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9/30/2011
03:29 PM
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iPhone 5: Top 5 Changes To Expect

Apple will reveal the iPhone 5 on October 4. Here are five improvements to expect--plus one more thing.

Apple is finally ready to "talk iPhone." The company sent invitations to journalists in hopes that they will attend a press conference scheduled for 10AM Pacific time on Tuesday, October 4. At the event, Apple will take the wraps off the next-generation iPhone. Whether it is called the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, or something else, no one knows for sure.

Whatever the name, you can be sure it will be a hot commodity. A recent poll shows that 41% of current smartphone owners are considering the iPhone 5 for their next device--even though the respondents know nothing about the device yet. Demand for the next-gen iPhone is incredibly high, as it is arriving more than three months later than new iPhones have debuted in years past. The iPhone faithful are itching for some new hardware.

Just what will that hardware entail and what features should consumers and enterprises expect to see? Here are our thoughts.

1. A Larger Display: Reports on the screen size for the iPhone 5 have ranged from 3.5 to 4.1 inches. The iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G, and the original iPhone all had 3.5-inch displays. Though some believe Apple might stick with the same display dimensions to keep things simple for iPhone app developers, it would be crazy for Apple to do so.

[ Is your smartphone or tablet locked down? Get expert advice--see 5 Essential Mobile Security Tips. ]

The top-of-the-line Android smartphones are shipping with 4.1-inch, 4.3-inch, and 4.5-inch displays. Apple can't afford to have such a small screen on the iPhone any longer. Additionally, cases for the iPhone 5 have begun to arrive at retail stores. The cases are larger than the iPhone 4, suggesting that the device made to fit within those cases will have a larger display.

Apple will most likely increase the size of the display to an even 4 inches, in order to maintain a high pixel density.

2. A Faster Processor: The 1GHz A4 processor in the iPhone 4 is no slouch, but that won't prevent Apple from boosting the performance of the next-gen iPhone. It is highly likely Apple will use the same 1GHz dual-core A5 processor that is in the iPad 2. (You may remember that the original iPad had the A4.) How much RAM will be available to that processor is debatable, but high-end estimates suggest it will be 1GB.

The faster processor will give the next-gen iPhone even better gaming capabilities. Apple's iOS devices have begun to replace stand-alone, dedicated gaming terminals. Make no mistake, Apple is serious about the gaming performance of its iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices.

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