The iPhone 5 – latest rumours and our predictions

iPhone 5 screensThe iPhone 5 is widely expected to be announced within the next few weeks, with (limited) availability expected shortly afterwards towards the end of October. As with all Apple products its development is a closely guarded secret and its very existence is flatly denied by Apple until the day Steve Jobs decides he’s ready to tell you about it.

Luckily with the age of internet communications, extensive global supply chains where not everyone can be gagged, and not to mention a few overly keen handset case manufacturers, you can generally work out the main specs before the device is announced. So while Apple will never give the game away entirely (even the ‘lost’ iPhone 4 situation from last year left many details to the official announcement), we thought you’d appreciate a roundup of the latest rumours on the phone’s 5th outing. But rather than just regurgitate all the conflicting rumours out there, I thought I’d put my neck out and make solid predictions based on the rumours I’ve seen and my own judgement. You can judge for yourself whether I’m right in a few weeks time…

 

iPhone 4S or iPhone 5?

Our prediction: Both

Let’s settle this once and for all. Apple will announce two phones – a slightly upgraded iPhone 4 called the iPhone 4S (or something similar retaining the number 4) which will be largely identical to the existing iPhone 4 but with the A5 processor found in the iPad 2 and potentially a tweak to the antenna. The iPhone 4S will replace the iPhone 3GS as the new ‘budget’ iPhone.

The iPhone 5 will therefore be the new flagship handset, so the rest of this post will therefore concern the specs of that phone.

 

Bigger screen, same size phone

While this may be a bit tricky from a scaling perspective (the iPhone 4’s jump in pixels was made simple for developers since it just doubled the existing pixel rate), Apple simply has to release a bigger screen to compete with the likes of the latest Android devices like the Samsung Galaxy SII. But in Apple style they won’t go too big. The mainstream iPhone user is quite happy with the current size, so they’ll simply extend the screen to the edge of the phone. The phone therefore will remain the same size as the iPhone 4 and those few geeks who love to compare inches can just buy the Samsung. Apple will sell enough iPhone 5s to not notice.

 

Significantly Lighter

While the wait of the iPhone 4 is often described as ‘reassuring’, anyone who’s picked up a newer handset will consider it to be very heavy. ‘Modern’ phones (i.e. those born in the last few months rather than those ancient phones from 2010) are incredibly light. There’s no reason to think the iPhone 5 will be any different.

 

8 megapixel camera

This is the one prediction that I’m not too sure about, as increases in phone camera resolutions seems to have plateaued a bit as they focus on better quality lenses or autofocus over the pixel rate specifically. But the 5 megapixel camera in the iPhone 4 does seem a bit weak now, so I’m going to bet on 8 megapixels making it’s way to the iPhone 5, if only to give Apple another spec improvement to shout about.

 

Hidden antenna (again)

The Antenna-gate saga following the iPhone 4’s launch makes this a dead certainty. While the antenna may still follow the same innovative design of the iPhone 4 by being wrapped around the edge of the handset, it will not be visible this time but concealed in the handset as with previous iPhones. In this regard I wouldn’t be surprised if the antenna in the iPhone 4S benefits from a little tweak too, albeit a much less drastic one than the iPhone 5 (such as being covered in a thin layer of plastic to disguise its former sins).

 

Processor

If the iPhone 4S is getting the new A5 processor from the iPad 2, what is the iPhone 5 going to have to better it? My prediction – A slightly faster A5, if not exactly the same speed. Apple won’t be going quad-core just yet so they’ll be sticking with the A5, which considering it’s only been rolled out in the iPad 2 so far is nothing to be ashamed of.

 

Battery – much the same

Apple will increase the battery’s capacity as they always do, but the extra horsepower of the A5 processor and the larger screen will result in similar usage times as the iPhone 4 today.

 

Variations

The phone will be available in white and black from day one and come in 16, 32 and 64GB versions, with the iPhone 4S coming in the same 16 and 32GB versions available today. The 64GB iPhone is long overdue, but I’ll admit that doesn’t make it a certainty. iCloud will reduce the need for more local memory, but with Apple pushing down the cost of flash memory every day, the cost barrier to a 64GB iPhone is now gone, so they might as well do it.

 

So there’s my roundup of the main features. What do you think? Have I missed anything crucial? Do you think I’m way off the mark? Let us know in the comments below or tweeting us at btbizdirect.


Windows 8 Update

Windows 8 MetroA few weeks ago we introduced the latest Windows 8 details and features as announced at the D8 conference. Since the Microsoft BUILD event which took place on 13th September, more details have surfaced regarding the operating system. No doubt we’ll be seeing more developments arise over the coming months until its release mid 2012.

Windows 8 is built on the foundation of Windows 7, delivering improvements in performance, security, privacy and system reliability.

The new operating system is introducing a new Metro style interface built for touch, for simplicity and control. Users will also be able to operate the interface from home with a mouse and keyboard. Metro style apps built for Windows 8 are the overall focal point of the user experience. The different apps communicate with each other within Windows 8 so the user can easily select and email photos from different places, such as Facebook and Flickr or from the system hard drive.

The user experience also syncs across devices. Cloud services that are frequently used such as email, photos, calendar and contacts are kept up to date automatically. SkyDrive allows users to access files, photos and documents from virtually anywhere with any browser or via the new apps.

Providing a seamlessly touch-browsing experience, Internet Explorer 10 puts sites at the centre on new Windows 8 devices.

New developers will be pleased to hear that there will be a Windows Store allowing them to sell their apps anywhere Windows is sold worldwide, whether their creations are new games or familiar productivity tools. Windows 8 will also allow developers to leverage their existing skills and code assets to create great experiences using the programming language they prefer. Attendees at BUILD also received a Samsung prototype PC with Windows Developer Preview to aid them in creating and testing apps. Developers can now test the beta version of Windows 8 which became available on the 14th September

Other features include:

  • Enhanced Task Manager and Windows Explorer
  • DirectX 11 gaming power underlies Windows 8
  • Support for ARM-based chipsets, x86 (as well as x32 and x64) devices, touch and sensors means Windows 8 works beautifully across a spectrum of devices, from 10-inch tablets and laptops to all-in-ones with 27-inch high-definition screens.
  • New ultrathin PCs and tablets turn on instantly, run all day on a single charge and stay connected to the Internet so your PC is ready when you are
  • Windows 8 runs on PCs and is compatible with the devices and programs you use today on Windows 7, without compromise

What is the most attractive feature of Windows 8 that you have come across so far?

The cloud rolls in with security concerns

Cloud securityOver the past few months, data security and mobile working have been popular topics on our blog. In particular, you may remember reading about data backup with the LaCie Cloudbox as well as mobile working and the importance of security. With data moving to the cloud and workers becoming more remote, issues of security and privacy seem to be moving to the forefront quite quickly.

Recently, a report found that one in four IT decision makers believe that the cloud offers improved security over in-house IT or managed devices according to an article on computing.co.uk. The original report, Cloud Watch asked 250 UK IT leaders across five key sectors about their attitudes towards the cloud. These five sectors included government, retail, healthcare, finance and service providers.

While one in four respondents believe that security fears are over exaggerated and misrepresented, security and privacy issues still seem to be a barrier in the wider adoption by 76 percent. Of those included in the report, 64 percent had concerns about the location on data, 62 percent with the issues involving integration with in-house IT and 60 percent with other hosted services.

More than half (56 percent) of the respondents felt that responsibility for cloud security and new cloud business models should be shared between end user organisations, cloud service providers and application providers.

The report also found that the cloud is on the IT agenda for 52 percent of the companies, 74 percent of which are planning to invent in the next 12 months. However, adopting the cloud was considered critical by a mere 7 percent of the organisations.

Cloud services that are most used include web conferencing, videoconferencing and unified communications.

 

Have you adopted the cloud? Do you feel more or less secure about/with the cloud?