iPhone 5 Will Be Just A Speed Bump, Largely Indiscernible From The iPhone 4 [Report]

iPhone 5 Will Be Just A Speed Bump, Largely Indiscernible From The iPhone 4 [Report]

Continuing this morning’s rumors that the so-called iPhone 5 is nothing but a phantom, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has rushed over to Apple Insider and spilled more details about what his supply checks are showing: an iPhone 4S that is largely identical to current models, and even features the same amount of RAM… a mere 512MB.

According to the report, supply checks say the biggest change in the next iPhone will be a redesigned antenna to reduce attenuation issues… the so-called “ReceptionGate.”

Otherwise, though, Kuo says there will be “no discernible difference” in the next iPhone’s appearance. In all, Apple plans on shipping 30 million of them by the end of 2011.

I’m not sure I buy this. Apple didn’t wait 16 months to speed bump their phone. People are expecting something big, and while Kuo’s industry checks might be coming up short, other sources suggest a more radical device. What do you think?

  • Sparkle

    And the leaked case? A new iPod Touch?

  • EmmaMitch561616588

    agree..

    I just got a $829.99 iPad2 for only $103.37 and my mom got a $1499.99 HDTV for only $251.92, they are both coming with USPS tomorrow. I would be an idiot to ever pay full retail prices at places like Walmart or Bestbuy. I sold a 37″ HDTV to my boss for $600 that I only paid $78.24 for.
    I use BIDFiRsT. COM

  • rkhigham

    I find it hard to believe that they would make us wait 16 months for such a minor improvement. On the other hand, reports show that the iPhone 4 is still selling “like hot cakes” so it could be a case of ‘if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it’. If this rumour is true, I think a lot of 3GS and other mobile OS users who were awaiting the iPhone 5 might just pick up a ‘cheaper & almost as good’ iPhone 4 anyway…it’s what I’d do!

  • dagamer34

    Maybe they have better security this time around. If the iPhone 5 is just a speed bump from the iPhone 4, I think I’ll just skip it like I skipped the 3GS. A dual-core CPU isn’t worth paying $500 to extend my contract another year. In fact, I’ll probably put that money towards a Samsung Galaxy SII or a Nexus Prime.

  • Rui Pedro

    i believe we will have two iphones… this one, an iphone4 evolution, and a bigger iphone, like those cases have been showing us…

    maybe the iphone 5, and the iphone HD.

    I really don’t believe apple have waited so long to launch such a small evolution.. This evolution makes sense, because iphone4 is wonderfull… but we need something more, otherwise the iphone hype will not be great… and apple took all this long because they must have something more on the store..

    follow @hubuh

  • HelveticaNeue

    I think it was called Antennagate not Receptiongate.

  • Matthew Snider

    I honestly am past it now – I love my iPhone 4 and am not wanting something any bigger.

    I will wait until next summer anyway to see what comes of it then.

  • FriarNurgle

    I think we’ll have to wait and see… but I may not upgrade if it’s only a modest spec bump and that’s the bigger story. 

  • Russ Anderson

    That’d be kind of foolish of Apple to just spec bump the 4. 16 months, and not a new phone… I don’t think they are that stupid… but I might be wrong. It seems kind of obvious to me that there are two phones, a spec bumped 4, and a 5 (or would that technically be a 6 then?). The 4 even with a spec bump could still be the cheaper phone… and the 5 could be the industry spec leader (sans 4G).

    Either way, my 3G is annoyingly slow, so I’ll buy it.

  • J76

    I can’t see why the next iPhone design wouldn’t mirror that of the iPad 2 evolution – curved aluminium/plastic back, especially since this the squared off shape has been one of the main complaints about the iPhone 4. Aluminium would depend if they could do it without messing up reception. This may of course not be this year if indeed an “iPhone 4S” is what comes out.

  • Tomas James

    If Apple does increase the screen size, does this mean that all existing apps will then be obselete due to the fact they were designed for the iPhone 4’s screen, as opposed to the iPhone 5? Similar to the way an iPad runs an iPhone app.

  • Eric Crespo

    Facts we know about the iPhone 5… It’s Thinner…. It has a Better Camera…. It will be Running iOS5…. Things im 99% sure are… it will have a Faster Possessor(A5 Chip dual core)… 4G Capable…. Resolution Probably wont change, as Retina is already Amazing(A Larger Screen is Very Likely)…. Better Battery Life…. Things i wish for are…. NFC Chip for Using it as a Credit Card…. A Finger Scanner(Biometrics) to use instead of a Passcode Lock…. and Better Warranty by Apple in case of Breakage.

  • Ninjapunk

    Apple can put 3.7 inch screen and still call it retina display as the PPI would still be more than 300 at the same resolution( 960X640). Just like us, Apple can also see the average smartphone user being inclined to larger screen devices. Think about it, When Cook/Jobs announces iPhone with same 3.5 inch screen size, people would leave the show right at the moment and Apple would fall drastically. Of course, Apple don’t want that scenario to happen.

  • Daniel Hertlein

    Right. All signs point to something bigger than a speed bump from Cupertino this fall. This is the iPhone mini or 4s or whatever it will be called. The only thing this does is make the 3G iPod Touch is the iPhone 4s rumor that’s been circulating around less likely.

  • Guest213

    Completely bullshit this post! iPhone 5 will be a surprise! Better wait for it…

  • Chris

    they could just lower the screens dpi, so that it’s still retina (or almost retina)

  • Chris

    why not? you don’t have to change a perfect product ;)

  • Andrew

    i would be very disappointed if its just a speed bump i am waiting for an upgrade from 3gs
    donesnt seem  very apple like if its just a speed bump after this long wait

  • sirobin171

    I think its simple. If they intend on pushing out a “Speed Bump”, I don’t intend on buying it. I have bought every model starting with the 3g. Why reward corporate laziness? I am hopeful that its going to be more, at this moment I am willing to give Apple a pass and see what it actually is.

  • Thomas sutton

    This could be a false leak by apple themselves so that the next iPhone is more of a surprise 

  • Thomas sutton

    This could be a false leak by apple themselves so that the next iPhone is more of a surprise 

  • supertino

    I don’t buy the 3.7 inch screen argument with a lower DPI but same resolution. This would mean all the icons and artwork will be slightly larger than the previous iPhones. Apple doesn’t do that. Imagine the top menu bar, the app icons.. everything slightly bigger.

  • Ninjapunk

    Sounds like you don’t want bigger screen than the current size.

  • Gaston

    If Apple is only speed bumping it, I think I’m really going to consider buying another phone. 

  • Chris Killen

    Whatever comes out next, I have to get it. My iPhone 3Gs just died on me (a Rocketfish battery case is to blame for frying the battery, imo). If I do get the next one right when it comes out, will I be eligible for an early upgrade for the iPhone6 or whatever comes after this? I was under the impression that that’s how it works: get it the day it comes out, then you’re eligible for the next upgrade, even if it comes out before the 2 year contract is over. (I have AT&T)

  • infin

    iphone 4S/5 is only a media/device, iOS5 is the important part which we (end user) should care. Update to A5 is good enough update to provide good user experience with iOS5. Apple don’t like to get into the hardware spec war anyway.

  • Kev46

    Two phones, 4S and 5…

  • JeffHarris030

    Whatever comes out next, I have to get it. My iPhone 3Gs just died on me (a Rocketfish battery case is to blame for frying the battery, imo)

    I just got a $829.99 iPad2 for only $103.37 and my mom got a $1499.99 HDTV for only $251.92, they are both coming with USPS tomorrow. I would be an idiot to ever pay full retail prices at places like Walmart or Bestbuy. I sold a 37″ HDTV to my boss for $600 that I only paid $78.24 for. I use http://bit.ly/grab2029

  • John Branham

    apple isn’t that stupid. they’re popularity would drop so hard if they didn’t have something new.  a friend of mine thinks they won’t just to not piss of case designers, but it’s way past that now. gotta be brand new and amazing.

  • seanmeverett

    Agree wholeheartedly. Only way the iPhone 5 is going to have an S in it’s name is when the media calls it Shockingly Super.

  • Grad

    I am getting sick and tired about iPhone 4, no longer unique. Too many people using this phone.
    If iPhone 5 is just iPhone 4s, I will not upgrade. Boring!

  • Custom

    I swear to God… if that the only iPhone available… i switch to Samsung Galaxy  !  I`m not a moron, if Apple  don`t lead…. i quit the boat…

  • Steven Zahl

    With a NOKIA Windows Phone  and 5-inch Androids coming.  Apple would be FOOLISH to come up with a mere Speedbump.

  • Bunnytrifecta

    I think this is only half the story. As others have speculated, I too believe Apple will introduce a iPhone 4S and an iPhone 5 together. All of the rumors reported thus far seems to corroborate (various case designs, mock ups, and insider scoops). 

    IMO, I feel that the 4S will be an incremental or “speed bump” improvement over the existing iPhone 4 and will possibly include a better antenna design and maybe a camera update only, with 16 gb 2-yr contract pricing here in the U.S. to remain at $199. The iPhone 5 however will furnish a new design, faster processor, better camera, bigger screen, better battery etc, and will include a 2-yr contract price for 16 gb version starting at $249.99. Bank on it.

  • Bitter Witch

    I just give up on thinking about what the iPhone 5 will be like.  Everyone has conflicting views, so it’s not worth it.

  • CharliK

    they are very unlikely to do a baby speed bump AND a major redesign. 

    the iPhone 4 like model will be the same iPhone 4 we have now but with only 8gb of storage and cheaper. like they have done the last two years. 

    the iPhone 5, which is likely the name for the new model not the lame 4s nonsense, will probably be just a bump. Slightly faster, slightly better camera, perhaps more ram. If it has a physical redesign it will not be due to the blown out of proportion attenuation issue but rather to either bring it in line with the slimmer iPod touch and iPad 2 or due to other antenna needs like putting both ATT and T-Mobile capable GSM in one unit, Verizon and Sprint capable CDMA in one unit or even perhaps all 4 in one (though I suspect that that will be the iPhone 6)

    For those saying WTF remember that the folks that buy a new phone every year are vastly outnumbered by those that wait for a contract upgrade. So the audience for the 5 isn’t the owners of the 4 but the owners of the 3gs for whom this will be a major change and not just a baby bump

  • CharliK

    Really. Seems to me that they could change the color of the phone and nothing else and end up getting 20 million more sales cause of the folks that think that black and white are boring colors for a phone. 

    It’s the power of Apple. They are the Field of Dreams. They build it and people come and buy it. and buy it. and buy it. and buy it. 

  • CharliK

    Few folks, unless they can’t afford the extra $100, are going to blow a contract upgrade on the lesser phone. 

    That said, it’s a minor improvement for those that got the iPhone 4 but not so major for the ones that are 2 years since their last phone and that’s really who the iPhone 5 was designed for. Because 95% of folks due wait that full 2 years. 

  • EmmaMitch560161652

    With a NOKIA Windows Phone  and 5-inch Androids coming.  Apple would be FOOLISH to come up with a mere Speedbump.

    I just got a $829.99 iPad2 for only $103.37 and my mom got a $1499.99 HDTV for only $251.92, they are both coming with USPS tomorrow. I would be an idiot to ever pay full retail prices at places like Walmart or Bestbuy. I sold a 37″ HDTV to my boss for $600 that I only paid $78.24 for.
    I use BIDFiRsT. COM

  • Tash Wahid

    If this is the case I will eat my hat with mustard. There is no way Apple will release the same phone with a speck update 15 months later. Either LTE is coming or its a design change. They waited 4 extra months for something.

    And I wouldn’t be surprised nay, I expect apple to, spread these rumors so people are so confused as to what to expect. That’s how you make an advertisement, keep people thinking about something.

  • techkid

    Your just like everyone else now. You cannot consider yourself hipster anymore.

  • Gary

    I can see the, leaving the same.. Sales don’t lie.. Y fix what’s not broken?

  • LambOfTheCloth

    It just doesn’t make sense, the best I can imagine is instead of an official “4s” model, they might just be refining their current design. Companies do it all the time to tweak small hardware things, in this way people who already have the previous run of that item aren’t really missing out on anything. Consider the PlayStation 3, which has gone through several iterations. Granted the life cycle for a gaming system is far longer than an annual refresh of a phone, but it would make basic sense. Sell an iPhone 4 as the cheap base model, like they do now with the 3Gs, with the major complaints dealt with (antenna issues) for the newly produced 4’s and then save the re-design/upgrades for a totally new phone, the iPhone 5.

  • dwplay11

    bite your tongue ricky boby! you bite your tongue

  • Harold Cho

    If this is true, then why did apple take so long to release new model?

    I will be looking for another phone or get iPhone 4 at a discounted price then… 

  • Jack McClauren

    Oh no… What the hell are we supposed to do with our lives now?

  • Ed_Kel

    Do we not remember the photostream picture of the iPhone? Apple would never get an icon wrong..

  • techgeek01

    Guess I’ll be picking up a Samsung Galaxy Nexus (nexus prime) with the rest of my friends then.

  • TylerHoj

    I thought it was called AntennaGate? …

  • Aow777

    If this is true, they are just doing Iphone 4 Sprint/Tmobile edition. And thats the only people that will be buying one.

  • Felix George Liver

    this better not FRICKING be true 16 months to get a small speed boost would seriously piss me and my dad off they better have a bloody good reason but thats if i think apple would never do this if so shame on you cook!! 

  • Evan Benford

    DA FUCK OUTA HEERRREEEE!!!

  • jfc123

    Maybe he just heard about the parts for the iPhone 4s and that the iPhone 5 is coming as well.

  • Silver Bullet

    iPhone, 3G and 3GS all looked the same but had different specs… iPhone 5 and iPhone 6 will most probably have the same design with iPhone 4 (which has the same design theme as iPad1).

    Apple is a simple company with complex obsessions… 

    So simple thinking dictates: iPhone to iPhone 3G… iPhone 4 to iPhone 4G… Both iterations come with faster network that will make the difference… That will create the privilege to own one…

    But complex thinking, developers will smile with this iteration… More tiny hardware changes that will blow us away… Camera will have shutter for maximum security… Stereo speakers on top and bottom (case makers get away with minor damage)… Two more buttons next to home button to switch between apps directly… Hold your iPhone tight and close to your heart, it will tell you your heart rate… Water proof with no 30 pin connector and everything OTA… Shooting RAW photos… Full HD recording with stereo sound… 3D photos using only one camera combined with structured-light… FaceTime 3D?

    E-ink under the front glass bezel would turn your into phone whatever color you want… White iPhone? Right away! Or might use it as a notification,bezel and back turns red when mail arrives, blue when iMessage needs attention and green with SMS…? Shining Apple logo notifier when the phone is face down… Possibilities are endless… 

    Also Liquidmetal is said to be electromagnetically transparent, just like glass…

    Think…
     

  • Be

    One can only hope so.

  • Be

    now it will be speedbumpgate

  • Be

    or a Chinese knock off. . . .

  • Cold_dead_fingers

    I completely agree with you, author. There’s no way in hell that Apple are keeping the same design after a 16 month iPhone hiatus. This is something big. To add, Apple has just let go of it’s visionary CEO, you think Steve would leave the company with an iPhone 5 speed bump after the antenna issue with the iPhone 4? NO! Steve want to leave the company in good hands, of course this is going to be the best overall iPhone yet.

  • TastySlowCooker

    I’m not saying this theory is correct, only that it’s something to consider: it’s taken a fair amount of time to get iOS 5 ready, and they weren’t going to release the new phone on the old operating system. So the delay on the phone release may not be due to the hardware itself (in the case of just a speed bump) but due to the software.

  • GenXHero

    Cool, I hope you have (get) a job suggesting cool features to Apple ;-)

  • Iuseless83

    Those are rumors apple leaked so the enthusiasm and wanting factor for iphone 5 would reach the maximum level..
    Apple is so good at marketing games and this is one of those…if u expecting a shitty iphone which will look like the previous one and instead they give you something slightly different you receive it like something much better than it really is…

  • Christian Park

    Is this similar to Watergate? 

  • Hondamaker

    I don’t believe it for one second.

  • Brad

    I can tell you this, if there’s a huge redesign, and some of these mockup designs turn out to be accurate, I’ll stick with my iPhone 4. Those mockups are hideous. Why would I want a new iPhone that is shaped like the old ones. And thinner aint always better. Lighter feels cheaper. I think the size, thickness, and weight with the iPhone 4 is just about perfect. I don’t need a bigger screen, that’s what my iPad is for.

    They waited 4 months because Verizon JUST got the iPhone. How pissed would those customers be if they just bought an iPhone 4 and then 4 months later, a brand new one drops? Exactly.

    I have ZERO issue with Apple sticking with the same design. Faster process, upgraded camera…I’m good with that. After all, iOS 5 is where all the fun is really at…

  • winski

    Talk about banging down expectations and doing it at someone else’s expense…yeowee….

    There is rational arguments on both sides…all valid, but knowing Apple, and you can bet iPhone 5 will have Steve Jobs hands all over it, don’t bet on this being a conservative ‘speed bump’…

  • Andr01d

    The iPhone 4? You mean the iPhone which had the most negative publicity an iPhone ever received? The one which is being reported for antenna issues, glass breaking issues, proximity sensor issues, ergonomic issues etc.? The one which consumer report can’t even recommend? 

    Why would you want an iPhone that’s shaped like the old ones? Because the old ones are the ideal design of the iPhone, Apple got the old design right. Because the old ones feel much better to hold, hence ergonomically better. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. 

    It’s true that the iPhone 4 is the most beautiful iPhone yet. But i’d rather be productive with my iPhone, not stare at it. 

    Lol there’s a huge difference between a 3.5″ screen and a 9.7″ screen. And clearly judging from the smartphone market, the demand is bigger screen. 

    Also, they waited 4 months because Verizon JUST got the iPhone? 
    Verizon customers? You mean the small percentage of people who bought the iPhone 4? You mean the majority of Verizon customers who are anxiously waiting for the iPhone 5 and skipped the 4 on purpose? You mean that just for one carrier, the iPhone, which sells globally had to be on hold? I expect an iPhone 5 or an iPhone 5 and an iPhone 4S. Anything else is unacceptable, after such a long wait.

  • Jeff Schueler

    Finally, someone says something that makes perfect sense. I agree completely.

  • charliesheenhardcore

    I’ll say all of the mock ups that we’ve seen have been terrible. I think we will have a redesign but it will look nothing like what they are showing. Jonathan knows what hes doing in the design department. Heres what i think. They will keep iphone4 on the market and also introduce an iphone 4s with the speed bump as well as a brand new redesigned iphone5. This way they can have a slew of phones on 3 different carries and dominate the market. Theres no way they would wait this long and have a press conference to show off a vamped up iphone4 just no way. 

  • dmchips

    This report is true, but its only looking at 1 facet of Apple’s strategy. Apple will be releasing both the iPhone 5 as well as the iPhone 4s (or something similarly named). This report is reflecting the cheaper-to-manufacture iPhone 4 that will cost considerably less to make than its brother that debuted 16 months ago. Thinking about Apple’s expansion to China, as well as their possible engagement in the pre-paid market, Apple wants to hit the current iPhone 3Gs’s price point. If they can charge $49.99 for the iPhone 4s, but decrease the cost to manufacture it, they retain a high profit margin. Whereas charging $49.99 for the current iPhone 4 would generate a ~10% profit margin, a cheaper iPhone 4s could still make a killing for them.

    Apple is all about novelty though, 10’s of millions of people have the iPhone 4. Re-releasing it doesn’t help keep their identity fresh (as well as it would mean that Steve Jobs’s last few months as CEO would lack the punch that Apple yearns for). The iPhone 4s will retain a similar look to the iPhone 4 and it will replace the current iPhone 3g’s place in the phone line up. The iPhone 5 will probably have a flat aluminium back similar in appearance to the iPad 2. Have a slightly larger screen, maybe ~3.7in, a smaller bezel, a horizontally longer home button (that may be capacitive?), and a better camera. It will be substantially different.

    As John said: `Apple didn’t wait 16 months to speed bump their phone.`

    Can’t wait for the 7th!

  • RealGadgetGeek

    Definitely an unconvincing ploy at “disinformation”. Apple is moving to cloud based computing and communication. I think there will be a device between a cell phone and wifi VoIP phone. A hybrid iPhone if you will. There are rumors of an iPod Touch with 3G that may fulfill this role. I also think that there may be an iPhone with a 4 inch screen (iPhone 5), and a replacement for the 3GS (4GS). We will all know next month and can then dispense with all this speculation. Whatever Apple has planned will be one step closer to perfection!

  • Steven

    As with other readers, this report only covers one side of their development for the 2011 set of iPhones. With rumours amongst other things, there will be an iPhone 4S (Same specs as iPhone 4, but with A5 CPU, and ‘plastic’ housing’) and a iPhone 5 (A5 CPU, 8MP Ex-Armor Camera, Thinner/Lighter, Tapered ‘steel’ back, Elongated home button, 3.7″ to 4″ Retina Display, etc).

    Both come in white & black with same capacities of 16gb & 32gb with iPhone 5 having the same price as iPhone 4 while the iPhone 4S having the same price as iPhone 3GS.

    iOS Gold Master is being shipped to suppliers on 23 September (giving them a week to install the new iOS along with final packaging). This is perfect as the Keynote happens on 30 September and orders starting on 7 October.

    I had been informed that the estimated shipping times to be around 7 to 10 days, however there’s enough initial inventory for customers lining up on release day in Apple Stores.

    How true is this? 90-100%

  • Sevan Grim

    Apple would not have pushed a 4 to Verizon 5 months ago if they were planing another phone this soon. You know why? because the average person sits on the same phone for the entirety of their 2 year contract unless theirs breaks or is stolen (at which point many can re-acquire the same phone).
     This whole rumor that there will be an Iphone 5 this year was dumb from the get go. There are NO significant changes in mobile technology that would warrant making a new phone. Apple said when the verizon phone came out that 4g wasnt ready. The retina display is top notch, and making a bigger one is too difficult and unnecessary. They obviously dont care about the camera (and its fine for most peoples stuff anyway). 3d? no. they arent going to add any extra buttons…
     wake up people. if your product is still dominating the market, and hasnt seen a price drop, and doesnt have any major short comings… why the hell would you replace it?
     they are trying to keep a rotation to appease all their users. thats iphone/ipod/ipad/Software/mac books that are all supposed to stay in rotation with one another. for some reason you people all think that rotation is “every other update is to the iphone”. thats dumb

  • Liam Warrilow

    Of course there will be no ‘new’ form. Can you imagine how annoyed Steve was when the 4 got such a luke warm reception!? It was coz he knew that this form factor, which Apple thought was awesome is with us until the end of 2012 at the earliest! This explains the move to Veri with the slightly diff design set up and all of the new stuff in iOS 5. But there will be stuff we don’t know about yet! Their sneak peak of iOS 5 can’t include everything, think of the digi assistant with the inclusion of Siri, this was never on the sneak peak info, nor was the inclusion of nuance for the voice stuff, this wasn’t on the sneak peak either! I also reckon that one of the big things will be that they don’t change the look of the phone, but they do add to the old form, this could be to retain the glass back and make this touch sensitive too, I think they always planned this, they just gave us the glass last time, to then intyro the TS back. Apple would get the kudos for touch on the front AND back – Think of all the new input methods Devs could use if the back was TS! The form won’t change but there will be additions! If there is a new phone it will have hardly any HD capacity in order to act almost as a lost leader (Steve would cringe!) to get peeps using iCloud instead of paying $500 on a phone, think how much Apple could save if they only put say 4gb in a iPhone 4 (akin to the very first gb-age in the orig iphone!) All the music will be in the cloud! And Forstall will present!

  • Kendall Tawes

    A speed bump and storage increase to 64 GB would be perfect for me. The only problem I have is I have no room left.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)| Read more posts by .

Posted in News, Top stories |