Now that the Apple iPhone 5 is a few months old attention is turning to the next iPhone, thought to be the iPhone 5S or less likely, the iPhone 6. We’ve been writing posts about the iPhone 5S for some time and several times we’ve told of the need for Apple to come up with something groundbreaking for the next iPhone. It seems it’s not just us that feels this way, as there are fears that predictability will be the biggest release danger for the iPhone 5S.
Among the latest rumors we’ve reported on for the iPhone 5S are possible NFC and a fingerprint sensor and also speculation that production of the iPhone 5S is already underway, ready for a summer release. However we have also heard rumors of more than one iPhone release this year, possibly an iPhone 6 or even a low-cost iPhone and until Apple chooses to let everybody know, for now none of this can be confirmed.
In many of our iPhone 5S posts we’ve asked readers what they would like to see for the next iPhone and it seems that many of you are expecting an improved processor, better camera, iOS 7, and more. Another thing that has cropped up time and again is a completely new look for the iPhone 5S as many feel that the design is starting to look a little stale, with only very minor changes for the last few iterations.
Now renowned Apple watcher Rene Ritchie of iMore has spoken out frankly about the pattern of iPhone releases and says that the current pattern of a major revamp in one year with an S refresh the next year is beginning to look as though Apple is becoming complacent. Ritchie also feels that consumers and tech sites are starting to become bored with the usual routine and that Apple needs to come up with some brainstorming ideas for the next iPhone in a bid to break the predictability.
Many people were disappointed to see the iPhone 4S appear much the same as the iPhone 4 and this happened again when the iPhone 5 was launched. Although there were very minor design changes and the phone became slightly longer, apart from that there was no radical rethink about the design. If this happens again for the iPhone 5S then many consumers may feel that the S-class iPhones are not worth considering and some may even turn to a different kind of smartphone altogether, likely to be Android.
Ritchie also makes the interesting point that it’s not as though Apple has faltered with the iPhone. It’s more that other manufacturers have caught up so that an increasing amount of phones are being released with new looks and high specs of their own. Indeed if things go on as they are Apple could be viewed as trying to keep up with innovation rather than setting the tone for groundbreaking devices.
The solution according to Ritchie is that Apple must break the pattern for release schedules and begin to come up with the unexpected again. Something for instance, like a 5-inch iPhone 5S might just fit the bill, challenging the larger displayed ‘phablets’ that seem to be taking over the market. Even then though, that could be perceived by some as simply catching up with Samsung, which has continued to increase screen size in its Galaxy S and Galaxy Note series.
We feel that Ritchie makes some excellent points and that Apple really does need to shake it up a bit. The next iPhone will undoubtedly still be a big success but Apple shouldn’t get too content with its place in the market and should still strive to push the boundaries of smartphone development.
We’d really welcome thoughts from our readers on this. Is predictability a danger for the iPhone 5S? Do you think Apple needs to really pull something out of the bag for the next iPhone? If so, do you have any ideas about what could be brought to the table that would make consumers sit up and take notice? Send your comments to let us know.