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Users want more control in iPhone 5

Better battery life, software and enterprise control among wishlist from users for next iteration of Apple's smartphone.
Written by Liau Yun Qing, Contributor

Apple's mythical iPhone 5 is rumored to be revealed this June. ZDNet Asia finds out from users and market watchers what they would like in the device.

Last week, reports surfaced that the next iteration of the Apple smartphone could be announced at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June. The latest edition, the iPhone 4S, which was launched last October was an improvement to the line of devices but none of the features would "blow users away", said an analyst in a past ZDNet Asia report.

For the next edition of the iPhone, there are hopes that users will be allowed more control of the device. "Apple should give consumers opportunities to use their phone more," said Jayesh Easwaramony, vice president of ICT Practice for Asia Pacific, Frost & Sullivan.

This means improvements to battery life and a bigger screen display so consumers can play more games and videos, he said in his e-mail.

Concurring, Pallavi Patel, business development manager at Faqden Labs, who currently owns an iPhone 4 said she would like to see extended battery life, sleeker design and a shatterproof screen in the next Apple smartphone. "These three things can make it the best!" she said.

Besides hardware improvements, Easwaramony said Apple needs to boost its software to accommodate a wider variety of apps. "Especially since a lot of consumers want to use their iPhone for enterprise-heavy apps and some emerging market consumers want apps that download faster," he said.

More enterprise control
One IT manager hopes to see more enterprise management tools in iPhone 5. Ray Payne, director of information technology at Bento Sushi, said he wants "at the very least the ability to remotely control an iPhone to offer some degree of centralized remote support".

"I have many users that ask for an iPhone over a Blackberry. Without being able to centrally manage them it just isn't going to happen," said Payne. He added that remote management tools only work on a jailbroken iPhone as Apple currently restricts the functionality.

However, he believes there might be a chance that Apple will include the enterprise-friendly feature in the next phone. He pointed to how the Wi-Fi hotspot feature was included in iOS 4.3 when previously Apple had blocked the tethering function.

Even users want finer control in iOS. Debra Chan, a public relations executive, said she would like to be able to better customize the setting of an event's frequency in the Calendar application, instead of the current "Never, Everyday, Week, 2 Weeks, Month and Year".

Anti-Apple user remains unconvinced
However, even if there are improvements in iPhone 5, some remain adamant about resisting the brand. Bill Wright, senior recruiter at SourceRight Solutions, said: "There is nothing that can be put on an iPhone that would ever entice me to buy one."

"Truth be told, I am just not an Apple fanboy. Never really was and I doubt I ever will be," he said.

The executive, who owns Google Android devices such as a Motorola Droid 1 and an Amazon Kindle Fire, said he would instead buy devices running on the latest Android operating system, Ice Cream Sandwich, when prices comes down.

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