Several interesting rumors circulated last night regarding the redesign of two of Apple’s most eagerly awaited new devices; the iPad 2 and the iPhone 5. Also mentioned was the Apple TV 3, as I guess it could be called. As reported by Engadget, the iPhone 5 will be a complete redesign of the iPhone 4, incorporating multi carrier GSM, CDMA and UMTS chips to enable use of the iPhone with networks all over the world. The iPad 2 will apparently have an SD card slot, and be thinner with dual cameras and a high resolution display. The Apple TV 3 will apparently receive a processor update to enable 1080p video.
The redesign of the iPhone 5, while still a rumor, would come as a bit of a surprise as we had initially expected the next generation iPhone to be a thinner, refined and upgraded version of the iPhone 4, much like the 3GS was to the 3G. With Engadget suggesting that the device will be ‘ total rethink from a design standpoint’ and will have an A5 processor but no LTE compatibility. If this is true then the approach that Apple may be taking with this redesign may be focused on incorporating phenomenal features and functionality rather than trying to downsize the iPhone into a thinner and lighter model. I guess we can look for an iPhone that is probably around the same size and weight with comparable battery life, but incorporating world-roaming abilities. The inclusion of the A5 processor would no doubt be in expectation of iPhone apps becoming more complicated and requiring more processing power to run.
It is also being reported that the iPad 2 will incorporate the same multi carrier CDMA / GSM / UMTS chipset to allow compatibility with a large number of networks all from the same device. While this is contrary to previous rumors that Apple would be releasing three versions of the iPad 2 (Wi-Fi only, CDMA and GSM), this sounds exactly like something Apple would do to enable ease of choice for the consumer. A fantastic idea that will no doubt be even more popular than the initial iPad, especially if it comes with an upgraded high resolution display as suggested.
The idea that the iPad 2 would come with a SD card slot and no USB port has been thrown around before and, if true, would be an interesting choice for Apple. While it likely would induce a small proportion of consumers to buy an iPad with lower storage capacity in favor of purchasing SD cards for media, the accessibility of SD cards by apps would be an issue. Apple included SD card slots on its recently released 13 inch MacBook Air and obviously has a specific vision for them other than for moving photos between digital cameras and devices.
If the reports are true that the Apple TV 3 will have upgraded hardware to allow 1080p picture quality then this would generally silence all the original critics who moaned about the 720p quality. However, streaming a 1080p movie over the internet will require a horrible amount of bandwidth and I can see ISP’s screaming at the thought of this. Hopefully, the subject of data caps on home network providers won’t rear it’s ugly head as providers may use this as an excuse to bump costs.
While these rumors obviously aren’t definitive, they provide some food for thought regarding Apple’s vision for the future of their mobile and entertainment devices.