Saturday, 27 March 2010

iPhone 4 - A+ update with aluminum unibody enclosure (mockup)



Two things have become apparent in the smart phone sector over the past few months. Android is here to stay, and Palm is not.

But the demise of an erstwhile foe does not afford Apple the luxury of cooling their heels. Android continues to gather momentum, and while it lacks iPhone's content and elegance, it is starting to match Apple's offering in terms of features.

It is therefore critical for Apple to leap ahead of the competition once again this summer, with the launch of their forth generation iPhone. Steve himself is reported to have promised Apple staff at a town hall meeting that it would be an "A+ update". But what can we expect from the new device? What's left on the to-do list? (Actually "to-dos," or tasks would be a great start).

Firstly, let's get the name out of the way. Since this phone will be the 4th generation, and it will be running the 4.0 OS, the odds are it will simply be called iPhone 4. (It's unlikely to be called iPhone 4G, since it won't support 4G mobile networks, and this whole "3GS" thing is getting unwieldy, and more like a complicated Sony product name than an elegant Apple one).

Secondly, enclosure. I was never a fan of the iPhone 3G enclosure - to me it's always looked tacky. The use of plastics is eminently practical in terms of signal strength, but they look terrible, and feel cheap in the hand. It seems likely that Apple will find a way to introduce an aluminum unibody enclosure to the iPhone 4, tying into the look of the rest of their mobile range. From a marketing perspective, it would be wise to key into the look of the new iPad and MacBooks, and from a sales perspective it's key for iPhone 4 to be a clearly radical departure if it's going to generate sales from previous iPhone owners.

Perhaps we can also finally expect to see that elusive front-mounted camera. And given that the iPhone OS now supports multiple resolutions, a higher resolution screen is also eminently possible. Perhaps we'll even be able to pinch and zoom the icons on the Springboard. A higher resolution screen also makes dashboard widgets for the default Springboard screen more likely - it's hard to believe that Apple will sit by while Android and Windows Phone 7 Series are enjoying this feature.

So, for what it's worth, MacPredictions presents this entirely speculative mockup of the iPhone 4. Hopefully it will give those of us in the "rest of the world" something to different to think about while all you Americans are enjoying your shiny new iPads next week.

16 comments:

  1. I want an iPhone this summer, and I'm waiting for the new one, I hope it does look completely different from the 3G model. I have an iPod touch and I think it's time for me to upgrade.

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  2. Great blog! I'm surprised that you don't get more comments because you consistently write good posts with a lot of details. I like the look of the current iPhone, but agree that the next set of buyers would want something that looks a little different on the outside too rather than just having the insides upgraded. I think you're right about the name too. One thing that I really like about Apple is how simple the product names are. Adding 3gs is about as far as I hope Apple takes it. I'm really looking forward to iPhone OS 4.0 and, hopefully, an updated "dashboard" type home screen that you can get to by swiping down (like your Dashboard in iPad post).

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  3. Agree 100% about the cheap cases on the iPhone 3G+3GS because they tend to crack around weak points such as the top, around the headphone and sim slot.

    I'd prefer the 4th gen iPhone not to be like the iPad because of its edges are rougher to grasp with one hand. That's exactly why they went with curved bevels. Since nobody else cares more about symmetry than our beloved fruit company, the speaker slit has to be dead center. Camera has to go on the right, opposite the light/proximity sensors.

    Dashboard widgets are another story. They'd be useless if multitasking is finally implemented. Instead I'd like to see a Mac-like app switcher (CMD+Tab) with music controls activate upon a double press of the home button.

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  4. I love my iPhone 3gs.
    With that being said the core features of the smart phone is what it lacks.
    I can get facebook notice but not a notice when I get an email?
    Dropped Call? We don't care why they happen, bottom line the phone service is horrible.
    Apple phones can not be taken seriously in the business world as long as it has these issues.

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  5. Time to go bigger with the screen and better resolution. Maybe go as far as to have a change in the way the icons look, I mean come on apple you have to admit these jailbreak geeks are the reason the iPhone has remained relevant to the generation of users that upgrade technology by the minute. Enough with the Jesus phone high horse your on the comp. Is getting feirce don't want to switch on you guys but I'll be damned if Im the guy people are saying to "you still have an iPhone!" don't make nextels mistake and put out new phones with the same damn screen on every phone!

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  6. Hmmm. "Dropped Call? We don't care why they happen, bottom line the phone service is horrible. Apple phones can not be taken seriously in the business world as long as it has these issues."

    Those are network issues, not Apple issues. Figure out your target BEFORE you rant, Mr. Cranky.

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  7. You must not be in the business sector to make a smart-ass comment like you did. They may be network issues,but Apple chose a network that is not reliable.

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  8. I would love to see stacks on the iphone, a higher MP camera, and an LED flash. Dashboard would be good to.

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  9. So far so good. I have an iPod Touch and I am loving it. I'm really looking forward to the iPhone 4(great name and look presented in the article btw.) and I might just wait for it. Looks revolutionary to me.

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  10. Congrats on the 411 diggs:

    http://digg.com/d31NFbh

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  11. Wow, thanks for the tip - never had that many diggs before. Shame it's for a link to an article on another site about this one. Ho hum.

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  12. when will this be coming out?

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  13. I heard it will replace our homes and actually "cyber house" all us Apple freaks together in one big iHouse!

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  14. iphone 4 is amazing and i am going to buy it

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