It’s that time again! The rumours about the next iPhone have been really heating up.
Interesting though, that amongst the usual debates on when it will be released, what features it will have, and exactly what it will look like (and be called), this time there are rumours for three completely different iPhones.
The iPhone 5S: The “usual” Apple iterative approach in that it looks just like the iPhone 5, but will have better specs inside and likely some new feature. Alleged pictures of these are starting to appear.
I say “usual” because Apple has done this twice (with the iPhone 3GS and the iPhone 4S), but really the only thing consistent (so far) with Apple is that they always keep you guessing.
The “Cheaper” iPhone: The idea that Apple needs something to compete with the lower end of the market other than their discounted previous year models. In this way they can have new hardware, but in other ways skimp to make it cheaper. The rumours will perhaps slow as Tim Cook just denied the idea, but will likely not stop.
The iPhone Plus: The idea that Apple needs something to compete with the recent slew of huge screen Android phones has led to a lot of speculation about whether Apple will try something beyond just stretching the length of their screen. Marco Arment made a crazy prediction which has gotten a lot of traction in the rumour world as it’s technically feasable and simple. A very elegant solution (if you can call a 5 inch screen elegant).
My opinion was that of course Apple will not scale up from a single “current” model to three in one shot, so I’ve been pretty dubious about these the whole time. This seems confirmed with Tim Cook’s latest speech. This just reminds me of the rumours of a cheap, cheap price for iPad mini prior to its launch. Apple just doesn’t compete in the low end.
Of course, they do currently support two sizes of iPads, and two versions of one of them (the iPad 2 and the 4), so I don’t think it outside the realm of possibility for them to have the iPhone 5S (or whatever the call it), the iPhone 5 (discounted), and the iPhone Plus (again, name). I don’t think they will though. I just don’t think that the 5 inch phone screen is an area they’re going to try for right yet. Of course as I said, the only thing consistent with Apple is that they always keep you guessing.