We’d hoped that, by summer time, we’d be basking in the glow of a brand-new iPhone 5. But no new iPhone arrived at this year’s WWDC, so it’s looking like a September release is on the cards. To quench your iPhone thirst in the meantime, we’ve blended all the freshest iPhone 5 news into a delicious fact smoothie.
The iPhone 5 is the subject of numerous rumours at the moment, but we can make some educated guesses about its features — guesses so highly educated, in fact, they have a PhD in phone rumours from Cupertino University. But we’ll be updating this story as the facts arrive, so bookmark it to find the buffest, bronzest news on features and prices for the fifth coming of the Jesus phone.
Based on leaked pictures, it seems the iPhone 5 won’t look significantly different to the iPhone 4. That sounds about right to us, considering Apple packed some epic hardware innovations into the iPhone 4. The company also tends to stick with its favourite designs for years — witness the identical iPhone 3G and 3GS, and the enduring MacBook Pro. But Apple is likely to squeeze the iPhone 5’s guts into an even thinner, lighter case.
There have also been rumours that the iPhone 5 will have an aluminium back cover, rather than a glass one. This change could help make the phone tougher — the iPhone 4 reportedly suffered problems with cracking when using a slide-on cover. We have a soft spot for the metallic case on the original iPhone, and the new iPad 2 also rocks the metal look. But we think Apple is too married to its innovative glass design to go for this change.
We expect to see black and white versions of the iPhone 5, as we have with the iPad 2. It took a while to get a white iPhone 4, but paint improvements mean we shouldn’t be limited to a black-only iPhone 5.
We’re hoping for a slightly larger screen, as shown in the leaked mould photos. The iPhone 4 has a 3.5-inch screen, which is starting to feel teeny compared to the Android competition, despite its spectacular resolution. If Apple can boost the screen size and keep that eye-wateringly beautiful clarity, we’ll be thrilled, especially if the company does it by shrinking the bezel around the screen, keeping the phone small. If Apple keeps the phone at the same size, it’d be hard-pressed to fit in a 4-inch screen, so we’re on the lookout for something closer to 3.7 inches.
Apple announced a new version of its operating system, iOS 5, in June. It doesn’t feature all of our most-wanted features, but there are plenty of treats to keep us sweet.
Anything that cuts the cord to iTunes makes us happy, so we’re thrilled to see that iOS 5 offers wireless updates, back-ups and syncing. But we may have to wait a while before we get all of the wireless features in the UK.
iOS 5 will arrive on iPhones in the autumn, all around the world. We’ll have the ability to wirelessly sync with our computers then. But there will probably be a delay before iCloud, Apple’s online storage system, comes to the UK. That means that we’ll still be tethered to our computers for things like software updates and back-ups.
Flash in the Web browser is out of the question, although the iPhone 5’s browser will receive some improvements in iOS 5. The Reader feature strips out ads, images and fancy formatting to make the page easier to read. It will also pull in all the text from a story that’s spread over multiple Web pages.
The Reading List feature saves pages you want to read later, and syncs them across your various iOS gadgets and the Safari browser on the desktop.
iOS 5 will also provide the iPhone 5 with less obtrusive notifications, shortcuts on the lock screen, deeper Twitter integration, and an Apple IM client. Check out our complete guide to iOS 5 for all the details.
Apple calls its dual-core processor the ‘A5’, as seen in the iPad 2. We call it ‘so speedy it eats the company’s previous CPU, the A4, for breakfast’. Expect the iPhone 5 to use the A5, which has a processor, GPU and RAM all on one die. If it does, the iPhone 5 will join the ranks of dashing dual-core handsets such as the Samsung Galaxy S 2 and the LG Optimus 2X.
The iPhone 5 may also sport near-field-communications technology inside, allowing you to make wireless payments with the phone, so you could tap a reader to pay for your sandwich, for example. But we’ve also heard that Apple could work out its own proprietary version of the contactless system.
One thing Apple had better sort out on the iPhone 5 is its antenna. Previous iPhones were terrible at making and receiving calls, but the iPhone 4 took the cake, as the antennagatescandal made clear. The Cupertino kids redesigned the iPhone 4’s antenna when the handset came out on Verizon’s network in the US, but it still has problems, according to the venerable Consumer Reports.
Previous iPhones sold like hot cakes without having decent reception, so Apple may feel it can leave the issue alone. But we have high hopes for an improvement in the next model, and the rumourssuggest we won’t be disappointed.
The camera in the iPhone 5 is also likely to be revamped. The iPhone 4’s camera has a 5-megapixel resolution and an LED photo light, along with high-dynamic-range software to help with exposure. In our tests, the iPhone 4’s camera took decent shots, but it’s still not as good as Nokia’s 12-megapixel effort on the N8. The chief executive of Sony has implied that the company may be making an 8-megapixel snapper for the iPhone 5. We could also see an improved LED flash.
Rather than simply bumping up the megapixels, the iPhone 5 could add some sensor innovation — we’re thinking something along the lines of the Exmor R CMOS sensor in the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc. This type of back-illuminated sensor takes smoother, less noisy shots in low light.
iPhone 5 nano
We don’t have details on iPhone 5 deals yet, but the phone is bound to be expensive. If it’s out of your price range, you’ll be happy to hear that rumours concerning a cheaper version are flying about faster than an eagle with a jetpack.
We’ve heard about a wee iPhone — an iPhone nano, if you will– that’s either a third smaller or half the size of its big brother. Although we’d love to squeal over a tiny iPhone, we lean towards believing competing speculation that Apple may make a cheaper phone by cutting costs on components. A lower-resolution screen and camera, for example, could make for a bargain iPhone.
iPhone 5 deals
Apple has a history of releasing new iPhones in June, but this year it didn’t deliver any summer lovin’. Instead, it looks likely that the iPhone 5 will arrive in September, at the event that’s usually dedicated to the iPod.
We’ve crunched the numbers, and our supercomputer tells us that 7 September is the most likely date. Apple has reportedly ordered 15 million iPhone 5 units, so it’s clearly expecting a run on the new phone.
At this stage, we don’t know which of the networks will sell the iPhone 5, or how much it will cost. But we’ll be updating this story with the news as it breaks, so bookmark this page to find all the deals in one handy place.