cell

Houston, TX

#1 Sep 1, 2012
What to expect

OK, so what's the iPhone 5 going to have, you ask? A lot, by all accounts -- and we're not even referring to what's confirmed to be in the upcoming iOS 6 operating system. Let's take a look at what we know and what we think we know.

Bigger screen

Thinner body, bigger battery & new connector

The new screen likely to be one of the biggest features in the iPhone 5 will also be thinner, contributing to an even svelter smartphone. Apple was recently awarded a patent related to integrating touch sensors with the actual display circuits, opposed to placing the touch sensors on top of the LCD screen (currently, the way it's done). This will result in a thinner display, expected to trim the entire iPhone's depth by about 1.2mm.

On a related note, rumor has it the iPhone will have an all-new housing with a full metal back, replacing the breakable glass on the iPhone 4S.

As for the connectors, it seems the headphone jack has been moved from the top left of the phone to the bottom left, beside a small connector 8- to 19-pin, allegedly compared to the wide-mouth 30-pin connector in the current suite of iOS devices (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad) and the Apple nano, too. Unless there's an adaptor in the box to support the many thousands of accessories on the market, such as speaker docks, this change might frustrate current Apple customers. Apple is changing to this smaller dock connector on all future iOS products, various sources say.

On the subject of hardware, it's no secret the iPhone 4S battery is less than ideal for all of the phone's power-draining abilities. A leaked photo acquired by 9to5Mac points to a bigger battery in the iPhone 5 but not by much. The current iPhone 4S sports a 1,430mAh battery (up from 1,420 mAh on the iPhone 4), and this photo shows a slightly better 1,440mAh battery, and upping to 3.8 volts from 3.7.

Let's just hope the new battery doesn't get as hot as the new iPad -- or take as long to charge it up.

New wireless tech

Speaking of smaller, there's talk (and photos) of a new nano SIM under the hood of iPhone 5 to give the iPhone cellular connectivity. Apple has been pushing for this as a standard for some time, so we'll soon see if iPhone 5 is the first to house this new SIM card.

Other changes to its wireless capabilities include 4G/LTE data speeds which take full advantage of the faster wireless networks available in select markets. For the uninitiated, "Long Term Evolution" cellular speeds rival if not exceed broadband Internet connections at home thanks to download speeds that top 72 Megabits per second -- though this number is "theoretical" opposed to slower "real world" performance. In areas without LTE support, the iPhone 5 would revert to HSPA+(up to 21 Megabits per second downloads) or depending on the carrier, dual-carrier HSDPA for download speeds of up to 42 Megabits per second.

Already in the new iPad, LTE support in the iPhone 5 is extremely likely. That, and the Korea Times says Apple has been in discussions with two Korean mobile carriers (SK Telecom and KT) to include iPhone 5 on their LTE networks.

While not as likely as LTE, the iPhone 5 might also include near-field communication (NFC), a small wireless radio that essentially turns the smartphone into a digital wallet. This would allow iPhone users to tap-and-pay at supporting retailers and vending machines. Similar to Google Wallet, an iWallet app would be linked to your credit card or bank account. There are other applications for NFC-based smartphones, too, such as easily exchanging information with another smartphone, swiping to access information or media (such as poster of a movie to download a trailer) and to get on a bus or in your condo.
phone

Houston, TX

#2 Sep 1, 2012
coolness
Thinking

Carrizo Springs, TX

#3 Sep 1, 2012
Sounds pretty cool. I have a 3Gs and have held off on taking advantage of my renewal upgrade, so I could get the iPhone 5. I'm hoping my patience will have been worth it!

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