iPhone 5: What’s Under the Hood?

When Apple CEO Tim Cook steps onto the stage on August 7, the tech world will be holding its breath – awaiting the moment when he pulls the new iPhone 5 out of his pocket. At least, that’s what the rumors coursing through the trade press and blogs would have you believe. Indeed, no mobile phone has been so eagerly anticipated, so intensely observed, as the new iPhone. It is the first iPhone to be released under CEO Tim Cook. And as expected, there are fierce debates and speculations about the new features.

A bit longer, a smaller SIM, and a narrower dock connector

Outwardly, there are bigger changes expected for the iPhone 5 than those introduced between the iPhone 4 and the current series, 4S. For one, the new device is expected to be a bit longer than current models. The reason may be due to a new retina display with 1136 x 640 pixels and a diagonal measurement that comes in at four inches. Right now, the 4S display is 960 x 460 pixels. The possibility of a new casing made from an innovative metal alloy has also been discussed at length. Currently, speculators are leaning towards an aluminum shell with some glass components. In addition, a smaller nano-SIM card should come into play in the iPhone 5.

One of the most visible hardware changes is likely to be the dock connector. The existing 30-pin dock connector takes up a good half of the iPhone’s bottom end. The connector in the new model is expected to take up considerably less space. With only 19 pins, there should be plenty of room leftover to bring the headphone jack down below. This change would essentially put an end to the standard mini-USB connector. If this happens, existing accessories – from docking stations to speaker systems – will be rendered useless (without an adapter, at least) in one fell swoop. Analysts are already hinting at new business for manufacturers.

Read on the next page about the new operating system, iOS 6

On the software side, the new iPhone is likely to come outfitted with iOS 6. Here, too, Apple is keeping the details to itself. An update for Siri, however, is definitely in the works. After the introduction of Google Now, at the latest, observers think there will be some catching up to do. Furthermore, an improved integration with Facebook is expected. This would make it possible to click the “Like” button from other apps more often. It should also be possible to synch your contacts and calendar with Facebook. The new email client is expected to be able to mark important emails with an “VIP” tag and sort them to the top. Safari should be able to save and synch open tabs and bookmark content to read later. Beyond that, new versions of the iTunes Store, App Store, and iBookstore are expected.

iOS is playing catch up

Rumors of a fall arrival of the iPhone 5 solidified after Fran Shammo, chief financial officer at Verizon, an American mobile communications provider, hinted at the release of a major smartphone in Q4 2012. A little under two weeks ago, the website, knowyourmobile.com, announced the launch of the new iPhone in August.

Apple introduced iPhone 4S in October 2011. And in the run-up to that release the excitement was just as high as it is now. Last year, however, many observers came away from the launch disappointed.