iPhone 4S/5 Distinctions; 4S This Fall, LTE iPhone 5 in 2012?
Confused about distinctions differentiating the rumored iPhone 4S from the iPhone 5? Cult of Mac’s Buster Heine endeavors to shed some light on the conundrum, noting that while the next iPhone will be the product’s 5th generation version, that doesn’t necessarily mean its name will be “iPhone 5,” observing that the iPhone 4 has thus far been the only iPhone model with a name that matched its slot on the iPhone generational timeline.
Heine points out that the second generation got tagged iPhone 3G in recognition of its 3G wireless network support, while with the third generation, the iPhone (form factor carried over from the 2nd-gen 3G) got designated 3GS – the “S” signifying “speed” provided by a faster CPU, more RAM, and a camera upgrade.
Mindful of that precedent, Heine deduces that Apple will either stick with a sequential naming convention, a decision that would likely accompany a substantial form factor redesign, or alternatively go the same route they did with the iPhone 3GS if the 5th-gen Apple phone is more a speed bump and feature enhancement encased in a carried-over iPhone 4 form factor, in which case (no pun intended) iPhone 4S would be more logical and likely nomenclature.
So what to expect? Currently either way is speculation, with duelling and often contradictory rumors and purported insider intelligence duking it out in the blogosphere. Heine thinks that if the new iPhone arrives with an A5 processor, an aluminum back, larger screen, a capacitive home button, a thinner, tapered form factor and a higher-resolution camera, think “iPhone5.” Conversely, if the upgrade consists mainly of a dual-core A5 processor, plus a camera upgrade and redesigned antenna, and “world phone” GSM/ CDMA ambidexterity “iPhone 4S” is a stronger probability.
So which will it be?
Heine thinks that for a time there was reason to deduce that Apple’s original intent was to make it “both” rather than “either/or,” with a redesigned iPhone 5 in the vanguard and an iPhone 4S filling the slot currently occupied by the iPhone 3GS. However, he says that the latest scuttlebutt about iPhone 5 production startup hiccups and delays is inclining him more to the school of thought that favors the scenario of the Fall 2011 iPhone release not featuring a form factor redesign. He allows that while the latter should not yet be entirely ruled-out, and an iPhone unveiled next month that looks different than the iPhone 4, it’s looking more and more improbable, and even if the appearance stays largely the same, Apple could still make a marketing decision to call it iPhone 5 based on it’s being the fifth generation (and also perhaps in recognition of iOS 5 being released concurrently.
However, he hedges that Apple could also go with “4S” on a redesigned enclosure product, so its still an imponderable, and the only think that we know for sure is that Apple has done spectacular job of keeping us in the dark.
Looking a bit farther into the future Tiernan Ray of Barrons’ Tech Trader Daily cites Wedbush Securities analyst Scott Sutherland predicting continued Apple dominance in connected devices and the release of two iphone models; an iPhone 4S sometime in the next few weeks and the a top-of-the-line iPhone 5 as replacement for the iPhone 4 plus a lower-priced model targeting emerging markets to come in January with LTE (4G) support and CDMA/GSM world phone connetivity.
Finally for blog entry, Appleinsider’s Kasper Jade reports that Apple is denying requests for employee vacations that would fall from from October 9th through 12th and October 14th through 15th. Jade projects a scenario shaping up with Apple first announcing its fifth-generation iPhone plans on October 4th, then releasing iOS 5 on Monday, October 10, and the Gen-5 iPhone availability starting October 15. Jade cites precedent for this sort of staged release in Apple’s first releasing iOS 4.0 on June 21 last year, then the iPhone 4 on June 24. and in 2009 releasing iOS 3.0 (AKA iPhone Software 3.0) on June 17 and the iPhone 3GS on June 21.