Today's launch points to an 'emerging market' iPhone

Today's launch points to an 'emerging market' iPhone

Summary: Apple's launch today points towards an emerging-market iPhone, rather than the next-generation 'iPhone 5'.


Today's iPhone launch could be only one of more to come. Frankly, with dire speculation and desperate guessing, the world has on the most part no clue as to what to expect.

But one thing made clear over the past twenty-four hours, in particular a long-standing belief that the iPhone 5, in whatever incarnation it may be simply is not ready yet, is still a way away. I'm willing to be wrong, but I'm calling this one a gut feeling.

For all we know, the iPhone 4S is the 'iPhone 5'.

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But it does not take a genius to realise that certain considerations require an additional 'something else', to make that feature come to fruition. In amidst a difficult mobile market, Apple is betting on its iPhone brand model alone to smash the current trends and to make it favour more in its direction.

In my view, it falls down to one crucial factor: the 4G network.

Apple has been relentlessly suing Samsung, a purveyor of 4G-enabled smartphones. Both Verizon and T-Mobile have stepped in to the ongoing case in the United States to point out that, by halting sales of Samsung 4G smartphones could hamper not only their own, but equally government targets of getting the 4G network up to speed.

Yet, some are declaring that the iPhone 5 will be a 'Sprint exclusive', capable of accessing the WiMAX 4G network, after the phone underdog bought $20 billion worth of iPhones. Betting the entire company on the next iPhone is not only reckless, but entirely genius if the company can pull it off. Having said that, considering Apple's secrecy policy, Sprint's apparent move seems to contravene the behind-the-scenes deals inevitably going on between Apple and the cell networks.

Considering the 4G network is still a technology yet to be widely adopted, this points only to today's launch being an iPhone 4S -- an Apple branded phone designed solely for the emerging markets; a market Apple has yet to crack.

Apple does not make new technologies the norm; Apple waits until a technology is the norm, before it adds it to the vast spectrum of other technologies and features in its current incarnation of iPhones.

4G, however, though becoming more common throughout the United States, requires a vast amount of power for its high-speed network. Many of these 4G enabled phones are weighty, and require chunk additional power packs to match the same battery longevity of ordinary phones.

Considering Apple's suit separate suit against Samsung regarding which phone giant can claim to have the "world's thinnest smartphone" in the United Kingdom, it points to only one outcome.

Apple will not compromise the thinness of its iPhones to hold additional battery packs, meaning either the iPhone 5 will allow additional power packs to be installed -- something Apple has never done before, nor will it reasonably ever do -- or the iPhone 4S will not contain 4G technology. Because, if it is set for the still emerging 3G market, 4G is still a generation away, and would be pointless and unsuitable for such environments.

Apple, simply put, needs more time for 4G technology to evolve, giving Apple itself the opportunity to develop 4G capable phones which aren't the size of a house brick.


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Topics: Mobile OS, Apple, Hardware, iPhone, Mobility, Smartphones

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  • No way they will release a WiMax phone

    That technology will never reach the scale that LTE will reach, heck, it wont even be as popular as CDMA, and so Apple will never incorporate it into its phones.

    Likewise, Sprint has wasted a lot of time and resources on WiMax when they could have been rolling out an LTE network instead.

    Since the power requirements for a hybrid 3G/4G device are onerous, I expect Apple to release a 4G only device once LTE coverage is ubiquitous, but not before.
  • RE: Today's launch points to an 'emerging market' iPhone

    Size isn't everything, even to Apple; you are too young to remember when 'carphones' were bigger than a house brick; no-one believed they would or even could shrink to today's level, and while people may shake their heads in despair over 4G, it's only one step back among thousands of steps forward - it won't belong before technology - possibly battery technology - advances enough to compensate.

    Apple have certainly inculcated an expectation of slim, elegant machines, among the loyal fashionista; but then, if Apple asked them to buy an iPhone the size of an elephant, most of them would without hesitation.

    And where's there's money to be made (40% markup!), Apple will want to take advantage. That's their job.
    • RE: Today's launch points to an 'emerging market' iPhone

      @Heenan73, you speak rubbish- exactly what I'd expect from an old man with no sense history.
    • RE: Today's launch points to an 'emerging market' iPhone

      @Heenan73 Having to resort to the old strawman of fashion is a sign you need to read, not post.
  • '4G' is very different; only LTE is power hungry; HSPA+ with 14 Mbps is not

    So one of iPhones <b>will support 4G</b>, but it will not be LTE 4G. And since HSPA+ networks are upgradable to 42 Mbps and more, this variant is good. LTE chipsets are yet too much power consuming; maybe next year.
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