iPhone 5 Rumor round-up - Compatibilty & Repairability assesement
With iPhone 5 speculation reaching fever pitch, we thought we would take one last look at some of the strong rumors and assess the impact that these changes might have on the compatibility and repairability of the iPhone 5.
From what we have gathered the areas we are covering in this article are all considered to be strong rumors, but with these sorts of things, you never actually know until the official announcement is made. However, I think it is safe to say, unless Apple are really pulling the wool over our eyes, the images and video's which have been widely circulated are the iPhone 5.
There have been many images circulating of the nano sim tray (adaptors and sim cards are rumored to be already available). It had been originally rumored that the iPhone 5 would drop the physical sim card altogether. If the images of the iPhone 5 sim tray are real, then with the new nano sim design Apple will be saving much needed space in the iPhone 5. From a compatibility point of view this is good too as we will be able to swap sims as and when required, which is beneficial if you were to break your iPhone 5 or want to use an old phone whilst playing sport, away or at a festival in order to avoid damage to your shiny new iPhone . It will also mean the iPhone 5 sim tray will be user replaceable.
We've all seen the images of the bottom of the new iPhone 5 with the new mini dock connector. This new connector could be a god send or a complete pain dependent on how Apple have decided to implement it. From a repair and durability point of view, if the new iPhone 5 mini dock connector works in the same way as the mag safe connector it would reduce dock connector breakage dramatically. However, having to move all your accessories over to a new type of connector could cost a lot more than a dock connector repair. I would hope that the new iPhone 5 dock connector is 100% compatible with the current 30 pin dock connector. Perhaps Apple could ship a free converter with every iPhone 5? This would mean the new dock connector would work with all your old accessories and there would be no loss of functionality in the process of this space saving exercise. I would also love it if Apple made the iPhone 5 dock connector compatible with a normal micro USB connector in some way, not only would they be complying with EU law on standardized chargers for mobile phones but they would also be saving on people throwing out obsolete chargers.
In the images doing the rounds the iPhone 5 back case seems to be one of the most tweaked design elements on the iPhone 5. This new unibody style back case looks like it should be much more durable than the current glass back cases found on the iPhone 4 and 4S, which are liable to breakage. However it does raise concerns about the impact it may have on the overall repairabilty of the iPhone 5. Openning the iPhone 4 & 4S is simple: you remove 2 screws and the back slides off, then you have full access to the guts. If the back is made out of metal then where will be the point of entry for iPhone 5 repair? Knowing Apple design and construction, the obvious point of entry for me would be the front screen glass. Now if this is the case they could go about this in a nice or a nasty way.
The nice way, would be to implement a similar design to that used in the iPhone 3G & 3GS, where there are 2 screws at the bottom of the device, once these have been removed the entire iPhone screen assembly lifts out of the device. From the iPhone 5 images of the unibody case there do seem to be screw holes either side of the new mini dock connector, so fingers crossed this is how they go about it.
The alternative is to implement a similar design to the iPad 2 & 3 and the iPod touch 4. Both these devices have no exterior screws, the front screen glass is held in place by strong adhesive and is liable to breakage when removal is not performed with utmost care. This could make any repairs which don't require an iPhone 5 screen repair a real pain both for professionals and amateurs alike.
Continuing to consider how the design could really affect our ability to carry out iPhone 5 repairs, the screen could be vastly improved. While the design looks somewhat similar to the current iPhone 4 & 4S screen assemblies, Apple could score some real points by making the glass used on the iphone 5 screen assembly harder to break. However I am worried, that if the device is going to be 7.6mm thick, as has been rumored, then they will have to reduce the thickness of the screen as well as the components mentioned above. This coupled with what appears to be a screen that sits flush with the front of the device could lead to the iphone 5 screen being as easily broken as the iPod touch 4 screen and iPad 2 & 3 screen. Again let's hope that is not the case.
Bonus: What will the iPhone 5 be called?
Here are our suggestions (ranked in order of likelihood) and our justifications, let us know yours on the back of postcard or in the comments below:
- iPhone 5 - Even the announcement event invitation hints at this.
- Unibody iPhone - Because of the new case design.
- iPhone - Apple may choose to drop the suffix all together, however I'm sure even if this is the case the term iPhone 5 will become ubiquitous with this device.
- iPhone 6 or iPhone 6th generation - As this will be 6th iPhone Apple have released.
- iPhone 4G - This could lead to mass confusion but the device is likely to be 4G compatible and this is the same naming strategy that inspired the iPhone 3G.
- iPhone LTE - as it uses LTE/4G technology, however this will cause a dilemma next time they want to launch an iPhone and it is also LTE.
Thanks for reading, let us know your thoughts in the comments below. :)
This post was posted in Apple Rumor Mill