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iPhone 5 Photos Reveal Minimal Changes – Are Apple Playing It Too Safe?

The multitude of iPhone 5 photos that have emerged in recent weeks have provided a pretty convincing, if unconfirmed, indication of what Apple’s next-generation iPhone will look like when it launches sometime next month.

Speculation about the design of the iPhone 5 began more than 12 months ago, with every web pundit and blogger hoping (and expecting) that the design of the next iPhone would represent something new and exciting. Instead, Apple delivered the iPhone 4S. Underwhelming at best, the iPhone 4S was basically identical to its predecessor – save for a few small bumps in the tech specs.

This iPhone 5 photo is a rendering based on leaks

The reaction to the iPhone 5 photos has been mixed, with the understated design changes clearly representing an evolution in iPhone design, rather than a revolution.  The iPhone 5 images that have appeared thus far demonstrate iPhone 5 features that are well-supported by existing reports – a longer body with a larger, 4-inch screen, a relocated FaceTime camera and a new Mini Dock connector.

iPhone 5 Photos Reveal More of the Same?

There’s no hint of anything radical, unique or original in the photos. The iPhone 5 is essentially a stretched-out 4S. It’s bigger, but not bolder. There’s no edge-to-edge display, no reduction in the large ‘dead-space’ at the top or bottom of the screen that’s occupied by the speaker and home button.

Clumsy-handed folk will rejoice that the notoriously prone-to-crack glass backing of the iPhone 4 and 4S appears to have been replaced with anodized aluminum. However, the switch to aluminum more represents the reversal of a foolish decision to use glass, rather than a praiseworthy innovation.

iPhone 5 Photo: Two-Tone Anodized Aluminum Backplate

The iPhone 5 photos confirm that the next iPhone will continue with the ‘boxy’ design trend started by the 4/4S, with no sign of a beveled chassis like that of the iPad or the iPhone 3G. Prior to the launch of the iPhone 4S, there was much chatter about the possibility of an elongated ‘teardrop’ design, but it didn’t eventuate then and it would seem that it’s unlikely to eventuate now.

If the iPhone 5 photos that have already appeared represent the device that will be announced next month on the iPhone 5 release date, many people will be disappointed. Apple are clearly playing it safe – and from a business perspective, it’s probably well justified. But the company didn’t get to where it is today by adopting an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality.  They were innovative and took chances, and as a result, they set the design standard for the entire smartphone market.

iPhone 5 Photo - Chassis and Screen

Apple Needs to Step Up

However, in the past two years since the release of the iPhone 4, Android devices have made huge gains in market share. Despite Apple’s best efforts to thwart Samsung in the courts, phones such as the Galaxy and Nexus series have pushed the technological envelope and offered consumers big screens, 4G LTE, super-fast processors and a multitude of hardware and software features that are beginning to make the iPhone look dated. In short – Apple needs to step up.

Despite its potential shortcomings, no-one really knows what features the iPhone 5 will bring. It’s more than likely Apple will still have some surprises in store, and with the iPhone 5 release date now less than a month away, there’s not much longer to wait.

What’s you take on the iPhone 5 photos? Do you like the design? Share your thoughts in the comments below

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Jeremy Keckler

The only reason Apple doesn’t step it up is because they try to make complete devices; unlike competitors who take a swings at being better than the iPhone. Other Phones try to out do only a certain elements of there smart phones with new unrefined hardware to try to mask poorer parts of their Phones. But still, the all around software and hardware of an iPhone is more desirable because Apple’s products keep quality until they can step up to whole new level when new technology is practical in there design.

Thin_Support_Girl
Thin_Support_Girl

200 changes in the software alone… is “minimal changes” to you?
Plus countless more in the hardware? (That you aren’t even aware of yet.)

I promise you… even if the phone was the SMALLEST update ever… the phone will sell in huge, insane numbers. Apple can’t lose. The iPhone 5 is a guaranteed run-away hit… no matter what they do right… or wrong. Just like all iphones.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I agree that Apple playing it safe helps to ensure the quality of the product, but it also holds it back. If Apple is going to beat phones like the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note 2, they’re going to have to step it up and take some risks.

The iPhone 5 (according to rumors) is going to have an awkwardly tall screen, which should have a slight increase in width. The camera should have more than 8 mp to actively compete with upcoming phones over the next year. The battery should have a much greater increase in power, not just 10maH. I personally don’t mind a new dock connector because it allows for more battery space and a thinner phone. The new design, in my opinion, looks really professional and stylish. Overall, Apple is going to have to try a lot harder to make the iphone better than the
current android phones in the market.

Mr. B
Mr. B

Is this possibly the “5 in 4S clothing?” Remember that when Apple field tests devices, they tend to put them in unassuming cases (see the incident that preceded the release of iPhone 4)

tim
tim

I still prefer my samsung galasy s2 and note over iphone 5.

Ian
Ian

Well it’s not doing any wonders for your education level (spelling)

Cliff Martin
Cliff Martin

iOS 6 will be as boring & uncustomizable as ever – no Widgets, no live wallpapers. U can’t chg the dock, can’t chg icons or wallpapers. That’s why partially Android is popular.

hey123
hey123

haha if they do add widget remember that they maybe can get sued from Google because. If Apple will add widgets,live wallpaper,etc they will get sued how they sued samsung on look and feel and the bounce feature plus I don’t think Apple will do that wouldn’t look more of a Android phone , IOS might be boring but it makes it stand out and makes what a Iphone is.