When the iPhone 4 finally made its debut in 2010, in certainly didn't make a quiet entrance. As well as the controversy surrounding a early version of the phone getting left in a bar by an Apple employee and sold to tech blog Gizmodo, there was also the problems surrounding the tempremental antenna. Despite plenty of headlines, not all of them good, the iPhone 4 has proved to be extremely popular with retailers struggling to keep up with demand. But what can we expect from the next model? We've drawn up a wishlist of what we'd like to see on the iPhone 5. Read on to find out what you can expect to see on the next-gen handset.
Dual-core A5 chip
As soon as Apple announced its new A5 chip for the iPad 2, the rumours started about how the new chipset would probably end up in the next iPhone. With lots of new handsets with dual-core processors launching in 2011, we'd be very suprised if Apple didn't ditch the A4 chip found in the iPhone 4 in favour of its new dual-core A5. At the launch of the iPad 2, Apple claimed that its new chip offers twice the CPU performance of its predecessor, along with nine times the graphics power so we would expect to similar benefits if its used on the iPhone 5.
It seems a logical step for the iPhone 5 to have a larger screen than its predecessor with some even suggesting that it will feature an edge-to-edge display. The picture above shows what is claimed to be the digitiser panel for the next-gen handset. If genuine, this would mean that the new phone will have a smaller bezel, allowing for a bigger screen in the same size chassis as the iPhone 4. Making Apple's impressive Retina display larger can only be a good thing, so this is one change that we definitely expect to see on the iPhone 5.
One minute we're being told that the iPhone 5 won't have NFC (Near Field Communication) capability and the next minute we're hearing it will. Whether the internet rumour-mill has got it right or not, it would seem like an sensible feature to include if only to match what Android 2.3 offers. NFC technology would also open up the possibility of electronic payments using your phone. Although the chips already exist in various devices, inclusion on the iPhone 5 and the slick marketing campaign that's bound to go with it could be a huge boost for NFC.
Although we don't yet have a 4G network available in the UK, this is something that is on the cards, possibly as early as 2012, but more likely in 2013. The number of 4G-capable handsets is steadily increasing and it's only a matter of time before Apple joins Team 4G. The big question is whether it will happen in time for the release of it next mobile handset. It's possible that there'll be a separate 4G version of the iPhone 5, or perhaps it's something we won't see until the following generation.
White handset (from day one)
Apple is well-known for making white a popular colour for mobile devices, with the slick design of the original iPods spawning a million cheap, white, plastic imitations. Supposedly the iPhone 5 will be available in both white and silver from launch. Some even believe that the rumoured summer launch won't be the iPhone 5 at all, just a white version of the iPhone 4. Whatever the case, there are probably more important features to get worked up over than the colour of the phone's chassis.
SD card slot
The lack of expandable memory on the iPhone is something that has been well-documented by miffed gadget aficionados. Just like all the rest of Apple's portable devices, the iPhone 4 doesn't have any option for topping up the on-board memory, although most users probably find that the built-in storage is enough for them. However, for many people, the lack of an SD card slot is unforgivable and they won't invest in iDevice until Apple relents and includes one. We're not holding our breath.
This one is probably complete pie in the sky, but seeing as HTC and LG have already introduced 3D-capable smartphones, it's not completely beyond the realms of possibility. It would be a nice touch for the iPhone to offer 3D, although we suspect that any kind of 3D screen would intefere with the high-resolution of the existing Retina display. We reckon that 3D is something that we might well see on an iPhone in the future, but maybe not quite yet.
8 megapixel camera
Apple often seems to be playing catch-up when it comes to the cameras on its phones with the flash and front-facing camera that were left off of the 3GS not turning up until the iPhone 4 was released. Most top-tier smartphones are now packing 8MP, rear-facing cameras, while the iPhone 4 is still muddling a long with a 5MP snapper. We'd like to see the iPhone 5 getting a new camera with at least 8MP. We reckon that this might be one wish that gets granted.
1080p video recording
In the same way that the new wave of high-end smartphones are moving towards 8MP camera, they're also moving to full HD 1080p video capture. The current Apple offering on the iPhone 4 is only capable of taking HD-ready 720p footage, rather than full HD. As so many of its rivals have introduced 1080p video capture to their handsets, we'd be very surprised if Apple didn't add to this the iPhone 5.
Although we expected to see iOS 5 arrive at the same time as the iPad 2, Apple's second tablet actually made its debut alongside an updated version of iOS 4.3. It's likely that the brand is saving iOS 5 to coincide with the launch of the iPhone 5, bringing with it handy features like improved multitasking. What we want is a more dynamic OS that offers plenty of flexibility when it comes to customisation along with live widgets and over-the-air syncing to cut out the device's dependency on iTunes. And then there's Flash support. It many not bother owners of Apple products that they can't use Flash-based websites, but for many it's a dealbreaker and something that prevents them from investing in an iPhone.
What would you like to see on the iPhone 5?