iPhone 5 in July 2011: five reasons it’s worth the wait, five why it isn’t
December 2, 2010 by Bill Palmer
by Bill Palmer
The iPhone 5 is still a glint in the future, and as usual Apple has said not a peep about what it’ll entail. But even with the fifth generation iPhone more than half a year away until its expected July 2011 debut, here are five reasons it’ll be worth the wait for those who love their existing iPhone but are looking forward to even more.
Sixty-four ways to like it: Apple hasn’t increased the capacity of the iPhone since 2009, so it’s not in position to push an iPhone 5 to market without a 64 GB model, and it knows it too. The iPod touch is already at 64 GB, which is embarrassing considering the iPhone is the signature product and the iPod touch is the sidekick. So those whose current 32 GB iPhones are stuffed to the gills with music, video, and apps should expect the iPhone 5 to push into 64 GB territory.
Now with 100% less stigma: iPhone 4 users are in a bizarre situation in which their antenna’s signal strength is the strongest of any iPhone model ever, and probably the best of any smartphone to ever come to market – and yet the most common question iPhone 4 users get from onlookers is “Did they fix the antenna issue yet?” Apple has done what it can to quell the imaginary iPhone antenna issue cooked up by geek pundits who were looking for revenge over the Gizmodo incident. Apple embarrassed the living snot out of them in a press conference, all the while giving iPhone 4 users free cases just to keep the imaginary problem from getting any bigger. But while Apple’s free case program succeeded in getting the concocted hype under control, it was also misinterpreted by some confused consumers as an admission that the imaginary iPhone 4 antenna problem actually existed. In other words, for the rest of the iPhone 4 era, iPhone 4 users will continue to get asked about an imaginary issue, as the stigma still exists even though the issue was never real. The arrival of the iPhone 5 will cause the confused among the masses to think that the “antenna problem” has been “fixed” by virtue of moving to a new model (yes, consumers do go that far out of their way to misunderstand every aspect of consumer technology), meaning that those iPhone 4 users who upgrade to the iPhone 5 will no longer have to put up with the antenna stigma. And for those who’ve grown exhausted due to all the continual confused harping, this alone way be worth the price of upgrading.
FacePalm to FaceTime: This may not be specific to the iPhone 5, but expect the launch of the iPhone 5 to maybe coincide with the arrival of FaceTime on mobile networks. It’s not a given, but Apple is invested enough in FaceTime (in actuality and in perception) that it can’t allow the current wifi-only limitations to continue for much longer or FaceTime will instead be referred to as “FacePalm” thanks to the fact that you can rarely use it outside your own home. Apple will be able to lean on the iPhone’s carrier(s) for certain concessions during the usual give and take, so bet on Apple at least pushing for this one.
Thin is in again: Each of the three iPhone bodies (original, 3G/3GS, 4) has been thinner than the last. With Apple’s obsession for svelteness never ending across all its product lines, expect Apple to already be deep into figuring out how to further miniaturize the iPhone’s internal components so the iPhone 5 can be the thinnest yet.
Surprise!: Each iPhone generation has brought with it one left field surprise feature that no one could have seen coming. The iPhone 5 will do the same. There’s no point in even trying to guess, as the surprise feature has never been guessable. But don’t let us stop you from trying in to between now and July.
…and for those who don’t feel like waiting, no worries. Here are the top five reasons why you shouldn’t wait:
Release date: the iPhone 5 doesn’t have one. Apple’s iPhone history reveals there to have been a new iPhone released every summer since 2007. But with the Verizon iPhone 4 having landed in midseason and the 4G prospects in 2011 for both Verizon and AT&T still up in the air, there’s no guarantee Apple will deliver the iPhone 5 as soon as its own history says it will.
Network: speaking of 4G, there’s no guarantee the iPhone 5 will have it. If the fifth generation iPhone does roll in early summer, Apple may decide that there just isn’t a wide enough 4G network available yet to make it worth the trouble and requisite confusion.
White: so you’re an iPhone 3GS user and you skipped the iPhone 4 because it didn’t ship in white, and now you’re waiting for the iPhone 5 because you think it’ll come in white from day one. You may be right, but you’re just guessing. For all the needless trouble the white model has caused Apple, particularly with the black model having always been the more popular of the two even when white was available (so says Apple), the white iPhone may have died entirely.
Reception: if you’re waiting for the iPhone 5 because you’re hoping it won’t suffer from the same “antenna issue” that the iPhone 4 did, you’re barking up the wrong tree. There is no iPhone 4 antenna issue and never was, despite fraudulent claims to the contrary from certain publications.
Carrier: Verizon and AT&T customers already have the iPhone, in the form of the iPhone 4. Sprint and T-Mobile customers aren’t guaranteed to ever get the iPhone at any point, let alone with the launch of the iPhone 5. In all cases (if you’re in the U.S. at least), your carrier either has the iPhone or may never have it. The iPhone 5 is not a magic wand as such.
Here’s more on the iPhone 5.