Tablets and Smartphones, the little touch screen windows to our online lives are a fast evolving technology. Apple, the undisputed leaders of the touchy feely lifestyle have a new generation of smartphone and tablet waiting in the wings, preparing to be released upon the world. Microsoft was also seen in the background parroting the phrase “and you’ll be able to run Office!”
Insider rumours are suggesting the new iPhone, number 5, will include a larger 16:9 wide-screen profile display. At four inches diagonal the new retina display will keep pace with the ever increasing size of smartphone displays. Said to be Steve Jobs’ last project expect something special.
Also said to be in production, alongside the new iPhone literally, is the mini iPad. A tablet so cute that the Kindle Fire was overheard muttering while walking off “mirror mirror on the wall…”
The iPhone 5
Apple Insiders have revealed that the iPhone 4S was a stop-gap measure till the iPhone 5 could be released. Steve Job’s was heavily involved in the project, a project that would ultimately be his final piece of work for Apple.
The larger screen size has been integrated while maintaining similar dimensions to the 4S. This has been achieved thanks to the change in screen profile. While the traditional iPhone used a 3:2 aspect ratio 3.5 inch display the new screen will be 16:9 widescreen and 4 inches. The screen should stretch from the top and bottom of the phone in order to accommodate the larger 4 inch display The resolution for the new panel should be 640 x 1136, stretching out wide to fill the new profile.
Currently rumours are commonly quoting Apple Insiders describing the new iPhone 5 as a complete redesign inside and out. Suggesting that cosmetically it should be something different. Is there a curved glass future for the iPhone? With a new case and chassis manufacturing process to play with thanks to liquid metal, expect one last work of art from Steve Jobs. Exceptionally thin and light, striking at first sight is what Apple has always done so well.
A rumour seemingly backed-up by the fact that Apple have recently purchased shares in the company LiquidMetal. This recently stirred up suggestions that the new iPhone may use LiquidMetals new alloy manufacturing techniques.
Internally the new phone will include Apple’s new quad core A6 ARM chip, possibly made on the 28nm process. Chip speeds of between 1 and 1.5Ghz with 1GB of system DRAM included, a first for an Apple phone. Using a portion of that Dram will be iOS 6, the latest portable OS from Apple. New software includes the all new Apple Maps, improved Siri and communications will be LTE 4G but the chipset or exact standards are unknown.
Memory used for the iPhone 5 has also been the topic of many rumours. Initially there were whispers that spoke of Japanese memory specialist Elpida being approached by Apple to supply memory. Talk of an Apple or Micron take-over of Elpida also quickly came and went. A Samsung Insider has now fired back with assurances that Samsung has been producing 20nm Flash ram and 36nm 4Gb DRAM for Apple since April. The use of 4Gb DRAM chips is in itself interesting, possibly indicating Apple will include 1GB of DRAM.
Sony was sighted early in the design phase supplying screens to Apple, screens with unusual form factors. Sony it turns out won’t be supplying the screen, that will be down to a consortium of LG, Sharp and Japan Display Inc, a consortium formed specially to supply the screens. Rumours suggesting that Apple will be using a new in-cell touch display panel technology that removes the need for extra touch layers on the display.
Sony will however be responsible for the camera’s which are said to be of the ultra thin variety, allowing Apple to shave precious millimetres off the cases depth. The rear camera will use an 8MP back-illuminated CMOS sensor, stacked to reduce size this is super slimline camera technology.
Continuing the thin theme Apple is said to be changing the dock connector, reducing it’s size to fit with the ever shrinking devices.
A number of lucky individuals may see an early prototype phone at the next major Apple Developes Conference, June 6. Before them they will behold a phone, roughly the same width and length of the current 4S. That’s were the comparisons will end though. The new member of the family will introduce a new slender shape and style, a break with tradition that will be Apple’s response to the oncoming Android army. Can Apple go under 8mm thick? Will Siri start listening ? What shape and form the response from Apple will take is to be revealed October 4, when Apple releases Steve Jobs’ last masterpiece.
Preparing to make an assault on the $300 tablet market Apple is also rumoured to be preparing a 7 inch mini iPad. In essence an iPad 2 in 7 inch clothing the new tablet will be a balance of performance and price. While this may also be a defensive move by Apple, halting sales loses to cheap Android tablets, it may actually spawn the multi tablet household.
Foxconn have a brand new production line cranking out Apple’s new smartphone, The smaller seven inch tablet is also rumoured to be in production at Foxconn, who are busier than ever.
Office For Tablets
Microsoft is also set to join the tablet revolution with the new version of Office to include Android, Windows 8 RT and iOS versions. These won’t be cut down portable versions either, Office 15 will see Microsoft standardise all versions, tablets are now powerful enough to run the full versions of any application, Office included.
Early screenshots suggest a unified interface across platforms, potentially removing the document barrier when using an Android or iOS tablet at work. Open a document across many platforms without exotic file formats.
Microsoft is aiming for a November release for the iOS version, the Windows 8 RT version may be released earlier to coincide with the multi-platform launch of Windows 8 in October 2012.
Samsung and LG may have generated many touch screen headlines lately, don’t count out Apple though, you never can doubt their ability to churn the rumour mill and generate headlines. Apple has been planning it’s response, preparing the next generation, now the phone that started it all is back…
In the background Microsoft pops up once again and is heard to say “and you’ll be able to run Office!”…