Apple's iPhone 5 remains the most anticipated smartphone in the U.S. market, and Apple's projection of selling 25 million iPhones by the end of 2011 lends credence to the expectation that the release is just around the corner.
Foxconn Electronics is reportedly producing up to 150,000 handsets of the next-generation iPhone per day in a surprising move as supply chain sources indicate that iPhone 5 shipments are expected to reach up to six million by the end of the month and 22 million units by the end of the year.
Apple is facing major competition from smartphones running on Android operating systems, such as Samsung Galaxy S2, Motorola Droid Bionic and the upcoming Google Nexus 4G.
Let's take a look at what factors should help iPhone 5 reign supreme over Android competitors.
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First things first. iPhone 5 comes from Apple, which is known for producing cool devices that appeal to both masses and critics. Meanwhile, consumers look at branding as an important value-added aspect of products or services, as they are expected to come with a certain attractive quality or characteristic.
Apple has now become the world's most valuable brand, and the iPhone 5 is sitting on the glories of its predecessors. The company's brand value has jumped 84 percent to $153.3 billion, driven by the company's success with the iPad and iPhone 4, according to a study published by the global research agency Millward Brown.
Apple products are known for their beautiful design. iPhone 5 is expected to adopt a teardrop design that is supposed to be slimmer and lighter than past iPhone models.
The new smartphone would come with an aluminum plate casing rather than the current glass backing. Rumors suggest a more uniform design across all of Apple's mobile devices as aluminum may be the consistent material used in the upcoming iPad 3 and iPod lineups as well.
Meanwhile, an analyst with Rodman & Renshaw said the form factor of iPhone 5 could be a slightly smaller version of the iPad 2.
Apple is expected to beef up the specifications of iPhone 5 by fitting an 8-megapixel camera, a dual-core A5 processor with a clocking speed of at least 1.2GHz and a 4-inch display. Though, Android smartphones are also coming with similiar specifications, the huge fan following for the iPhone would help it to navigate the stiff competition.
Apple may bring the revolutionary wireless charging capability to its iPhone 5 that would see the device gaining extraordinary mass appeal. The inductive wireless charging technology for the iPhone could boost its battery without the use of cables and plugs. By utilizing a charging dock, the iPhone can charge its battery as well as share, sync, or backup data at the same time.
For iPhone 5, Apple is expected to fit a PowerVR SGX543MP graphics chip found in iPad 2 to please the gamers. According to Apple, this graphics processor has increased the iPad 2's graphics processing speed by nine times compared to the capabilities offered by the A4 processor.
An operating system is the most significant factor considered in the purchase of a smartphone. Apple's iOS is the number two smartphone operating system next to Google's Android.
The iPhone 5 is expected to run on the latest iOS 5, which comes with 200 new features including improved notifications system, news stand and iMessage. It will also feature new applications, such as the Reminders app and Newsstand, an application resembling Folders, and iBooks.
Unlike other applications, Newsstand is the first native application to actually run on the homescreen. iMessage is an application that allows iPod touch, iPhone and iPad users to communicate, much like a chat service only used between these devices. The iMessage feature has been integrated into the SMS/MMS application used originally on the iPhone models.
Apple's iPhone 5 is expected to feature the new iCloud service in operating iTunes for wireless remote access of music from all computers and mobile devices.
iCloud will also store photos, apps, calendars and documents without storing them onto the phone's memory storage. Apple also placed itself in top position of the cloud war by inking deals with top music label companies to license songs for the iCloud service.
There are also rumors that Apple is stepping into the movie scene by attempting to license deals for films with movie studios.
A smartphone's battery life is crucial to juice its advanced features and Apple has always scored over competitors in this area by improving battery life with each release of iPhone. For instance, the iPhone 4 has 40 percent more talk time than the iPhone 3GS. The iPhone 4 offers 14 hours of talk time on 2G and up to 7 hours on 3G with a standby time of up to 300 hours. So, going by the past, we should see a better battery life on iPhone 5 too.
Meanwhile, Android phones such as Samsung Galaxy S2 and HTC Sensation offer good battery life.
The iPhone 5 may be built to work across more carriers is becoming a higher probability. Jefferies expects the iPhone 5 to be available on all four major U.S. carriers -- Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile -- in October.
According to Piper Jaffray, via CNET, the most noteworthy change to Apple's next-generation iPhone is that it'll be offered by Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile, on top of existing carriers AT&T and Verizon.
Apple is expected to release the iPhone 5 as a World Phone -- both GSM and CDMA compatible. Another rumor suggested is that the iPhone 5 will feature a SIM card slot for other countries except the U.S, allowing users to insert any SIM card when traveling abroad.
A brand name alone can't sell the product. Marketing is very vital to boost sales and create product awareness. The biggest example is Google Nexus One. Though, the phone was listed among the top 10 gadgets of 2010, it failed to see success because of the lack of effective marketing.
On the other hand, when Apple announces a new device, the company takes to the airwaves describing the new device and showcasing the finer points. The iPhone 5 will surely enjoy the privilege.
Last but not the least, Apple has built a strong ecosystem around its products that makes a consumer loyal to Apple products. For instance, Apple's App Store has more than 425,000 apps that would make iPhone 5 even better. Though Android Marketplace has thousands of apps as well, it still needs to go a long way to match it up with App Store.
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