AT&T, Verizon: Both Apparently Expect iPhone 5 This Fall
As RIM faces hard cutbacks and delayed product launches, Apple has service providers and telcos chomping at the bit for the new device. Both AT&T and Verizon have alluded to a new iPhone arriving sometime in the fall of 2011. When can we really expect the iPhone 5 and will it even be the iPhone 5 — or merely a boost to the iPhone 4? Speculation follows…
First up, the factoids:
- BGR allegedly confirmed that AT&T is asking their staff to accelerate employee training in time for the autumn season.
- BGR also reports that Apple is looking to increase its retail employee levels during a small window of time to meet anticipated demands for a new product launch.
- An AP article at Forbes.com interviews Verizon’s COO (and soon to be CEO) Lowell McAdam, who says that despite hearing nothing directly from Apple, are expecting a fall “refresh” of the iPhone since it didn’t come this summer.
On the technology front, what will the iPhone 5 potentially include? Apple is working on a successor to its latest A5 chip in the iPad 2, but will the A6 be for the iPhone 5 or an iPad 3? We know the A5 is twice the size of the A4 CPU, so could Apple really squeeze the A5 inside an iPhone 5? Plus, can Apple really deliver a higher resolution screen? The retina display is still the highest-resolution screen for its size.
Here’s what I think we’ll see with an iPhone 5, which I think will be a minor upgrade rather than a massive product refresh:
- Higher mega-pixel cameras, with 3MP on the front and 8MP on the back.
- Higher capacity models, with 64GB and 128GB comparatively.
- Dual-core A4 CPU, due to size and power constrains with the A5 CPU.
- Similar but slimmer design: a thinner phone with less wasted space (e.g. more screen, less borders.)
I think a radical upgrade won’t arrive until Apple commits to building a fully operational 4G phone. Even with 4G service rolling out across the continental US, coverage areas remain spotty.