iPhone 5 time!

Well, the time is finally upon us! Another prototype iPhone is roaming around in the hands of a civilian. Rumors are abound as to what new things this iPhone “5” will bring to the table. Countless tech blogs have talked about them and come up with their list of possible features. Instead of simply reposting their articles, I am going to summarize them and include a likely timeline for the announcement/release, as well as giving my own thoughts (of course).

The Timeline
Cult of Mac has come up with a timeline based on the previous iPhone releases. This is how it should all go down:

September 14th- Apple sends out invitations to the media for its annual fall event for….
September 21st- Apple shows off the new iPods and the 5th generation iPhone. This lines up perfectly because Apple’s back-to-school special ends on the 20th and they always end the special right before the new iPods are announced.
September 28th- Pre-orders for the iPhone “5” begin. Apple has always started taking pre-orders around a week after the announcement for a release on…
October 7th- This is the most referred to release date among rumors. The carriers have even blocked their sales employees from taking vacations during the first two weeks of the month. Speaking of which…

The Specs
There is a general agreement about most of these features. A couple aren’t as certain though. Let’s start with the basics:

Carriers
The iPhone “5” will finally put all the national U.S. carriers on the same plane. It will be a world-phone, capable of swapping between most carriers throughout the world, on one device. AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile will all get it at the same time. Verizon and Sprint customers will finally be able to use their own phone when they travel to other countries that utilize the more-ubiquitous GSM cellular network by simply using a local SIM card.

Name
If it is the minor bump that some say it will be, iPhone 4S.
If it is the major revamp that others are predicting, iPhone 5.

Display
It should be, at the least, a minor bump in screen size. It will be at least 3.7″. If the leaked cases are to be believed, it’ll be 4″. I’m hoping those cases are accurate!

4G
No. Not this year at least. Apple will only add LTE once the more battery-efficient chipsets come out next year (unless they’ve gotten early access to them) and they won’t alienate Verizon customers by adding HSPA+ (3.5G) or WiMAX.

Camera
Upgraded 8-megapixel camera and probably the same quality as the iPhone 4.

Processor
The same A5 that’s in the iPad 2.

RAM
There haven’t really been any rumors about this spec. Hopefully 1GB.

Design
It will definitely be wider and thinner than the iPhone 4. If it has the 4″ display, it will probably be slightly taller, but it won’t feel like a monster thanks to its svelte design. With the 3.7″ display, it would end up being a little shorter than the iPhone 4.

Storage
It should max out at a 64GB model. Recent rumors say otherwise, but Apple might have changed its mind. Expect at least a 16GB and 32GB model like the iPhone 4.

Home Button
The home button should be slightly larger. Why, you ask? It should be capable of recognizing gestures for certain actions. We’ll see though.

Upgraded iPhone 4?
Lots of people are reporting that Apple will be releasing an updated version of the iPhone 4, possibly with the A5 chip inside. Whether this is going to be a low-cost, possibly pre-paid, model remains to be seen.
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Well, 3 days will show if these predictions are true. I’m eagerly awaiting the outcome as this will be my new phone. Speaking of my phone…

HTC says the Incredible is finally getting Gingerbread this month. They’re a bit too late for me though. My phone shuts off randomly and I can’t rely on it to notify me of calls, texts and voicemails as accurately as I used to. The shutting off issue is a problem with all of the Android phones in my house and why we’ll all probably be getting iPhones in a couple weeks. My sister ditched her EVO 4G for her old Blackberry for now and my dad is returning his Photon 4G and waiting for the iPhone. Google is going to lose more customers like us if it doesn’t get its crap together and improve the reliability of Android. If I can’t get the newest OS update at the same time as everyone else, like iPhone owners enjoy, I’m going to look elsewhere (iPhone, WP7 or BB OS7), and that market just got a little smaller with the exit of webOS.

Cheers Apple!

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