The iPhone 5 release frenzy has reached its zenith with barely hours left before Apple unveils the new gadget, but for the keener eye, the Tuesday event will be marked by how Apple lays out the iCloud and iOS 5.

The tech world expects Apple to deal a sucker punch to Android and BlackBerry by loading up fancied features on the shiny new iPhone. True, it isn’t much to expect that Apple will come on top in terms of innovation, design and ultimate functionality of the phone, besides also packing deadly features capable o trumping many a smartphone in the market today.

However, many believe that being too engrossed with the specifications of upcoming iPhone 5 is equal to missing the wood for trees. The Tuesday event has more to do with Apple's long-term strategy than with gaining upper hand in the gadget market.

iCloud Rollout

Apple's iCloud is not just the latest branding of its cloud computing services, which had earlier incarnations like iTools, .Mac and MobileMe. It's seen now as the focal point of Apple's strategy to gain the upper hand in the consumer Internet arena.

This is what Wells Fargo analyst Jason Maynard said about iCloud's role in Apple strategy: The most profound takeaway from the June WWDC event was Steve Jobs’ statement that the PC/Mac has been demoted to a spoke in the iCloud hub. We believe there is a major battle going on among Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft for consumer Internet dominance. At the core, we think the battle is about the control of data. The convergence of software, hardware and Internet services is leading to an asymmetric fight among the gorillas. Our thesis is that the platform that creates the most value will store the most data. The platform that stores the most data will ultimately, in our view, be the winner(s).

With the iCloud rollout, the new iPhone is expected to get a free 5GB cloud storage and there would be no need to sync iPhone with a PC, marking a decisive shift from being a PC-centric vendor and changing the dynamic among the largest tech companies currently. The Cloud will now
store content all content, like photos, e-mail and contacts, and wirelessly push it to Macs, iPhones and iPads.

The iCloud service enables users to store data such as music files for download to iPhones, iPods, iPads and personal computers running Mac OS X or Microsoft Windows on computer servers owned by Apple.

The iCloud has been in a limited beta testing in the United states, and on Tuesday, more likely than not, Apple will announce a release date for it along with iPhone 5. AppleInsider reported that Apple released a developer build of Mac OS X 10.7.2 with iCloud integrated last week.

At the WWDC this year, Apple had announced that iCloud would become available this fall. CNET reported recently that Apple could announce that its iCloud service will soon debut in additional countries like Germany, France and the UK.

When iCloud was announced at the WWDC in June, this is what PC Mag had reported: Apple's announcement today of its new iCloud Internet storage service and updated operating systems for its Mac and iOS devices represent a dramatic move toward a world centered around Internet services, with PCs and mobile devices acting almost as equal clients in using those services.

iOS 5

iOS 5 includes more than 200 new features for devices like iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. The Notification Center which allows you to have all your alerts in one place, iMessage, which allows text messaging between iOS devices over Wi-Fi or 3G, Newstand, which is similar to iBooks to store, auto-download magazine subscriptions & new issues, Reminders integrated with Calendar app, Twitter Integration, AirPlay Mirroring for iPad 2 etc are just some of the whole lot of features in the iOs 5.

What this means for iPhone 5 is that, it will have features like the Notification Center, Background updates, Cloud sync, Wireless sync, Reminders with geolocation feature, OTA updates, Twitter Integration and Voice control. There could be additional features like 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.

Other iPhone 5 Features

Some of the interesting hardware specifications of the upcoming iPhone5 are edge-to-edge 3.7-inch or 4-inch display, speech recognition capabilities, improved flash unit for camera and strong gaming capabilities with A5 processor. Also, it is rumored that iPhone will have 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 and wireless charging. Also, there could be a high capacity battery, NFC support and increased RAM memory along with 4G support.

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