Apple is due to launch its sixth iPhone on September 12th nearly a year after the company’s co-founder, Steve Jobs, sadly passed away. Although this is the 6th iPhone it will most likely be called the iPhone 5, with other possibilities including the New iPhone and the iPhone SJ. Whatever name Apple eventually chooses, it looks set to be the most revolutionary iPhone since the original handset was launched back in 2007.
The five iPhones that have been released to date have all had a number of characteristics that have been common to all of them. Even though the screen resolution has been increased over the years, all of the iPhones have had a 3.5 inch screen, and although the iPhone 4 and 4S are slimmer than earlier models, they have all been fairly similar in size and proportions.
Apple has been pretty good in the past at maintaining the utmost secrecy surrounding its upcoming products, but for the iPhone 5 the cat is out of the bag, so to speak. It is now established on fairly firm ground that the iPhone 5 will mark the first deviation from the 3.5 screen size into larger screened territory.
Apple has had to respond to the increasing popularity of large screened devices from competitors, although it will always deny that it is following market trends. The interesting thing to note about the new 4 inch iPhone screen is that while it is noticeably taller, it remains almost identical to earlier iPhone screens in terms of its width.
This taller screen has been confirmed by various leaked images, of front panels, back panels and design schematics, with the most recent leak appearing just over the weekend. The elongated screen has also been confirmed by simulations of iOS 6 running at the 640 x 1136 resolution that is purported to be the resolution of the iPhone 5.
When iOS 6 is run at this screen resolution, it adds an extra row of app icons to the screen, although this does not occur in iOS 5 and earlier. This is thought to be the new “Auto Layout” feature of iOS that was mentioned at 2012’s WWDC which would allow content to automatically readjust itself for a larger screen. Aside from dubious leaked images of iPhone components, this iOS feature is the most solid proof yet of a larger screen.
New Screen Proportions
It should be noted that 640 x 1136 is not just a larger resolution, but a completely new aspect ratio. Although the screen resolution was increased on the iPhone 4 it still maintained the same 3:2 aspect ratio as earlier models. The iPhone 5, if it does run on a 640 x 1136 resolution, will be the first iPhone to run on a 16:9 aspect ratio. This aspect ratio is “widescreen”, and while it may provide some benefits for widescreen movies it could also produce problems for iPhone apps that were designed for earlier models.
Auto Layout is thought to apply only to apps that make use of Apple design elements in iOS, and not necessarily to third party apps. This means that apps will either need to be updated by their developers, stretched to fit on the taller screen, or operate in a “letterbox mode” with black bars across the top and bottom.
New Dock Connector
Aside from the same screen size another common feature between existing iPhones has been the proprietary Apple dock connector. Apple does not use an industry standard technology such as USB or microUSB but instead uses its own design.
Apple has reportedly been working on a new dock connector which will be much smaller, more efficient and capable of faster data transfer. As it is smaller, the new dock connector will consume less space within the iPhone 5, allowing other additional components to be included, and it will also consume less space on the phone’s exterior, allowing Apple to reposition the headphone socket on the bottom of the phone.
This new dock connector will cause some problems for iPhone users who have already acquired a large number of accessories, as the new design is not compatible with the old design. To get around this issue, Apple is most likely going to release an adaptor.
Along with some new software features such as Facebook integration and 3D Maps, the iPhone 5 will represent one of the biggest changes to the phone series since it began. While there is certainly demand for larger screened phones it remains to be seen how the new screen design will be received by existing iPhone fans. Likewise, the new dock connector may provide many benefits to speed and efficiency, but it also has the potential to annoy a lot of existing iPhone users who have spent a lot of money on accessories. Apple is taking a gamble by mixing things up so much, but it is hard to see how the iPhone 5 will be any less popular than earlier models.
The iPhone 5 is due to be launched alongside a smaller 7 inch iPad on September 12th. Apple will begin taking pre-orders for the new phone the following day, with the phone due to go on sale on September 21st.
Author Bio:- This post was written by Simon from the UK mobile phone comparison website Best Mobile Contracts, which is also a great source for iPhone news and rumours.