‘iPhone 5’ release and features rumors: Apple’s patent applications

“With Apple gearing up for the grand release of its highly anticipated next generation iPhone, enormous hype surrounds the smartphone with rumors confounding customers about when the device will finally be launched and what the features will be on board,” Kukil Bora reports for The International Business Times.

“Some earlier reports said Apple would launch iPhone 5 at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June this year,” Bora reports. “The reports suggested that the June launch of the next iPhone would bring an end to an eight-month-long life span of the current iPhone 4S. But recent rumors suggested that Apple might launch the device in the second half of 2012. The Cupertino tech giant might abandon mid-year launches and consider a 12-month iPhone upgrade cycle starting in the fall.”

Bora reports, “When it comes to the features of the phone, rumors are spreading like wildfire. The reports of Apple’s new patent filing have also added much to the rumor mill which keeps on growing continuously. Here’re some details about three Apple patent applications filed in the US Patent and Trademark Office which might turn up as key features in future iDevices like iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.”

• 3D Cameras That Could Also Recognize Facial Expressions and Gesturing
• iCloud-based Universal Remote Functionalities to Control TVs
• Ultrasonic Bonding to Make Apple’s Next iPhone Stronger

Read more in the full article here.

27 Comments

  1. The fact that most people are salivating at the prospect of a larger-screen iPhone, in a positive “I want one” attitude, means that Steve Jobs was hardly right on 100% of issues. It was Steve who insisted the 3.5″ screen was the ideal, and that the current iPad screen size was ideal and would not see a smaller iPad. Steve, on many issues, was just arrogant, and so many people bought into that reality-distortion warp.

    1. I too do not want a larger screen iPhone – I’ve seen the larger screen Android phones and usability is poor. I have an iPod Touch and it can easily be used with one hand – and that’s what I like about it. Any bigger – that’ what my iPad 2 is for.

        1. Agreed – walking down Chiswick High Road this afternoon, shopping bag in one hand (blush) and iPhone in the other, editing and adding to my shopping list in ‘Reminders’. If the screen was any larger I would likely lose that functionality. I thinks that Apple has it right.

    2. I like the way Apple is headed. I don’t want bigger is better phone. 3.5 is perfect for me. You have a choice of other manufactures, (Samsung)… you sound just a little arrogant yourself.

      1. Yeah, that and to just come up with a point of difference from the iPhone. There’s a lot of “selling features” popping up that only exist for that reason.

        It’s not easy to “one up” the best. Seems everyone has three choices at the moment:

        1.) Knock off the iPhone and risk embarrassment, etc.
        2.) Change things that are perfect and try to “sell” individual points of difference.
        3.) Make a radically new design from scratch (yeah, right).

    3. i imagine also — at the time a 3.5″ screen was small enough for the graphics and big enough to technology create and power a 10 hour battery… so Jobs at the time was right – or – a lot of engineering would have to be re-done.

    4. MM, your statement is much stronger than your evidence. While there is no doubt that many people would be interested in an iPhone with a somewhat larger display, that does not mean that SJ was “wrong” in focusing on a 3.5″ (3:2 ratio) display for the iPhone or 9.7″ (4:3 ratio) for the iPad. Both of those product have sold incredibly well, and the lack of product/ecosystem confusion and fragmentation is a major contributor to that success.

      To date, Apple has chosen to keep its iPhone lineup very simple. Given that approach, there are many reasons that a 3.5″ display was the right choice for the iPhone at the time it was released, and those reasons generally still hold true today. However, the iPhone market has grown and Apple now has the resources to expand its iPhone lineup a bit. There are also valid reasons that Apple might want to consider releasing an iPhone with a 4″ display. Since the current iPhone is already selling so well, should Apple change its strategy and either add a larger display option or make the switch to a larger display? I think that a 4″ display option would be welcomed by many, but those same people will likely buy an iPhone with a 3.5″ display rather than going Android or Windows. So there may not be much incentive for Apple to respond to your criticism.

      I have no doubt that many people would prefer a larger display on the iPhone. Some are even pushing for 4.5″ or larger, although I personally believe that would be a mistake. Much of the iPhone’s appeal lies in its compactness and its minimalist design – just enough to do the job and no more. That is a hallmark of modern Apple design.

      It goes without saying that SJ was not 100% right. But he was certainly right about many or even most of the important things when it comes to product design and the user experience. And those were the keys to the Apple renaissance starting in the late 1990s.

      People can agree with SJ’s actions or disagree with your statements without being subject to a “reality distortion” field. Among Mac fans, RDF in the positive sense is a term of affection for the way that SJ knew what people wanted before they realized it themselves. However, Apple haters use RDF in the negative sense to imply that Mac users are brainwashed and lack the wit to distinguish good products from bad. Because they do not understand, they feel the need to believe that we Mac users must be deluded, simply handing over money whenever Apple tells us that we need a new product. If it comforts them, let them live the lie. But I know that Apple products address my needs far better than the competition’s products.

    1. In fact – a smaller phone would be a nice option.
      A phone that is smaller and simpler with less apps and things; a phone that focuses on the core needs of a phone… I see possibly an all Siri handled phone, less screen, not for games or music… just a super simple phone. Voice dial, voice added contacts, voice to text – core phone services without the smartphone add-ons. Think Different.

  2. I work with people everyday and the vast majority only think they know what they want. There is a fine line between what “they” want and what is actually usable. When people actually get what they want and find what they got is not as easy to use as they thought they complain like nothing else. Don’t be so quick to dismiss a well thought out design. The opinions you easily dismiss were not whims but were actually very well researched and thought out. It’s called perspective…get some…..it tastes good.

    1. I’m happy to see more people wanting to stick with the 3.5″ screen. It’s perfect!

      Being an industrial designer for nearly 20 years, and hearing various design ideas from people who have never designed an actual product, I couldn’t agree more…

      Sometimes the ideas I hear are decent at first glance, then after about two minutes of thought they become horrible. I’ll ask “What about this factor? What about when someone does this? Etc.”. It usually ends with them thinking they’d be getting hate mail or lawsuits if they actually made/sold the product. Complete 180º.

      There’s way more that goes into the design of these products than just when you’re touching the screen. Ya know, like putting it in your pocket, holding it up to your ear, things like that.

      The iPhone does what it’s supposed to do, be as mobile as possible. The iPad does what it’s supposed to do, be as portable as possible. Any combining the two into a successful product would require a change in human behavior.

  3. The Cupertino tech giant might abandon mid-year launches and consider a 12-month iPhone upgrade cycle starting in the fall.

    Ya think? Come on, the iPod is no longer the big deal it was, so iPhone now takes it’s place as the featured headliner in the Fall. Besides this gives them 6 months between debuts of their top two products, iPad and iPhone. Perfect.

    Next iPhone: Thinner by 25-33 percent, no 3-D, still glass, NFC for mobile purchases and mobile connecting to a new series of AirPlay monitors, colors beyond white and black, maybe contact-to-contact inductive charging.

  4. There would be no issue with a 4″ screen iPhone, provided the actual dimensions of the phone itself remained approximately as it is now, which should be feasible; just extend the corners of the screen out to the edges.

  5. I would LOVE a larger screen!!! for everyone that really likes the 3.5″ screen then just keep making them.. but make a larger screen so we have some kind of choice here! i would love to see a larger screen for the next NEW iPhone!!!!

  6. The external form factor of the iPhone has no reason to change and a lot of reasons to stay the same. More capability (4G-ish, faster processor) will come in the iPhone (late 2012) and any extra internal space will go to bigger battery.

    Jony Ive is the Ferdinand Porsche of consumer computing devices. The two longest production runs for any car styles were the VW Beetle and the Porsche 911. No need to change for changes sake.

  7. I’m surprised that the insulting tone of ‘MM’ has not been answered.
    Is it ‘arrogance’ to know when something is just right? Well, is it?
    I find the people who assume anybody that buys an Apple product is under some kind of Steve Jobs hypnotic spell to be the arrogant ones.
    Steve Jobs is no longer with us, what ‘spell’ are we under now??

    Could it possibly be that Apple finally has leveled the playing field? And could it also be that they got there not with monopolistic bullying but with excellent products??
    So why is it that the MMs of this world never consider this?

    1. You may have noted that not one of the replies to MM supported his position. The fact he can’t appreciate the design impact of changing to a 4″ screen probably indicates he won’t appreciate the fact no one else agrees with him. He may be a majority of one, a legend in his own mind, as it were.

  8. 3.5 makes perfect sense since our fingers need some sort of grip on the phone a 4″ with the same form factor means that there will be too many accidental touches on the screen. One has to hold it some how not sure how if it’s 4″ in the current body so that doesn’t work hope it makes sense.

  9. 3.5 inches made perfect sense back in 2007 when that was pretty much the largest screen on the market. Now that components costs have come down and the average screen size has gone up it makes more sense to have a larger screen. I have used many of the larger screens including the Galaxy II and have not found any reduction in usability as is stated in above posts. Matter of fact, my wife whose hands are much smaller than mine uses a Galaxy S II and has no issues with usability in regards to size. 3.5 inches just is not going to cut it with me and that was the major mitigating factor for me not going with the 4S. Going up 1/2 inch to 4 is not going to reduce the functionality of this phone. Anyone who says different just hasn’t made the comparison. Unfortunately until Apple increases the screen size, which I believe will happen with the next upcoming iPhone, I will be relegated to the Android experience.

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