SEATTLE (CBS Seattle) — The only thing that anyone definitely knows about the new iPhone is that Apple is planning to show off something on Sept. 12 and a new iPhone couldn’t have come in at a more important time for the tech company.
Although profitable, the iPhone’s lead in the smart phone market has been overtaken by phones running Google’s Android operating system, and Apple’s longtime rival Microsoft is making aggressive moves into the mobile space as well.
This is also the first major product launch in which Apple’s beloved CEO Steve Jobs isn’t part of, though there was speculation that the iPhone 5 was the last project he worked on before he died.
One definite feature that the iPhone 5 will have is iOS 6, the newest version of Apple’s mobile operating system. iOS 6 promises a slew of new features, and one of them are upgrades to the popular Siri.
Siri will be able to communicate in more languages, tweet, launch apps and will now be able to integrate into hands-free car systems.
One interesting upgrade that iOS 6/iPhone 5 will have is greater Facebook integration. Users will be able to log into Facebook through the operating system and apps will be able to access Facebook seamlessly.
The integration with Facebook is so deep that Facebook events and birthdays will be synched into the iPhones calendar.
Because the relationship between Apple and Google has been rocky lately, the Map app will no longer be powered by Google but by a system that Apple is creating.
The YouTube app will too be dropped from iOS 6 as well. YouTube videos will still be played through the Safari web browser, and it’s assumed that Google will make a new YouTube app for the iPhone.
Although Apple was more forthcoming on the new iOS, they’ve been secretive on the actual features of the new iPhone itself.
Various unconfirmed pictures of the iPhone 5 have surfaced on the Internet. The images show a phone that looks similar to the iPhone 4, but with some new touches. One of the most notable changes is the two-tone back plate.
The back plate is speculated to be made out of “liquidmetal,” a metal alloy that’s said to be twice the strength of titanium and is as easy to process as plastic, an excellent material to make mobile phones out of.
Apple bought out patents on “liquidmetal” two years ago.
The two-tone look is believed to accommodate Near Field Communication (NFC) technology that is allowing the iPhone to be used as a “digital wallet.” This means that a user could use the iPhone as a credit and debit card substitute.
The display will most likely be a retina display, much like its larger cousin, the iPad 3. It’s also getting a small size boost as the iPhone 5’s screen will be 4 inches compared to the 4gs’s 3.5 inch size.
As for the guts of the new iPhone, nobody besides Apple could say for sure. However, some of the more obvious upgrades should include 4G/LTE speeds to keep pace with the faster connections that are available.
The battery life on the iPhone 5 isn’t getting much of an upgrade. This is probably because the internal chipset will be more efficient and will be drawing less power.
There will be a faster processor, and it’s been rumored that the iPhone 5 will have 1 gigabyte of RAM to run apps off of and up to 128 gigabytes of storage space.
The storage space will be helpful for iPhone photographers, as the built in camera might be upgraded to 8 megapixels.
But perhaps the one thing that‘s been rumored to be updated is the iconic white ear buds that have been part of Apple’s image since the release of the first iPod.
The one thing that will be for certain is the long lines of Apple fans looking to get the new iPhone.