iPhone 5 Release Date, Features: Apple Rumored To Be Working On Home Button Alternatives; Is An All-Screen iPhone Coming?

on April 16 2012 8:19 AM

It's hard to predict whether Apple will consider a significant revamp of its flagship smartphone with the release of the device's upcoming iteration, presumably called the iPhone 5. But expectations of millions of Apple fans around the world are definitely high, waiting for something unique from the company.

When it comes to the existing iPhone 4S, people didn't experience anything new from the device's look as it was pretty much identical to its predecessor, the iPhone 4. And that has probably paved the way for growing rumors that Apple will bring some change to the form factor of its next-gen iPhone.

Given that the new iPad features a 2048 x 1536 resolution, various reports surfaced suggesting that the iPhone 5 will also feature a much improved display. While some reports said the device would have 3.7 to 4-inch Quantum Dot LED curved glass edge-to-edge display, some others made it even more specific by saying that a high resolution (1280x720) HD screen with a pixel density of 367ppi is also on the cards. One of the main grounds on which rumors of higher pixel density could be believed is that Apple would definitely want to outdo rival devices with bigger screens.

However, in a recent report last month, Rene Ritchie of iMore said that Apple would stick with the original 3.5-inch screen size, though it wasn't set in stone and it could get a little bigger.

They probably wouldn't bump up the resolution either, because it would break compatibility with existing software. That's something they deliberately avoided in the past by exactly pixel doubling the older screen resolutions to get to the Retina display, rather than going with an arbitrary size or standard resolution like 720p, said the report.

On Sunday, Ritchie came up with another report in which he seemed concerned about what he called a confluence of events (that) led some to speculate that Apple could go wider instead of just bigger, which would be closer to 16:9 than the current 3:2.

According to him, there are many prototypes in Apple labs that have helped building up rumors about different sizes and cases of both iPhones and iPads.

We haven't heard anything about a 16:9 iPhone, but we have heard Apple is (perhaps still) discussing or experimenting with alternatives to the current Home button, said Ritchie. Could these experiments come together into an almost all-screen iPhone?

May be, but here's a glitch. Ritchie explained:

It raises the kind of problems for developers and apps that Apple has thus far avoided by retaining the same aspect and pixel ratio in iPhones since they first introduced the original iPhone. Given how long Apple is leaving older devices on the market as well - for example, the 2009 iPhone 3GS is still sold as new - it would be a long-lasting problem as well. Boxing 3:2 apps, like Apple does with iPhone apps on the bigger iPad screen, wouldn't create the premium phone experience Apple is known for.

Matthew Panzarino of TNW said that the next iPhone may get a 4-inch screen, but it probably won't be widescreen. The current 3.5-inch screen is comfortable to use with one hand, and a 4-inch screen will also work fine.

An iPhone 5 with a 4″ screen would be a nice bump in size and I don't think that it would affect usability as much as one even a quarter of an inch bigger, Panzarino said.

9to5mac reported last week that new models of the iPhone and iPod touch are already in the works. Apple has internally seeded a prototype next-generation iPhone with the iPhone 4 design. The actual next-generation iPhone is specifically said to not include the iPhone 4/4S design, but Apple is testing these new devices in older casings to throw off leaks, said the report.

The iPhone prototypes had a variation of the A5X's S5L8945X architecture and like the new iPad, they were also packing 1GB of RAM, according to reports.

However, some previous reports suggested that the sixth generation iPhone would feature an A6 processor. It was expected to be a superfast 1.2 to 1.5 GHz processor with 1GB or more of RAM to offer amazing processing capabilities to the smartphone.

As far as the other likely features are concerned, the upcoming iPhone model includes an 8 megapixel (or even higher) camera with the ability to take pictures in the panorama mode, a 2 megapixel front-facing camera for video chatting, iOS 6, 4G LTE technology, Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, improved Siri and a much-improved battery life.

iPhone 5 Release Date

While there is no official word on when the upcoming iteration of the Apple iPhone is finally arriving, chances of a fall launch are much higher than a summer launch.

Apple would have been inclined to pull the trigger on a June iPhone 5 release, had there been a decrease in the iPhone 4S sales, but there's hardly any sign of that so far, say reports. In its fiscal first quarter ending Dec. 31, 2011, Apple reported iPhone sales of 37 million, an increase of 128 percent year-over-year, and the iPhone 4S was only released in some markets as recently as January.

In addition, unlike a summer release, the fall release of the next iPhone would ensure that the owners of the current iPhone 4S have completed at least a year into their carrier contracts, according to iDownload Blog. It will allow most of them to purchase a new iPhone at the subsidized price. Releasing the new iPhone before the holidays would also help Apple record good sales.

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