Apple’s iPhone 5 may not be the huge leap forward many are hoping for

“Shares in Apple touched another record high on Friday, as anticipation builds for this week’s iPhone launch,” Tim Bradshaw and Paul Taylor report for The Financial Times. “Hints in the artwork of the invitation to the launch event in San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center suggest that Apple’s latest smartphone will indeed be called the iPhone 5, which was one of the world’s most popular search terms in 2011 despite that year’s launch of the iPhone 4S.”

“Yet the leaks and rumours coalescing around the new iPhone suggest that it may not be the huge leap forward that many Apple investors and customers long for,” Bradshaw and Taylor report. “The device is expected to have a thinner profile with a longer screen that is nonetheless still smaller than Samsung’s Galaxy S3 or Motorola’s latest RAZRs, launched last week. The iPhone 5 is almost certain to be faster, with an upgraded processor and 4G cellular data connection, using the same LTE technology as the latest iPad and most other new smartphones.”

Bradshaw and Taylor report, “The iPhone launches into a more competitive mobile market than ever… IHS Screen Digest predicts that Windows Phone will grow 140 per cent in 2013 but remain “a distant third” behind Apple and Google’s Android-based smartphones. If Windows and Nokia remain unlikely to derail the new iPhone, a more immediate threat is from Google itself. IHS forecasts Google’s Android smartphones will retain a huge lead over Apple by the end of this year, with 550m active smartphones globally compared with 250m iPhones.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Bigger isn’t better. Quality of display, operating system, one-handed usability, pocketability, aspect ratios, and other factors are more important than a diagonal size number. If you can’t read on a 4-inch Retina display, your next step is a visit to your eye doctor or your nearest Apple Store for an iPad (or, soon, perhaps, an iPad mini).

Fact: Even if the only changes are a taller screen (with a significant screen area increase of nearly 20%) and 4G LTE (and we know iOS 6 including a significantly improved Siri are also coming), the iPhone 5 will break all smartphone sales records – just like every single iPhone model before it.

As for market share, that’s nice. How did Android ever manage to achieve that? After all Android only infringed on Apple’s design patents, it’s slapped into 1,000+ models, they count phones so removed from “Android smartphones” as to be unrecognizable, they are constantly sold under “Buy One, Get X Number Free” promotions, etc.).

Profit share is better: Apple rakes in 71% of the world’s smartphone profits – September 8, 2012.

Naysayers, AAPL shareholders thank you – any lowering of expectations ahead of Wednesday only helps Apple.

Related article:
It’s official: Apple invites media to iPhone 5 special event on September 12 – September 4, 2012

123 Comments

  1. My ability to read since I purchased my first iPhone 5 years ago, diminished. Do I blame age or Apple?

    And I don’t expect great leaps forward with new phones. I expect steady progress. And I’ll be happy to buy an iPhone 5 on Day 1 then pass my old phones down through my family.

    1. The great leap forward was the original iPhone as was the original iPad, as was the original Mac. You only get to jolt the world once when something totally new is introduced. Everything since will be a steady upgrade of improvements and new features. Let’s face it it’s impossible to stun the world every year with an existing device nor is it expected by sane mortals only by unreasonable & disingenuous yellow journalists out for web bait.

  2. “The device is expected to have a thinner profile with a longer screen that is nonetheless still smaller than Samsung’s Galaxy S3 or Motorola’s latest RAZRs, launched last week. The iPhone 5 is almost certain to be faster, with an upgraded processor and 4G cellular data connection, using the same LTE technology as the latest iPad and most other new smartphones.”

    What more could you hope for?

    Would making it larger than the Galaxy SIII be a leap forward.

    You’d barely be able to walk or sit (never mind leap) with something that big in your pocket.

    1. I don’t think the iPhone will ever get bigger than the rumored 4 inches. Usability studies show that any size larger than that makes it too difficult to type with only one hand.

      1. The keyboard would not be a holdup if Apple really wanted to increase screen size.

        1) keyboard aligns to left or right side (user preference). The iPad already lets you split the keyboard, shrinking the keys in the process.

        Also: you can’t one-hand the keyboard in landscape mode, but Apple offers that anyway.

        2) bigger screen allows more keyboard area for extra keys. Common punctuation marks wouldn’t need a visit to the number/symbol view. Getting space for a number row on top means even less common symbols are a shift-tap away.

        And to be frank, I’ve had iPhones since 2009, typing each letter using the thumb on one hand is an exercise in frustration. One-handing takes not twice but three times as long as 2-thumb typing, and that assumes no mistakes that can’t be autocorrected. One-handing only makes sense as a last resort. A Swype-like input method works well for one-handed use, but that’s not an iOS option.

        1. I too have had all iPhones since the original, and I have typed with my thumbs quite effectively this whole time. I do not use two hands on my iPhone, it is a different story on my ipad, but it is bigger and requires it.

          YMMV.

  3. I posted a comment earlier that Apple should temporarily put all their products on sale. This would kill the competition which I think they should do.
    I also said it because I was recently retrenched and cannot afford to purchase the new iPhone. A number of people said that Apple shouldn’t have to sell to poor people (I am paraphrasing). Well, I would dearly like to buy one and I don’t think that I am undeserving. I think those comments were elitist. Poor people should have the option of enjoying Apple products.

    1. Apple products cost what they cost. They are a for profit company, and they have every right to charge what they charge. These products are available to everyone, so start saving. No one is more “deserving” than another. Being a former employee, I’m happy they don’t have “sales”. The stores are busy enough as it is.

      Lesson to be learned: Save your money! If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it.

      1. I love that kind of reasoning. Buy a phone to be cool. Everyone has an iPhone, therefore it’s not cool.

        So what’s the answer? Buy a worse looking, less usable phone that’s somehow cooler than the iPhone?

        Which one is that?

  4. I’m known to my friends and acquaintances as somewhat as an Apple gadget junkie, and have been asked if I’m going to trade up from my 4S to the 5. (Or rather, pass it onto the wife.)

    And after reviewing all of the articles and speculation about the 5, my reaction is definitely ‘meh’. Unless there’s a new hardware or software feature that’s been missed that will blow my socks off during the presentation, I think I’ll be passing on this. Most offputting for me is jettisoning the old tried and true dock connector. Unless there’s an adaptor on day one that will allow me to use my existing docks, speakers, FM car transmitters, etc., I’ll definitely be passing this model up.

    There’s always the chance the prognosticators will be proven wrong-but they’ve been pretty spot on lately. The evolutionary rather than revolutionary nature of the new phone and the potential cost in new adapters and peripherals may cause quite a few folks to hold onto their 4’s and 4S’s and delay updating. At least until adapters become readily available OR their soon to be ‘legacy’ peripherals break.

          1. The Apple announcement of the event had a logo of a big number “12” and the shadow that it is casting down is the shadow of the number “5” not “12”. So this leads us to believe that it will be called the iPhone 5. But you never know.

            1. LOL!!??? really??? so you like the tribe assume that just because there’s a bloody “5” in it it’s sure, 100% fact that that’s what it means? Sorry mate, I don’t see that as a fact. “5” can mean other thing, such as the release date (Oct 5), I highly doubt Apple its gonna give it away that easy, but people are stubborn. Point is Apple calling it the “5” will make no logical reason, in a technical way, other than the public persistence due to last year’s disappointment.

            2. right, like any of the iPhones have been a disappointment. I love it when people ignore the fact that something can BE the best and SELL the best. There’s a reason for that. *rolling eyes*

            3. Excuse me??? I never even suggested that the New iPhone will be a disappointment. I was referring to the “disappointment” regarding the name, a year ago everyone was calling it “iPhone 5”, and Apple gave us the 4S, which in fact IS the iPhone 5. What I find it precipitous is people rushing to call it, ONCE AGAIN, the “iPhone 5”. Which IMHO is totally wrong.

            4. Sorry bud. I was just offering my idea on why I think it’s going to be called the iPhone 5. And I thought I was pretty logical. No need to insult me when I was trying to help. You may be right. But well find out Wednesday

    1. You seem to know a lot about iPhone 5, which hasn’t been released yet. Tell me, do you often base your decision making process on rumors? If so, I hear there is some swamp land in Louisiana that is going to skyrocket in value!

    2. You are still using FM car transmitters?

      Do yourself and your country a favor and buy a new car. They almost all come with an audio plug-in.

      Of course, if your just spreading FUD about the new iPhone, ignore the tongue in cheek advice and go troll elsewhere.

    3. That’s fine, Clyde. If the iPhone 5 rocks your world, then upgrade. If not, then get your wife the iPhone 4S that she deserves at a discount. Either way, you win!

      I passed on buying an iPad until the third generation. There is nothing wrong with waiting. Don’t let the other comments get to you. The “troll” term is tossed around too often around here just because someone has a different opinion.

      1. Thank you. Wow, judging from the replies I got from my ‘meh’ comment, you’d think I’d urinated on Steve’s grave. All I said was that the purported specs don’t excite me, and that I’d be loathe to possibly have to jettison all of my dock connecting devices.

        And the comment that I should buy a new car to avoid having to listen to my iPhone on a FM transmitter almost stunned me mute. That was so over the top, I was wondering if it was BLN!

        I’m wondering if the improved hardware along with iOS6 will provide a quicker or smoother Siri experience, and eliminate the increasingly longer gaps between queries and responses.

        1. U wouldn’t have to get a new car… You can buy Bluetooth receivers now. You plug yer cassette adapter into the BT receiver and then you stream from the iPhone wirelessly.

          1. Ah! NOW you’re talking! And yes, I know there’s the possibility of a new stereo install, but I know of a couple of people who had their wiring and electrical systems hosed on otherwise perfectly running cars, so I’m a little gun shy about that.

    4. Sounds like you really haven’t done your homework based on what you just said. Wouldn’t a new screen size, relocated headphone jack, thinner overall frame count as new hardware to you? Also, you don’t think iOS 6 is a huge leap in software?? wow, tough crowd. Seems to be right in line with natural progress since the very first iPhone to me. You should know that Apple would never release a product so far ahead of anything that it would render existing models useless or less desirable.

    5. Clyde obviously hasn’t done his homework. everything rumored gives every indication of new hardware and iOS is a huge leap in software. By all means, please go ahead and list the features that would sell you. *rolling eyes*

  5. I’ve spoken to a couple people and the reasons they have android over iPhone is 1, screen size and 2, price, as in android was $.99. Neither are thrilled with it over the iPhone. Apple doesn’t need to compete on price but does need to compete with multiple size screen availability. Please, please, Apple get our head out of the sand on screen size. Larger may not be better but he fools out there with huge screens can’t figure that out.

    1. Different screen sizes create problems for app developers. I’m not sure more than 2 sizes is in anyone’s interest especially if you add iPads into the equation and those with and without retina displays.
      I’ve seen the bigger Android phones and can’t imagine walking around with it in my pocket, so I’m slightly biased about having bigger screen size options.

      1. Retina display resolution of th 4 can easily upscaled to a bigger screen without anyone noticing.

        Screen sizes are only a problem for developers is they use a different ratio, like the proposed longer screen that the 5 supposed to have.

        Really dumb decision by Apple if true.

    2. Android phones are bigger because they all need bigger batteries. Their OS is not geared to energy savings.

      As a result, they increase the display size to make a better looking handset. They don’t necessarily increase the number of pixels accordingly.

      They have to make bigger handsets, just like Apple had to make a bigger handset, in order to accommodate the LTE battery drainage.

      Larger screens are not a feature, they are a necessity.

    3. well i have a couple reasons to put back on those android users….1. The screens are bigger because they have nothing close to the retina display and 2….cheaper doesn’t mean better. You get what you pay for and I for one don’t want to settle for something ‘close’ but not quite the real thing. Especially when the offer is Buy One, Get One FREE! That screams pure crap!

  6. What ever happened to trying to make phones smaller? I think the sizes that Apple is using is the perfect balance between small enough to hold comfortably and large enough to be useful. If the competition wants to go the route of “bigger is better”, maybe they can go back to the good old days of phones like this:

    1. In a dumbed down world miniturization isn’t a marvel it’s a phobia (penis enlargment vs. size dont matter…)

      What made Sony the king of the hill was It’s miniaturization of devices, NASA, Military and every major sientific development all thrive on miniaturization. It’s hilarious indeed to see Andriods with their oversized phones that can’t fit in their hands and pockets, not to mention that with all the extra screen real estate, the photo and inferior screen resolution yeild eye sore resolutions….

      Shit from Shinola? No they can’t tell the difference.

    2. I can see Apple making an even smaller mini iPhone if it were’t for the fact people don’t seem to be using cell phones as phones so much as for social networking, e-mailing, messengering, etc.. Hence the reasons why some like the bigger screens (so they don’t have to buy an iPad or tablet). Personally Apple’s screens are fine for my purposes though a scosh more screen room will be nice, especially for those aggravating ads that take up unnecessary room we ain’t really got on a relatively small phone.

  7. if something is working it would take a real idiot to change something major just for the sake of change. It came out yesterday that apple is garnering 3/4 of the profit from smartphones so the rest are splitting up 25 % OF THE MONEY TO BE MADE on the sector and i keep hearing “there gaining marketshare” if you like to add population to your marketshare i have a drug addicted, bath challenged, addled, couch potato, relative i would love to have move in with you and thus increase your families “market share”

    im ready to get my i phone 5 and i want it to work as well as my i phone 4 (yes ad one more tick to the skip 4s list)

  8. My prediction is that whatever Apple releases half the posters on this site will hail it as the greatest device ever and the other half will scream that its not enough and Apple is doomed.

  9. This is a side note relating to size and it has nothing to do with Samsung’s, Motorola’s or Apple’s phone screen size. Rather size of todays smart phone bill! ATT, Verizon, Sprint, etc., who here can point the way to a reasonable cell phone bill for someone who likes the smartphone premise, leans toward Apple’s products and wants to get one, but for the crippling monthly phone bill, has passed on it since its inception?

    It’s like this… I don’t text (although my current plan has that). I’m not a Social Media Aficionado. Would need to check e-mail occasionally and use the web sporadically. And I have some apps interested in. What carrier does anyone think is out there can meet those simple needs and has a reasonably priced talk/data month plan?

    I’d like to join you…

    1. There is a way. Buy an AT&T or unlocked iPhone. Buy a sim card & plan from StraightTalk. Activate it all and you are good to go. Unlimited talk, text, & data for $45/mo. You can save even more by buying a full year of service for $495. Got my wife a 4S with this setup and she loved it. Uses AT&T data. Her speeds are faster than my Verizon iPhone.

  10. Who is predicting a huge leap forward ?

    Most observers seem to think that it will have a series of incremental advances and be packaged in a case where a higher proportion of the front is the screen.

    I’d love to be wrong, but once you have a great touch controlled phone, most of the improvements will be software rather than hardware and will therefore not be obvious to casual observers ( such as analysts and journalists ).

  11. I am waiting for the knee jerk reaction of the stock market after the new specs come out and disappoint who knows what genius analyst. It will be a great time to buy some calls to cash when Apple announces how many iPhones they sold after the first week.
    BTW, Apple needs to start adding some innovative differentiating elements to their iPhone line if they want to stay ahead of the competition, incremental spec updates will work for a while, but will eventually run out of steam. Some examples of new functionality could be: electrostatic haptic feedback (senseg.com), pico projector, NFC, etc.

  12. I work for a supplier to the Automotive OEMs in Metro Detroit – while meeting with a an Engineer late last week we started discussing the new iPhone 5 and the fact that the screen would be longer but not wider. He made an observation that hit me like a hammer to the head … Apple has a bunch of Auto Companies onboard to start providing this “Eyes Free” adapter in their vehicles. In order for that to work for more than a year in a car the iPhones have to remain the same width … the adapters are not adjustable or flexible. People don’t upgrade their cars annually like they upgrade their iPhones. You can’t buy a car this year that the Eyes Free adapter works with the iPhone4, 4S & 5, but next year the iPhone 5S or 6 (or whatever it will be called) won’t fit in the Eyes Free adapter. Apple has a hard enough time keeping the TV Networks happy, now they’ve got to start worrying about the Automakers too!

    1. What about the dock connector changing? How is Apple going to deal with selling devices with different dock connectors? If the 4 is free and 4s is $99 will these still have the old style dock connector? That’s not very Apple like but very probable.

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