Last week, we took a look at what consumers should expect from the iPhone 5S release date and its features and now, it’s time to take another look at Apple’s presumed iPhone 5 successor as we look at what not to expect from the iPhone 5S release date and features.
Just a few weeks after the iPhone 5 finally touched down for consumers around the world, the rumor mill about the next iPhone has started to warm up as rumors are circling about a new iPhone, potentially called the iPhone 5S.
While it may seem early, the rumors are actually right on time for Apple supply chain rumors. One of the first iPhone 5 leaks, which surfaced in December of 2011, pointed to a fall launch with a redesign so it’s not surprising that we’re already hearing about what we could potentially see from Apple’s next iPhone. For now, the device has been dubbed the iPhone 5S, keeping in line with Apple’s traditional naming practices.
The latest has Apple potentially starting production of the iPhone in March or April, sooner than expected, with a release possibly coming in the middle part of next year. If true, it would be vastly different than the last two iPhone launches which took place later in the year in September (iPhone 5) and October (iPhone 4S) respectively.
The last time Apple introduced and released an iPhone in the middle of the year was the iPhone 4 which it announced at WWDC in June of 2010 and released shortly afterwards. Since then, WWDC has revolved around software, namely, iOS and OS X.
While we remain skeptical, a summer release remains a possibility given Apple’s earlier releases.
As for the iPhone 5S itself, there isn’t much of anything that is known about the upcoming successor to the iPhone 5. Even making predictions is a little more difficult given that Apple bumped the size of the display and added 4G LTE data speeds. However, we’re still going to try.
Last week we took a close look at what we expect from the iPhone 5S in terms of its release date and features and now, we’re going to take a look at what not to expect from Apple’s next iPhone.
iPhone 5S Release Date Other Than Summer or Fall
At this point, we’ve heard that the iPhone 5S might be coming in the middle of 2013. The source of the rumors, Digitimes, has an extremely mixed track record when it comes to Apple news, so the iPhone 5S release date at this point is still firmly entrenched in the shadows. However, as we pointed out, that doesn’t mean that the iPhone 5S won’t be released in the summer.
Apple has changed its release months and windows before, an example is the iPad fourth-generation which was expected in March but was released in November. Apple makes these changes as it sees fit and that means that the summer window is still open alongside the fall iPhone 5S release window.
Don’t expect the iPhone 5S to arrive in any other release windows besides those though. That’s because the new iPhone always comes with the new version of iOS and iOS 7 likely won’t be announced until WWDC. It’s possible that Apple’s March event could revolve around iOS 7 but a more likely candidate is WWDC which Apple has used to showcase its new software for many years.
Apple will also want to give the iPhone 5 some time to sell. The device still is facing supply issues heading into December and it should continue to sell nicely well into 2013. So, at this point, given the iPhone 5’s popularity and the time that Apple needs to develop a new operating system, don’t expect the iPhone 5S before summer.
Similar iOS 7 Release Date
Over the weekend, I received a host of emails asking me when Apple would release iOS 7. At this point, don’t expect an iOS 7 release date until the iPhone 5S is announced. Apple typically releases its new software shortly ahead of the new iPhone’s release date and that trend will likely continue with the iPhone 5S.
So, because we expect the iPhone 5S to either arrive in summer or fall of 2013, we don’t expect iOS 7 until then either and don’t expect it to roll out before the release of the new iPhone.
Specific features of iOS 7 are not known yet but because due to iOS Chief Scott Forstall’s departure and because of the failure of Apple Maps, expect some sweeping changes in iOS 7, particularly with the Maps application.
Apple, unlike many of its competitors, opts for incremental changes to the iPhone instead of wide sweeping ones. With the arrival of a large display, a new design and 4G LTE data speeds with the iPhone 5, look for Apple to surround those with some hardware upgrades. Just don’t expect anything too crazy.
With the jump from the iPhone 4 to the iPhone 4S, Apple made some camera tweaks, added better antennas, upgraded the processor, and added some improvements to the battery life.
It also added Siri to the iPhone 4S was a unique software feature and one that wasn’t and still isn’t offered on the iPhone 4. Look for this trend to continue with the iPhone 5S.
Camera improvements, a faster processor, better battery life, a unique software feature which could be related to security, and NFC are potential candidates for the iPhone 5S features. In fact, the ‘S’ in the name may stand for Security or Sales, just like the ‘S’ in the iPhone 4S stood for Siri.
Look for its design and its display to stay the same.
Don’t expect to Apple to switch up its iPhone sweet spot, which of course is its price. Over the years, Apple has not strayed from its usual price for the iPhone which starts at $199 for the 16GB model.
With the iPhone 5S, expect more of the same with Apple offering the 32GB for $299 and the 64GB for $399. The iPhone has sold extremely well at these prices and even with the upgrades, don’t expect Apple to budge.
Lack of 4G LTE Coverage
One of the major downsides with the iPhone 5 launch was that not all the carriers were or are created equal in terms of 4G LTE coverage. 4G LTE allows the iPhone 5 to pull down data speeds that act almost like a mobile Wi-Fi connection. They can reach up to 10 times as fast as normal 3G. However, when the iPhone 5 launched, there was a clear leader in the 4G LTE race.
When the iPhone 5 launched, Verizon was approaching 400 4G LTE markets, a milestone that is surpassed a few weeks ago. AT&T and Sprint boasted far fewer than that. With the iPhone 5S, while the competition won’t exactly be even, don’t expect it to be as uneven as it was when the iPhone 5 arrived.
AT&T is now over 100 4G LTE markets in the U.S. and Sprint has 43 live in the United States. Those numbers will be much larger once the iPhone 5S comes around and that means more quality iPhone 5S options for consumers.
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