The mobile competition between Google Inc.'s Android and Apple Inc. is getting more intense by the day. Two devices seems to get much hype even before their release date gets finalized -- Apple's next generation iPhone 5 and Google Nexus 4G.
Google Nexus 4G will be loaded with the latest Android software, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), and will sport an ultra-thin design, BGR reported.
The Nexus 4G will run on Android 4.0 or Ice Cream Sandwich, Google's next version of Android software which will combine the features of Honeycomb tablet OS and Gingerbread phone OS.
Jefferies' analyst Peter Misek said Ice Cream Sandwich's user interface (UI) look and feel will be based on Honeycomb's UI. He has expected Ice Cream Sandwich to combine the phone and tablet code bases but is uncertain about its timing and if it would be open source.
Ice Cream Sandwich is expected to bring features like expanding and resizing widgets and apps, facial detection with the camera and will allow Android devices to be used as USB hosts so that one can plug-in keyboards, or Xbox controllers. It will additionally feature voice-guided GPS feature and Adobe Flash support.
Google has historically selected an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to create the lead device for each iteration of Android. Google's own Nexus S was the lead device for Gingerbread and Motorola Mobility's Xoom was the lead device for Honeycomb.
Misek is unsure of the lead device for Ice Cream Sandwich but suspect it could be Samsung. But according to the BGR report, Google's next pure Android version, the Nexus 4G which will run on Ice Cream Sandwich or Android 4.0 will be out, just two months after the iPhone 5 launch.
The Nexus 4G is touted to sport a 1.2GHz or 1.5GHz chip, possibly Krait-based Snapdragon chip. At present Samsung Galaxy S 2 and HTC Sensation boast 1.2 GHz micro processors. It is surmised that Apple iPhone 5 will sport the iPad 2's A5 dual-core chip.
We believe Texas Instruments and its 1.5GHz OMAP4440 will be the reference design apps processor for Ice Cream Sandwich. We do not expect an official announcement, but the OMAP4440 will likely be the highlighted chip when OEMs announce second half roadmaps this summer. NVIDIA's Tegra 2 was the reference design apps processor for Honeycomb, said Misek.
iPhone 5 will counter Android 4.0 with iOS 5. Apple's iOS 5 has already been launched that gives developers sufficient time to get accustomed to the operating system. Thus, iPhone 5 with iOS 5 will have an early mover advantage, which also adds up as more compared to Ice Cream Sandwich.
The Nexus 4G will also sport a large monster-sized screen and will not have the hardware menu buttons usually found below the screen in Android phones. Apple is also rumored to be fitting an edge-to-edge screen on the upcoming iPhone 5.
Screenshots of two iPhones revealed by Nuance Technologies shows one of the devices with edge-to-edge screens. The screenshots are available on iTunes where Nuance Technologies app SpeechTrans is available for $19.99. It is also reported that Apple has been in negotiations with Nuance which has raised expectations that the iPhone 5 will have voice recognition features.
It is further reported that Nexus 4G will have a 5MP rear-facing and 1MP front-facing cameras. The 5MP camera is surmised to be an advanced 5 MP sensor delivering superior low-light performance. However, Apple is planting an 8MP camera in the iPhone 5.
A recent report suggests that Apple has placed an order with OmniVision to supply 90 percent of the sensors for the 8MP camera due to be seen in iPhone 5. It is also reported that Apple will add improved flash unit in the iPhone 5 camera, as Apple has reduced the order for Philips LED flash which is currently used in iPhone 4.
Nexus 4G is expected to offer 1080p video capture and playback capability. A recent report confirmed that users who ran iOS 5 on iPad 2 were able to play 1080p videos. It is reported that the iPhone 5 will come loaded with iOS 5 which has raised expectations that 1080p videos can be watched on iPhone 5 as well.
The arrival of Nexus 4G does not bode well for Apple. Currently Apple is lagging behind the Android breed of smartphones like Samsung Galaxy S 2, HTC Sensation and Motorola Atrix which arrived after the CES Las Vegas event.
Apple's current iPhone 4 looks anemic in terms of specifications when compared to these smartphones. Recent reports from some tech websites suggest September 7 as the probable date of the iPhone 5 launch. Apple has delayed the launch of iPhone 5 as the phone is in need of significant hardware changes in order to compete with these phones.
It may still be too early to determine if Nexus 4G can truly take a bite out of its rival, but the specs and rumors have seemed very impressive for this fall's matchup against Apple's iPhone 5. What do you think? iOS 5 or Ice Cream Sandwich? Which will rule the mobile OS market? Leave your comments below.