5 Rumors About the iPhone 5

Riding the cusp of their victory over Samsung, a torrent of rumors has come out about Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5.  But like always, Apple is tight lipped about specific details.  So, in lieu of actual data, let’s speculate.  Here are five rumors about the iPhone 5 to mull over.  None of these things have been confirmed yet, and can’t be until an announcement is made September 12th.

  1. It will be taller.

Supposed leaked photos show that the iPhone 5 will be longer than its previous versions.  The dimensions appear closer to those of Samsung’s Galaxy III.  Interesting, since by the time the iPhone 5 comes out those may be off the US market.

     2.  It will have an NFC chip.

An NFC, or near field communication technology will allow iPhone 5’s to transfer data between each other through radio transmissions.  No need to use up your data plan to send your buddy that home movie you just shot (though that will probably take ages since NFC has about a 425 Kbit/sec transfer rate).

3.  LG will make the 4inch LCD screen

LG’s in-cell multitouch technology will remove the need for glass making the device lighter.

4.  It will support Verizon’s LTE.

Being LTE enabled will allow to Apple’s iPhone to reach millions of more people as Verizon has a larger consumer base than AT&T.

5.  10 Million Units will be sold in September.

Analyst Gene Munster predicts that Apple will move upwards of 28 million units.  At a probable starting price of around $499, that could mean $13,972,000,000 of revenue for Apple.

RIM Circling the Drain?

Research in Motion over the past decade has become a household name with their iconic product, the Blackberry. The company essentially created the first mass market smart phone. They have 19 billion units out there. However, this past darling of the market is now facing trouble, possibly destruction. RIM made several missteps creating their first revenue shortfall in nine years. The first of which was that their last few models of smart phones were less than impressive. RIM’s Playbook tablet was dead on release and a complete waste of money and talent. Finally, the death blow may come from an impending law suit from Dutch chip maker NXP Semiconductor.

From a business perspective, accessibility to information is key for a smart phone. This is both about quickly getting the information and displaying it. That translates to processing power and screen size. For this we should compare the Blackberry Torch to the iPhone 4. The iPhone screen has the Blackberry beat by .3 inches and nearly double the resolution. And in processing power the Torch CPU has a speed of 624 MHz while the iPhone pulls ahead again with 1 GHz (1000 MHz). Apple also has the advantage compared to the Blackberry in terms of multi-use. The sheer number applications for iPhone makes it seem like the land of milk and honey compared to Blackberry’s desolate wasteland. Blackberry does have an advantage. It has the greater business prestige. Apple products have a more niche appeal and sometimes have the connotation of being a shiny toy. But that all went away when they tried to enter the tablet arena against the iPad.

RIM’s Playbook is something I’ve only read about. That’s not a good sign. I’ve never held a Playbook or even seen one. According the Canadian Research and Development Intelligence, RIM spent 1.4 billion dollars in R&D in 2010. And with that, they came up with the Playbook. It was originally priced at 499 dollars, matching the price of Apple’s iPad 2. Like the Torch against the iPhone, the Playbook was less powerful, smaller and had weaker a battery life against its opponents. Sales didn’t pick up until RIM decided lowering the price to $199. RIM has cited weak Playbook sales as the reason for the fiscal troubles. If that’s true, then they have only themselves to blame. They rolled out an inferior product to their competitors and priced it the same. That initial mistake soured the market for the Playbook. There is one silver lining: Playbook is doing well in India, but that will not be enough. RIM’s problems don’t stop there. The threats are not only internal.

On top of all their other issues, Dutch chip maker NXP Semiconductor is suing RIM over six patent infringements. Should they win the case, they will add to the already 125 million dollar quarterly loss for RIM. It might be a death blow to the smart phone company. It’s difficult to shake bad press, especially when sales are down. The two CEOs of RIM have even vowed to take salaries of one dollar a year until the company is back in good financial straits. That can be taken as a sign that company leadership will do what it takes to solve their major problems, but that also proclaims that there are major problems to be solves. The press is filled with CEOs paying themselves massive bonuses while their companies post record losses. What does that say about RIM when their CEOs won’t even take a paycheck?

Research in Motion is in trouble, but they’re not dead. There are things the company can do to remedy or at least mitigate the situation. One idea is that they shelve the Blackberry OS and switch to the less costly Android. It would allow them access to Android’s stable market. The down side is that it would put them in contest with larger phone manufactures like Samsung and HTC. However, retooling themselves for a broader, lower end market, maybe what they need. They could go the Nokia route and partner with someone, anyone who can bring in a fresh infusion of capital and new ideas. A third and less appealing option would be to die gracefully: Sell what’s left, lease out patents, and ensure that their talent secure jobs elsewhere before fading away. It doesn’t matter what they do, as long as they do something. Staying the course will only bring a chaotic and spasmodic end.

Nearly Half In U.S. Use Smartphones

If you’re starting to feel like everyone you know has an iPhone or a Droid within arm’s reach at all times, you’re not far off.  A new survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project finds that nearly half of American adults, 46 percent, use a smartphone.

The survey, conducted last month, shows smartphones are now more popular than traditional cell phones, which are used by 41 percent of Americans. Adoption of smartphones has surged 11 percent since the previous Pew survey in May 2011.

The new numbers make it clearer than ever that every business needs to have an Internet presence that’s accessible to mobile devices, whether that means a mobile-friendly website, an app or just a great presence on social media. An IT consulting provider can help optimize websites and other offerings to best reach the smartphone-carrying audience.

Popular stereotypes notwithstanding, mobile devices aren’t just for the wealthy or the young. The Pew survey found use of smartphones growing among all demographics. Across almost all income levels, age groups and other categories, there was significant growth in smartphone adoption over the past nine months.

For example, use of smartphones by people between 45 and 54 years old grew from 28 to 44 percent, and use by those with household income levels below $30,000 grew from 22 to 34 percent.

Still, there is significant variation in adoption by different groups. A full 71 percent of people between the ages of 25 and 34 use a smartphone, as do 68 percent of those with household incomes of $75,000 or more. Only 13 percent of those 65 or older have a smartphone, and only 25 percent of people with less than a high school education have one.

The smartphone market is divided almost evenly between Androids and iPhones. Twenty percent of all cell phone owners have an Android device, while 19 percent have an iPhone. Another 6 percent have a Blackberry, 2 percent use a Windows system and 1 percent use a Palm device. The absence of a single operating system points to the need for managed IT services in ensuring that web offerings are compatible with different sorts of phones.

As the smartphone market has grown, the percentage of Americans using traditional cell phones has declined from 48 percent to 41 percent. The percentage of Americans without any cell phone also continues to decline, dropping to just 12 percent in February compared with 17 percent last May.

It’s worth noting that the Pew survey is just about smartphones and doesn’t account for the growing adoption of iPads and other tablet devices, a trend that makes the importance of IT support for mobile devices even more apparent.

What’s new in Apple’s iOS 5 – Part One

iOS 5 is Apple’s latest version of their mobile operating system, designed for use with their iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. Announced in early June 2011, it brings a host of new features designed to enrich the user’s experience.

What’s most interesting about this version of iOS is its movement towards allowing the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch to exist without the need for a desktop or laptop to sync to.

iOS 5 updates the device automatically and all applications can work without a “home” computer. It’s another step in the direction of total autonomy, particularly for the iPad.

Other new features of iOS 5:

  • Revised notifications: Any iPhone or iPad user can tell you that the system notifications can be pretty annoying.  They pop up and interrupt whatever you’re doing, no matter how important the message is.  Apple has heard this feedback, and have revamped this area in iOS 5.  Notifications are now unobtrusive and will be displayed on the lock screen

Check back next week for part 2 of our look at Apple’s iOS 5.