Apple is about to introduce the next generation version of its popular mobile phone: the iPhone 5. This product is purported to sport “new and improved” technological features that were either deficient or missing with its iPhone 4 predecessor. For the iPhone 5, these upcoming, yet still rumored, features are the following:
Mobile Wallet Payment System: Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5 may come equipped with a payment system that allows its owners to use the phone as a kind of wireless credit card. No additional phone attachment will be required. The technology that will probably make this feature a reality is called near field communication, or NFC, which enables data transfer at high speeds. To this end, Apple has even hired NFC expert Benjamin Vignier as one of its Mobile Commerce Division Product Managers. Apple will purportedly be integrating NFC via hardware provided by NXP Semiconductor.
8 MP OmniVision Camera: The iPhone 4 featured an OmniVision 5MP camera with an LED flash and a 5X digital zoom. The iPhone 5 is rumored to carry an 8 MP camera, also from OmniVision. Specifically, this camera is likely to be an OV8820, which will include an 8-megapixel CMOS-based sensor and electronic image stabilizer (allowing better stop-shutter photography for users on the go). A full horizontal field, backside illumination for low-light photos, as well as a 1.4 micron OmniBSI pixel size, will also be key features of this camera.
Improved Reception: The biggest complaint from iPhone 4 users was that the phone lost reception if users placed their hands on the steel band that encompassed the phone. The next generation iPhone will supposedly fix this issue, but the manner in which the issue will be fixed is still unknown. One ongoing theory is that Apple’s collaboration with LiquidMetal, and their acquisition of its metal alloy intellectual property, is geared towards the creation of a metal alloy antenna that would be less sensitive to human touch interference. Another theory is that Apple plans to relocate the antenna beneath the company’s logo on the back of the device.
Dual Network QualComm chip: Most mobile phones work with either the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) or the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) network technology. The GSM network is an international organization, while the CDMA is a proprietary network launched by QualComm. Apple is rumored to be using QualComm chips in its phones, arguing for the iPhone 5 being CDMA capable. However, QualComm also makes chips that are GSM and CDMA capable. This suggests that Apple’s iPhone 5 may actually take advantage of dual network coverage via both GSM and CDMA. More coverage means more reception.
A5 Multicore Processor: The upcoming iPhone 5 will have an internal A5 multicore processor that is four times more powerful than the iPhone’s current A4. An improved internal processor will allow better graphics (especially game graphics), possible HD content support, as well as more complex iPhone Apps.
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