Many of you are anticipating the arrival of Apple’s newest tech gadget, the iPhone 5. What I want to do in this post is prepare you for what you can expect from the media announcement Apple will make on September 12 (this Wednesday), and what you most likely will not see on September 12 with the arrival of the new iPhone in front of the media for the first time. To make things interesting, it would be best to start with the features that you cannot expect from Wednesday’s announcement.
The first thing you should not expect on Wednesday is an announcement about waterproof coating. The waterproof rumor was popular on iPhone 5 sites across the web until the time came for the iPhone 5 to arrive. Once the rumors started growing, photos of the new gadget started surfacing, and details started pouring in, this rumor was placed in the garbage pile of tech rumors and left there to rot. Apple does not intend to use waterproof technology with its phones because to do so would cause the company to lose its own financial resources. What makes the iPhone such a financially-profitable commodity for Apple is that, should a customer drop his or her iPhone and damage it beyond repair, the individual can return to the store (most likely under contract smartphone insurance) and purchase a new iPhone. If the customer has insurance, he or she may not need to pay one brown cent for the phone; nevertheless, Apple has to make its money from somewhere—and the Cupertino company always does. Where does the money come from? The phone carrier. Another popular reason as to why Apple’s iPhone 5 will not contain waterproof coating has to do with the company’s phone policy: Apple will not allow waterproofed iPhones because the company’s detection of water in an iPhone chip or the iPhone’s back is a voidance of any sort of repair costs Apple takes on for its customers on a normal basis. Why would the company override its money-making scheme by offering a waterproof coating?
Another rumor that came out about the iPhone 5 some months ago is that the company would use a second type of Gorilla Glass (known as “Gorilla Glass 2”) or “liquid metal” (from the company Liquid Metal Technologies) to produce its iPhone 5 screens. As recent news reveals, the company will use Sharp, LG, Samsung, Toshiba, and other companies to produce its iPhone screens. However, there has been nothing new said about Liquid Metal and its use in iPhone 5 screens. In the place of what would have been hype about liquid metal, Apple decided to produce new screens that combine both liquid crystal display (LCD) and touch capacity, a feature known as “in-cell technology.” For Apple, both LCDs and touchscreens were once conceived as two separate layers in the iPhone. Now, with the new technology, Apple intends to merge the two layers into one—making the iPhone 5 less bulky (reducing the iPhone’s body size) while still providing the great technology it always has. As you can see, a number of tech sites have been hopelessly wrong about Apple’s screen display plan. I do not think they could have ever seen the idea of “in-cell technology” as one of Apple’s grand surprises!
I have given away one of Apple’s most certain features (in-cell technology), but I must continue my work on what not to expect from Wednesday’s announcement. If you want near field communication (NFC) to exist in the sixth-generation iPhone, think again; sadly, it will not. This is the third year in a row, according to Steve Kovach of Business Insider, that the iPhone will not feature NFC. While the iPhone 5 will not have NFC, it does have WiFi syncing and multi-device syncing that allow you to transfer documents, photos, and other cherished information via its iCloud storage. Perhaps Apple has chosen to refrain from incorporating NFC into its newest flagship iPhone in order to perfect the technology before its release (as the company did with 4G LTE). However, Apple did not do this when the company released Siri less than one year ago; thus, I find the idea of “waiting until it’s perfect” hard to believe. Many tech writers find that the iPhone 4 could handle voice recognition technology but Apple refrained from producing it. The reason? To coerce you to go to electronic stores and purchase the iPhone 4S (or rather, the iPhone 4Siri).
The above is the bad news about the iPhone 5’s arrival this Wednesday. What are some things that we can know about the iPhone 5’s arrival? First, we know that the media will see the iPhone for the first time on September 12, although the gadget will not be released for public purchase until September 21. Pre-orders will start on September 12, since Apple released its MacBook Pro with retina display and iOS6 alpha version for its developers at the WWDC when Apple announced these items for the first time. If you can refrain from purchasing the iPhone 5 for nine days, you can run down to your nearest electronics store (possibly the Apple store) and get the phone on the very day it will be released to the consumer public!
The iPhone 5 will come with features that have been upgraded or improved since the iPhone 4S. The major new addition to the iPhone will be iOS6, the new operating system with over 200 new features for iPhone users to love. Included in iOS6 is Siri, who will be integrated with more than just your voice. In the iPhone 4S, Siri (for whom the “S” in the model stands) could recognize your voice and respond to you as well as look up some items on the Internet for you. She could pull up recipes, driving directions, tell you the week’s weather schedule, and send emails to friends and colleagues. In the new iPhone 5, however, Siri will be more integrated with the newest operating system than ever before. Siri will not only know how to pull up directions or send texts to friends and colleagues; she will also be able to perform on-screen functions for you and dictate your onscreen emails and Facebook functions. She will also come smarter with more stored trivia than ever: Siri now knows sports games scores, as well as personal information about sports players (Lebron is taller than Kobe, etc.).
And this brings me to another feature of iOS6—Facebook integration. Tim Cook and Mark Zuckerberg have come together to make the Facebook integration happen for Apple customers in iOS6. This means that every time you want to post something, you will have easy access to your Facebook account and wall so that you can send articles and recommend webpages when you want. If you remember, Apple did this with Twitter in iPhones past. Notification Center, a jailbreak tweak that has been at the Cydia app hub for a long time, is now coming to iOS6. My guess as to why this jailbreak feature will make its way to iOS6 has something to do with Apple’s “hate it or love it” stance on jailbreaking (see my article on the matter).
Aside from iOS6, which has over 200 features non-developers have yet to see, there are external features that we can be sure will make their way to the iPhone 5. One feature of which we can be certain is 4G LTE connectivity. Apple fans have waited a long time for this feature, but it will come in the new iPhone, confirms CNET. The screen display will be larger at 4 inches versus the 3.5 inches that characterized the screen displays of the iPhone 4S and 4. Apple must do this to keep up with its smartphone competitors, many of whom have increased their phone screen sizes dramatically over the last year or two. I happen to believe that more screen display increases are on the way for Apple in the coming days. The iPhone 5 will also be both taller and thinner than recent iPhone models. Photos continue to surface that suggest the iPhone 5 will have a taller battery—confirming the taller dimension of the new iPhone 5. The pictures of the iPhone 5 body confirm that the newest gadget will also come smaller and easier to hold in your hands. An accessory to the new iPhone 5 consists of a smaller pin dock connector than previous models. That’s right: when you purchase the iPhone 5, be sure to pick up a nine pin dock connector from your local electronics store! Apple has made the iPhone 5 smaller; one of the consequences of this is that not only must the screen become thinner (LCD + touchscreen combo), but also that the dock connector must be smaller.
After hearing about these features, you may want to own an iPhone 5 of your own. However, like many, you may be in a financial bind and cannot afford to do so. If you find yourself in this position, do not worry: you can always wait for your iPhone 3GS to receive the iOS6 update and then have access to Siri as well as the other enticing features the new OS has to offer. Wait until Wednesday to decide whether or not you will storm the stores looking for your iPhone 5. For those who want to see what other features may not appear in the new iPhone 5, check out Ewan Spence’s article on hardware updates that Apple will not present in its iPhone 5.