The Big Day: Apple Unveils the iPhone 5
October 4th may come to represent one of the most cathartic Apple product announcements ever — the launch of the fifth generation iPhone. Newly-appointed Apple CEO Tim Cook will make his first major on-stage PR performance today at 10:00 am PST on Apple’s own corporate campus in Cupertino, CA to a packed house of journalists in what promises to be a monumentous fifth chapter in the ever-escalating success story of the iPhone.
Dubbed the “iPhone 5″ by tech media and enthusiasts alike, this iPhone iteration brings with it a level of anticipation and mystery that no other iPhone model — or smartphone, for that matter — has enjoyed since the launch of the smartphone market segment in mobile computing and telephony. The landmark sales success of the iPhone 4 has launched the iPhone brand to a point where tech analysts believe that 41% of all mobile phone users — and 35% of the population overall — will eventually come to purchase an iPhone 5.
But while many people are certain that they’ll purchase an iPhone 5, little is confirmed about what to expect from its features, its official name, and even if there will be two new iPhones instead of one.
The Summer has been filled with a series of conflicting reports that claim the next iPhone will either sport a larger touch screen, new look and form factor, or keep the current screen size and chassis of the iPhone 4. Because of the inconclusiveness of the rumors, as well as Apple’s trademark silence about its new iPhone developments, no one in the media knows for sure what to expect from the iPhone 5. For this reason there is even speculation that the next iPhone could be called “iPhone 4S” if it turns out to be a refresh of the current iPhone 4, or even “iPhone 4G” if the next iPhone becomes the first to feature 4G LTE technology.
There are even rumors that Apple could reveal two new iPhones for the first time ever, boasting a totally redesigned, “pro” model iPhone 5, together with a lesser-equipped iPhone 4S.
What is certain about the next iPhone is that it will become Apple’s flagship mobile device for launching its audacious, new operating system, iOS 5, as well as iCloud — a cloud computing platform that will allow Apple users to easily share and access their data, photos, files, music, videos, and more on their iPhone, iPad, or Mac computer, thus creating an “Apple ecosystem” that could make owning a suite of Apple products irresistable for tech enthusiasts.
iOS 5 also proves to deliver a groundbreaking new user interface, with credible rumors that its new Assistant voice-activated technology will allow users to control virtually every facet of their iPhone with intuitive, user-friendly voice commands (that actually work, unlike much of the voice-activated technology on the market today).
While much is known about the iPhone 5′s expected software features — iOS 5′s beta version was launched at Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) in June of this year — most of the biggest question marks remain about its hardware features. We know that Apple will equip the iPhone 5 with its new A5 chip — currently used in the iPad 2 — and very well may include an 8-megapixel camera; advanced, capacitive home button; and increased RAM and/or storage.
Regardless of what the next iPhone turns out to be — a refreshed iPhone 4 with advanced features or a revolutionary new iPhone design — the buzz surrounding Apple’s fifth generation iPhone promises to make it the most successful smartphone design ever.