of the famous Android features to counter other smartphones in the market. Most interesting features expected to make their way into iPhone 5 include Notification Center, Background updates, Cloud sync, Wireless sync, Reminders with geolocation feature, OTA updates, Twitter Integration, Voice control, Camera shortcut when phone is locked, simplified Reader view in Safari, Widgets, Rich text formatting, LED Flash for calls and alerts, Custom vibration, Locate alternate routes in maps and HD streaming in YouTube over 3G. Taking a leaf from BlackBerry’s Messenger Apple has introduced iMessage and to counter Google’s cloud based products there is the iCloud.
Rumor has it that there may be an additional cheaper model introduced for those less savvy smartphone users. Apple traditionally protects its brand and quality reputation very carefully. It is possible they will remove most of the features that many consumers consider the best part of owning an iPhone. The lower priced iPhone may not be on par with the upcoming iPhone 5.
Option of Accessing Competition: Google’s next operating system known as Android Ice Cream Sandwich is likely on the way. Slew of new phones using the new OS is expected to be unveiled during the Holiday season.
The latest high end smartphones coming to the US are Samsung Galaxy S2 (four different versions going to all carriers along with a rumored LTE version), HTC Holiday, Samsung Nexus Prime (probably the Google’s Nexus Prime), Google, Nexus 4G, Samsung Galaxy 3D, HTC Vigor, Samsung Galaxy Note and Samsung Stratosphere. The newly launched Motorola Droid Bionic is a tough competitor as well.
As certain Android-supported 3D phones are also being launched, Apple stands gazing at the revolution and may hope to include this new feature in days to come. Hence, the extended delay gives Apple ample time to assess the situation and update itself with amazing integration of software and hardware. Apple wants to add as many features as possible to let the iPhone 5 lead until the next improved iPhone is launched and definitely Apple won’t let any other phone get away so easily.
Adding New iPad With iPhone 5: There are reports of the iPad 3 arriving this year alongside the iPhone 5. However, it is worth to take this information with a pinch of salt. If Apple releases the iPad this fall, then Apple will have unstoppable pair of gadgets releasing alongside the iPhone 5 and building its market share. In fact, iOS 5 is built for the iPad as well.
The new features listed in iOS 5 supports many features specifically for the iPad. New operating system expected to be powered by 200 new features show that many of these features may appear in the iPad too. During the uncovering of the iOS 5, new features that supported the iPad 2 included AirPlay Mirroring for iPad 2 (duplicate the iPad screen on television wirelessly), tabbed browsing in Safari, swipe-up with 4-5 fingers for multitasking bar, swipe-left or swipe-right with 4-5 fingers to switch between running apps, pinch with 4-5 fingers for the home screen, new Split keyboard for easier typing on iPad, year view on calendar only for iPad, newly redesigned music app for iPad, 1080p playback, hide keyboard button whenever necessary, tapping and holding back button in safari will show up visited website history, skipping tracks by swiping left-right on album art itself when not on lock screen and drag keyboard up or down the screen wherever it is needed.
The rumors surrounding iPad 3 show that the iPad 3 will see the next-generation iOS 5 (analysts and tech enthusiasts predict Apple would also introduce OS X Lion for the tablet), may sport A6 Quad-Core processor, 7-inch version of the iPad alongside the current 9.7-inch model (though Steve Jobs refuted the 7-inch option earlier), new Retina display, camera with flash, 4G compatibility, Thunderbolt port, enhanced wireless synchronization and SD card slot.
Christmas Sales Boom: Releasing the iPhone 5 during the Christmas will bring good tidings for Apple, which is gunning for glory with the release of the new model. According to certian reports, Apple has increased the iPhone order volumes by about 12-13 percent for the second half of 2011 -- the company has ordered over 56 million iPhones for this half of the year, and around 25.5 - 26 million of these are possibly the iPhone 5 devices. That means, Apple intends to offer new models along with the iPhone 5.
The signs suggest an initial launch in the US followed by global availability. Its last quarterly results proved that Apple sales boosted whenever it released products, hence, unleashing the iPhone 5 just as the rush for gifts starts also means that it will be a must-have among all the shopping list items.
Give Time for Complete iCloud Development: Apple's iOS 5 has reached its record seventh round of beta testing and the eighth beta testing is looming high. With Apple's iCloud service coming soon, the company is working on the merger of multiple Apple IDs. MacRumors reported that users testing Apple's upcoming iOS 5 and iCloud have found juggling multiple IDs to be a major issue.
The Website pointed out that (A) MacRumors reader emailed Apple CEO Tim Cook about the issue, and quickly received a phone call from an Apple executive relations employee. She had spoken to the team responsible for Apple IDs and acknowledged that they understood the issue and that more people would run into the problem with iCloud. She also repeated that there is no way yet to combine accounts but revealed they are working on it.
Also TheNextWeb reported that Apple’s automatic downloading feature for iTunes in the Cloud only works on any given device with a single Apple ID at a time. In fact, many iTunes Store and MobileMe customers who had traditionally used a separate Apple ID for each service experienced significant problems as Apple was restricting logins for automatic downloads.
Apple's iCloud is the latest branding of its cloud computing services. It has previously been branded as iTools in 2000, .Mac in 2002, and MobileMe in 2008. According to an Apple support page, MobileMe will be discontinued after June 30, 2012, and anyone who had an account as of the unveiling of iCloud has been extended to that date, free of charge.
Deflect From the iPod’s Decline: Apple sold 18.65 million iPhones in its latest quarter, representing 113 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter. Apple also sold 9.02 million iPods during the quarter, representing a 17 percent unit decline from the year-ago quarter. The company also sold 4.69 million iPads during the quarter.
Once upon a time, Apple easily sold 22 million of its music players during the holiday quarter. During the traditionally slower third quarter, Apple also sold 10.2 million and just a year ago, the number was still 9.4 million. This year the iPod sales were, of course, down 20 percent from the last year with “just” 7.54 million units sold – the fastest year-to-year decline for iPod yet.
Fixing the Antenna-gate Perfectly: Apple faced significant problems with antenna-gate issue with the iPhone 4. By delaying iPhone 5, Apple has bought plenty of time to test the new handset so that it doesn't suffer similar problems. Shortly after the iPhone 4 was launched, some consumers reported that signal strength of the phone was reduced when touching the lower left edge of the phone, bridging one of the two locations which separates the two antennas, resulting in dropped calls in some areas with lower signal reception.
In response, Apple issued a statement advising that customers should avoid gripping the phone in the lower left corner when making or receiving a call. Actually many iPhone 4 users felt cheated and were planning to sue Apple and AT&T for fraud by concealment, negligence, intentional misrepresentation and defective design. In response, Apple started issuing free Bumper cover that prevented direct contact with the antenna. Later, according to a survey from ChangeWave, 72 percent of the iPhone 4 users said that they are very satisfied with their phone.
Buy Time for NFC: Google’s mobile wallet plans are gathering pace and with Near Field Communication (NFC) widely expected to be part of major smartphone manufactures, Apple would surely like to watch closely that the standard is unified and it can be easily implemented before making a final call.
NFC enables data to be exchanged wirelessly over distances of a few centimeters, meaning mobile phones can be used to pay for goods, store electronic tickets, download music and swap photos and business cards. The typical usage touted for NFC is to replace the bank cards we currently use, enabling the smartphone become a method of payment for purchases. Wave the smartphone at the terminal and your money is transferred to the service or product provider.
Input 4G: According to a research note from Hudson Square analyst Todd Rethemeir, the iPhone 5 due this fall will support HSPA+ technology, a development that will allow the device to offer faster data speeds on GSM networks such as AT&T. The present iPhones are shipped with standard HSPA. Even though HSPA+ is slower than the LTE standard, AT&T has begun marketing its HSPA+ network as 4G, meaning that the carrier could position the next iPhone as a 4G device despite it failing to offer LTE compatibility. However, that keeps some questions unanswered as to how many networking technologies can Apple pack into the iPhone 5, which is expected to be thinner than the iPhone 4. Maybe they will have to separately manufacture a different model with modified hardware to fit this technology.