Verizon iPhone 5: features, specs, release date, and what it won’t be
March 10, 2011 by Beatweek
The Verizon iPhone 5 is calling, and it wants the spotlight back. Of course it only has to wait a few days for this weekend’s big padlight to die down. After the public collectively makes a choice on Apple’s new tablet one way or the other, the focus will shift back to the iPhone 5, which is prohibitively set to debut this summer on Verizon, AT&T, a spate of overseas carriers, and presumably, any other U.S. carrier who wants it badly enough. Here’s what you need to know about the fifth generation iPhone in terms of it features, specs, release date, and what it won’t be.
Release date first, since that’s the most concrete iPhone 5 factor. Apple releases new iPhones in the summer. Therefore, expect the iPhone 5 to debut on Verizon and AT&T in summer of 2011. Look for those who just bought a Verizon iPhone 4 to cry in agony. Look for Apple not to care. Look for Verizon to possibly seek to placate them in the form of upgrade breaks, if their cries are heard by enough people. If the iPhone 5 doesn’t roll in the summer, though, expect iPhone users on the AT&T side of the fence to get antsy. And since they far outnumber the nascent Verizon iPhone 4 user base, think summer for the iPhone 5 on all involved carriers.
Specs are trickier. Apple has to cram what it can into the iPhone 5 body, make it all work, and keep it cost effective. For the iPhone 5 to finally go to 64 GB, Apple has to feel comfortable that it can still sell the device at palatable prices. With the non-geek public beginning to figure out that competing Android based phones are only suitable for geeks, carriers are attempting to keep Android momentum going by giving away Android phones for free with contract. Apple’s need to compete with that strategy with the iPhone 5 could put pricing concerns and component costs ahead of boosting iPhone specs. But then again, that’s not typically how Apple opts to do business.
Features are a matter of strategy. Verizon’s 4G LTE network barely exists, and still barely will by the time the Verizon iPhone 5 rolls around. AT&T’s 4G network is even less existent. Apple must decide whether to bother offering 4G in the iPhone 5, then, as most people who buy it (unless it also expands to 4G-laden Sprint and T-Mobile) won’t be able to put the 4G to use. Other features such as a white iPhone 5 (is a color now a feature?) are also dependent on strategy. Apple could chase the popularity of the white version of the iPhone’s competitors, or it could attempt to turn the game on its head by offering the iPhone 5 in real colors.
What it won’t be: the iPhone 5 won’t become a geek phone. Apple has found what works for it, and that’s a phone that the non-geek majority, as opposed to the geekiest one percent of the population, can fall in love with. Apple is banking on the belief that the rise in popularity of the unsuitably geek Android platform is a result of Apple’s long running mistake of keeping the iPhone tied solely to AT&T (recently corrected) and keeping the iPhone priced moderately in a marketplace where many of its competitors are being literally given away. Expect Apple to stick to its plan of keeping the iPhone 5 positioned as a smartphone for the rest of us, but better positioned in the future to make it easier for those who should be using an iPhone to actually get their hands on one. For Apple to chase after geek desires would fail both because it’s not Apple’s forte and because the geekiest portion of the population has already fallen in love with their Android hacker platform anyway. Here’s more on the iPhone 5.