I've managed to avoid much of the rumor mill around the new iPhone that is, well, rumored to be unveiled on October 4th. Based simply on my own observations while using an iPhone since June 29, 2007, using the iPhone 4 since its first day, and looking at iOS 5 a little - I've come up with a few small guesses as to what the iPhone 5 may have.
- **The camera lens will be on the opposite side of the Apple logo.** I guess this because the iPhone 5 and iOS 5 will allow someone to use the volume buttons as the shutter-button. Using my iPhone 4 and pretending to take photos using the volume up button as the shutter-button I find having the lens on the bottom side of the iPhone to be very inconvenient.
- **The antenna will no longer be built into the case.** Although the iPhone 4's issue of having the antenna be part of the casing (it is much of the outer metallic ring) ended up being a non-issue I don't think they'll want to deal with these issues again. They'll more than likely come up with an even better solution.
- **The phone will be lighter and have no glass back.** When you hold an iPhone 4 you feel like you're holding something that was incredibly well made. The glass front and back and the overall weight of the iPhone 4 make it feel that way. Plastic weighs less but feels like plastic. Metal was a good choice, I thought, for the iPhone 1. So I don't know what the backing will be but I feel as though the iPhone 5 will be lighter and no longer have a glass back.
- **The speaker phone will be better.** Maybe this is the part where I begin to dream or something but the speaker phone feature has never been good on an iPhone. Many times it is not loud enough and more often than not the people on the other end can't hear you either. So both the speaker and mic need to be better.
- **The build of the home button will be better.** I don't know but I'm sure there are rumors that Apple will ditch the home button on the iPhone 5. If there are, I'd doubt them. Having a single home button is just about perfect for everything you need to do with an iPhone. I'd like to see more options with it (double-clicks, triple-clicks, etc.) but overall it works just fine. The problem with the iPhone 4 that I'd guess they'll fix with iPhone 5 is that the home button hasn't held up too well. After a year and a few months of usage it has taken a lot of wear in its feel. I often have issue with the double-click feature. I have to very deliberately push (read: almost mash) the button. Not good.
- **Every iPhone 5 will support most of the world's carriers.** Making a different iPhone for each carrier's network technology seems like something Apple should be very unhappy with doing. In order to ensure the iPhone's growth over the last 4 years they've had to do this but the iPhone 5 is a great opportunity to unify all of the hardware and allow people to use these devices out-of-the-box all over the world.
- **The camera will be better quality both in megapixels and focal length.** The iPhone (and many other phones) have quickly replaced point-and-shoot cameras. In fact, I'd wager that the only people really using point-and-shoot cameras are people that do not have a decent phone camera. The iPhone 4's camera is good enough for me to use rather than a point-and-shoot but it could be a lot better. There is a lot of room for improvement with the iPhone's current camera and I think the iPhone 5 will bring a few of those updates.
- **Again, the mic will be better, but I think it will be to handle voice commands.** Apple hasn't done much to update how the iPhone takes voice commands. I use this to make phone calls, sometimes, while driving. "Call Eliza Mobile" I'll tell my iPhone and it works just great. Although I rarely use the iTunes voice commands they are there. But beyond that the iPhone is falling behind Android quickly. I know Apple bought a company that specializes in this sort of thing at least a year ago now so I can't imagine that sometime in the near future the iPhone will be able to do things like speech-to-type and complex voice commands for things we do with our phones that we'd like to be hands free.
I don't know how these align with the rumors but as an iPhone user since day one I can certainly see Apple addressing some of these issues with the iPhone 5.