By Scott Austin
We’re likely a few months away from the next iPhone release — and from watching hordes of people stampeding through the doors of Apple stores. In light of today’s news that the upcoming iPhone will have a thinner screen, here’s a recap of what we know about the newest model.
Release date: Analysts expect the phone to hit the market in the fall. The first four iPhones all came out in the summer in either June or July. But last year’s iPhone 4S launched on Oct. 14. There are lots of rumors on the release date — a blog called Know Your Mobile, for instance, says it “can exclusively reveal” the date will be Aug. 7. As anyone who follows Apple releases know, most rumors tend to be false. In any case, all the major carriers are expected to begin selling the iPhone at launch.
Name: Apple tricked everyone last year when it named its newest model the 4S rather than 5. It surprised the blogosphere again this year by calling its latest tablet the “new iPad” rather than the iPad 3, indicating it’s doing away with numbering conventions. So don’t be surprised if this is simply called the “new iPhone.”
Screen: The Wall Street Journal reports today that the iPhone will have a thinner screen using in-cell technology from display makers Sharp, Japan Display and LG Display. The screen is thinner because it does without a touch-screen layer that is about a half a millimeter thick. That improves the quality of the images. The screen will also be larger, measuring at least 4 inches diagonally, compared with 3.5 inches all of the iPhone models.
Features: The phone will boast the new operating system, iOS 6, which Apple says comes with 200 new features, including enhancements to “voice assistant” Siri; a new 3-D maps service with turn-by-turn navigation; integration with Facebook; a “Do Not Disturb” feature to avoid unwanted messages at night; and a new app called Passbook organizes loyalty cards, tickets and boarding passes to display the right card when needed.
Survey says: Piper Jaffray just canvassed 400 people in the U.S. and Asia for its annual cell-phone survey and found that 65% of those planned to make an iPhone their next smartphone, and of those 51% said they were waiting for newest model.