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Apple looks to try to reinvigorate sales

Q2 proved a rarity.  Usually it was Apple, Inc. (AAPL) who left analysts moderately bullish forecasts looking like silly bears.  But in Q2 Apple saw the analysts scoring a win, as its sales fell short of expectations.

It hopes to right the ship with the iPhone 5, which according to numerous sources is rumored to be announced on Sept. 12.  An October or late September launch will likely follow.

Much is already known about the iPhone 5, Apple's sixth generation smartphone.  It will pack a bigger screen, an LTE modem, more DRAM, and a slightly faster processor.  But it offers much less improvements in the user interface department managing only baby steps with iOS 6.

As Google Inc. (GOOG) begins to roll out devices with the super-slick Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean" on board, it remains to be seen whether Apple's modest hardware upgrades and bare-bones software updates are enough to keep up. 

Sources: All Things D, iMore

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RE: "Apple's modest hardware upgrades"
By name99 on 8/1/2012 12:30:47 AM , Rating: 2
An alternative way to phrase this is "what hardware is iPhone missing"?
Listing this is useful because it shows that pretty much every other phone out there is ALSO missing that hardware.

Possibilities include:
- better GPS. I don't know if iPhone4S has the GLONASS support in Broadcom's newest chips, but obviously iPhone5 will pick this up.
Win for Android --- compare with BT4 which is still rare on Android.

- faster WiFi, most likely through 40MHz support rather than 2x2:2
Here there are definite Android devices that win, and nothing iPhone can offer today as a counter advantage.

- faster flash. The primary reason I see my iPhone4 stutter is when it needs to hit flash (most likely to write). I don't know if we'll see this in iPhone next, but Android has nothing to gloat about here. Apple's crappy iPhone flash still seems to be faster than what is used in all competitor devices (I'm guessing because this is where competitors can cut costs in a way they think most people won't notice).

- better speaker audio. At the very least this would involve a horn design that both splits the audio between the two grills and impedance matches. This would reduce the problem one has today where holding the phone naturally covers the speaker to some extent with the hand. Better solutions would be to couple the speaker to the back, front, or sides to have essentially a soundboard, but I don't know if that's practical.
Once again, Android can't gloat here since they have nothing better.

- truly innovative additions. This could include
+ a 3rd camera mounted in the top of the phone, for virtual reality apps (where holding the phone vertically rather than horizontally is a pain)
+ a bolometer for temperature measurement
+ an eye-safe laser, for ranging, laser pointer, plumbline, etc.

The message I take from this list is that there's plenty of scope for better devices here, and only a fool would claim that their camp has reached perfection.

And no, I did not include 4 cores in the list. As far as I can tell, these still make no sense in a tablet, let alone a phone. More cores in a GPU yes, on the phone not yet.
However a third low-power core ala Tegra makes perfect sense. It wouldn't surprise me if iPhone next DOES have that. It also wouldn't surprise me if Apple says nothing about it --- after all it won't be programmer visible --- and simply trumpets better battery life under various scenarios.

The other checkbox item is RAM. I see no evidence that iPhone is hurting for RAM anymore, unlike in the 128MiB and 256MiB days; and that extra RAM does draw power. So I would not be surprised to see iPhone next stick with 512MiB --- and of course I fully expect a loud and ignorant cacophony about how awful that is --- fully backed up by zero examples of actual situations in which it is a problem.

By TakinYourPoints on 8/1/2012 3:34:52 AM , Rating: 1
I completely agree that there's LOTS of room for improvement in mobile devices, and we'll see it for sure. Compare smartphones with media players from ten years ago, amazing!

That said, if we're comparing what is actually out there, to say that the iDevices are lagging in any way is weird given hard performance numbers (not even going to get into the developer ecosystem).

Can they get faster than they are? Certainly. Are competitors barely keeping up as they are? Certainly. It makes sense too given that everyone has access to a similar pool of resources (flash memory, wireless technologies, etc). The biggest difference is GPUs, and that is mainly NVIDIA's fault for not keeping up with PowerVR.

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