iPhone 5 with Thunderbolt and price tags
We are currently seeing a number of desirable new smartphones being released or in the pipeline, but one of the most anticipated releases this year will be the next iPhone model from Apple, and as usual we have seen a number of rumours that have hinted at what new features the device will bring, and now an iPhone 5 featuring Thunderbolt technology is being suggested could be a game changer.
While there are a number of handsets being released this year with some nice new features none could be said are truly ground breaking, but according to a report on Cnet an iPhone 5 with a Thunderbolt port could really change things in the smartphone world. We have already heard about the numerous rumours tipping the device to feature a larger display but having a Thunderbolt port is a rumour that hasn’t gained that much attention so far.
Any device that uses the technology is treated to data transfers that are much quicker, and the connection can simultaneously interface with DisplayPort and PCI Express cards, which means it can be used to connect PCs to external displays and HD quality video capture hardware. At the moment the trouble is no one else is using Thunderbolt, and there are limited devices that can connect to Apple hardware that uses the technology.
If Apple were to launch an iPhone that was compatible with Thunderbolt we would then see millions of handsets using the technology, along with a number of third party accessories being launched, which in turn will see the possibility of other big name PC manufacturers jumping onboard. If other handsets also adopted Thunderbolt we could finally see a unified connection for all handsets and peripherals in the future.
Apple would need to find some technical solutions to make this happen though, as the Thunderbolt controller chip that is currently found in MacBooks is too big to be placed in a slim and stylish smartphone. There would also be the need for a cable or an adapter for use with USB ports so not to isolate the handset from existing equipment used by many devices already found in people’s homes and offices.
Meanwhile even though the iPhone 5 may bring a number of new features to the iPhone stable, PopHearld are reporting at least one analyst believes carriers in the US may offer the device at the same $199.99 entry level price tag for the 16GB model. Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray is tipping the iPhone 5 to be the biggest product launch of 2012, and believes the price will remain basically the same.
Carriers in the US are allegedly not allowed to offer cheaper prices for the iPhone because of their contracts with Apple, and recent suggestions have stated that iPhone models will use the same pricing levels for the next 18 to 24 months, as subsides made up $19 billion of Apple’s revenue during 2011. Wireless networks will use data plan prices to try and keep ahead of the competition with the iPhone, and if as expected the iPhone 5 features LTE, analysts believe Verizon will have a slight edge because of its wider LTE coverage.
Rivals such as Sprint do have attractive LTE data plans to tempt consumers, with Sprint currently having unlimited data plans for the iPhone, and AT&T and Verizon both having tiered data plans. Apple is seeing increased competition from high-end Android smartphones and the Windows Phone platform, so increasing prices by much may not be on the cards even though many Apple fans will pay whatever it costs to get the next model of the iPhone.