There was a time when Apple was able to announce a product and the general public had little or no idea of product features, design or availability. With the size and scale of the iPhone business, it’s getting increasingly more difficult to keep new products under wraps. With the iPhone 5 release date approaching, the sheer number of iPhone 5 rumors has helped paint a picture of what we can expect if the September 12th announcement date rings true. To help sort through the clutter, here’s a complete preview of what you can expect based upon all of the iPhone 5 rumors we’ve been tracking.
iPhone 5 Features
Back in May of this year, both the Wall Street Journal and Reuters reported that Apple would begin manufacturing a new iPhone featuring a larger display. WSJ also noted that it would be a 4-inch display, which led to an interesting post by known Apple insider John Gruber putting together the technical pieces on how Apple could make this happen and we’ve seen some interesting iOS simulator screen shots that show the responsive display.
“…encourage iOS developers to adopt the recommended APIs to be responsive to changes in available vertical screen space.”
The new display will adopt in-cell touch panels according to multiple sources. This new technology allows for the sensors to be within the glass display itself. This allow for a thinner display, which should in turn provide more vivid colors. Sharp Corporation’s President Takashi Okuda was recently quoted that “shipments will start in August“.
Adding fuel to the fire, alleged new iPhone schematics show the very same 4-inch iPhone being rumored by various publications.
Drawings, well placed sources were followed by a summer of parts leaks, a number of which show what most believe is the iPhone 5 screen.
The new iPhone 5 will feature a retina display that will be taller, but not wider than the current iPhone 4S. This video shows us exactly how it will stack up against the smaller iPhone 4S.
Redesigned Dock Connector
Originally reported by iMore, Apple has designed a new dock connector which will debut on the iPhone 5. The current 30-pin dock connector will be replaced by one that is smaller. Original rumors had the new dock using a 19-pin connector, but recent rumors have it at either 8 or 9 pins. Both might be right, if you account the edge being the ground, effectively making it 9-pins.
You can count on Apple to provide an adapter to work with your existing iPhone accessories. By making it smaller, it allows for more room for components. As these devices get thinner and more powerful, anywhere they can make-up real estate is a bonus.
Unlike the current 30-pin connector, this new dock connector will direction independent, allowing it to work in either position.
By reducing the size of the dock connector, Apple has made room and apparently moved the headphone jack from the top of the iPhone to bottom.
In addition to drastic changes to internals, the new iPhone appears to feature a two-tone backplate. This being a vast departure from the current single color glass backplate found on the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. With the backplate and display parts leaked, some outlets have assembled a fairly complete look at the new iPhone.
Just last week, 9to5mac spotted a new larger iPhone battery. At 1440 mAh, the jump in capacity is a modest one when compared to the iPhone 4S at 1430 mAh. Apple will undoubtedly need a larger battery to power the new display and for the move to 4G LTE. As for the move to 4G LTE, while most are expecting this support, little has been leaked or rumored in this department. With the new iPad (third generation) offering 4G LTE models, expectations are that the iPhone 5 will follow suit. If this is the new battery, Apple will have to incorporate other energy efficient components in order to match or exceed the current battery life.
New, Smaller nano SIM Card
For most of you, you’ll never see your SIM card, but you should know that it too will get smaller. Apple currently utilizes a microSIM card in the iPhone 4S. While other manufacturers are still using standard sized SIM cards, Apple will use an even smaller SIM card than the microSIM. The nano-SIM card will require a new SIM tray and could be 40% smaller than the current smallest SIM card.
While there has been speculation that Apple might some day move away from a physical home button, that’s not expected this go around. Last week we saw a number of parts on French website nowehereelse.fr and your iPhone home button is still alive and kicking.
What we don’t know
While all of the above are yet to be confirmed or denied by Apple, the sheer number of sources and physical hardware in the form of parts seems to all but confirm the external casing of the iPhone 5. What’s yet to be known is what chip will power this next generation device. Apple has also yet to support NFC, but the inclusion of Passbook in iOS 6 could see Apple’s first foray into mobile payments. This would require addition functionality in Passbook, something we’ve yet to see. Other components including RAM, front and rear cameras have yet to be revealed.
iPhone 5 Release Date
When is the iPhone 5 coming out on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint? That’s the big question. Multiple sources have suggested an iPhone 5 release date of September 20th. The announcement could come as early as September 12th. Apple typically sends out invites on the Friday before a Wednesday event. We could know more on Friday, September 7th.
That’s everything we know about the iPhone 5. Apple appears to have worked hard at reducing the size of components that includes introducing a new, smaller dock connector. It’s a more compact device, yet feature a new taller widescreen display that will still support one-handed operation and should be released with iOS 6. If you were planning on buying a new iPhone, we’d advise that you wait at least until the end of September. While the picture is becoming clearer, the announcement should bring some surprises. If you are in the market for a new iPhone, you’ll want to wait for this one.