Thoughts on the next iPhone
So we've got some time before the next iPhone is upon us, and after the iPad I can't help but be a bit concerned about the prospects for the next iPhone. Here's why:
Apple has seared this term into our collective heads and now, with the new iPad, we can't be expected to possibly purchase any mobile device that doesn't meet this quality standard. These, then, are truly beautiful handcuffs because Apple is essentially left with three choices;
- Make the display slightly larger to around 3.7 inches, keep the 640x960 resolution and offer a product at almost exactly 300ppi - right at the edge of 'retina' with a notable nit that the pixel density will have gone down.
- Double the screen resolution again to 1280x1920 and have all the freedom you need to take the screen to 4" and well beyond
- Keep the screen at 3.5" and ignore the fact that you're on the wrong side of growing consumer preference.
None of these options seem great..
Making the display only a few tenths of an inch larger seems like an odd move, and one that really both acknowledges consumer preference trends and ignores them in a single, half-hearted move.
Doubling the resolution might work for 2013's iPhone, but there is really no practical way to power such a screen right now in a slim, efficient phone - which will also most likely have LTE.. If they can do it, great, but this is truly the work of sorcery in 2012.
Lastly, to continue on with a 3.5" screen - even if it's great - will surely begin to sting even us loyal iOS users, who really want something a bit bigger. It doesn't need to be a Galaxy Note, but something in the low 4" range would be nice.
iOS has been updated sufficiently in terms of raw features.. it now has a very competent multi-tasking solution, exceptional cut, copy and paste and a pretty solid notifications system.
And while we're at it, lets use this opportunity to clean up Gamecenter's UI. For Christ sake, every new version of iOS brings a new calculator icon.. let's focus on the Gamecenter interface instead.
LTE is such a compelling new technology, I'm worried that Apple might use this as the primary force behind the next iPhone (like they did with the iPhone 3G). I don't want a 4S + LTE in Q4 2012.. that doesn't feel at all like enough of an upgrade to me, and with beautiful devices beginning to emerge from Nokia and HTC, I'm not sure it will be enough to really keep the iPhone's massive growth curve going in the right direction.
The New iPhone Should Feel.. New
Overall, my biggest fear with regards to the iPhone is that Apple passively iterates on it (iPhone 3G) until they can double down on the display size... and I think they can do better. Let's get a 1.5x resolution increase - Surely we can smoothly scale up @2x graphics that are already sufficiently detailed!!. Also, lets have a 4" or 4.2" screen, a nice thin form factor, 10 hours of LTE battery life, a zippy evolved iOS and keep the iPhone at the head of the pack