The technology rumour pages are full of speculation that Apple are going to release two new iPhones at the end of September, and not just one.
One of the possible new releases is a lower-end slightly remodelled iPhone 4, possibly to be called the iPhone 4s. The 4s is likely to be an 8GB model (the current iPhone 4 comes in 16GB and 32GB models).
So why would Apple introduce a down-market iPhone? Because the sales of Android powered phones from Samsung, HTC, LG, and Motorola have overtaken iPhone sales. Over the last twelve months Apple’s share of smartphone sales has dived from almost 60 percent down to between 23 and 30 percent (depending which figures you believe) while Android phones have clicked over the magical 50 percent of sales. There is little doubt that the popularity of Android phones has taken Apple a little by surprise.
Apple’s thinking here could be that a lower specification lower-priced iPhone 4 might cut into some of these runaway Android phone sales. Especially in countries like India, China, and Africa where lower priced phones have a huge market.
On top of this the largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world, Nokia, are about to enter the market using the highly regarded Microsoft Windows Phone operating system. The also may have Apple marginally concerned. Microsoft and Nokia have the funds to mount a huge marketing campaign; should they decide to do so.
But it does not stop with the possibility of the low-end 4s. The thinking is that at the same time Apple will release the new ‘flagship’ iPhone 5.
Nobody really knows because no company keeps a secret better than Apple, but those who could know are saying that the iPhone 5 could have:
- A 50 to 80 percent faster processor (so everything will happen a lot faster and smoother).
- A slightly larger 4” display (the current display is 3.5”).
- A longer life battery (partially due to the iPhone 5 requiring less power to run).
- A camera with optical zoom (but this seems highly unlikely to me as this sort of means a thicker phone would be required and Apple really like making thinner stuff; not thicker).
- A camera with mechanical stabilisation (i.e., anti-motion blur).
- Camera instant-active so you don’t have to wait about 15 seconds from turning the phone on before you can take a picture.
- Dual LED flash.
- An 8 megapixel camera.
- A much improved antenna plus improved signal amplification (which adds up to less dropped calls and being able to make calls in signal ‘grey zones’).
- A model available with 64MB of RAM (so there will be 16MB/32MB/64MB models).
- Wire-less charging (using the new charging-pad technology).
Well, if the rumours are right, we only have about six weeks to wait to find out which of the above options actually make it into the iPhone 5; and any that were not guessed.