Sprint iPhone 5, Cheap iPhone 4 Coming Soon?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Sprint iPhone 5, Cheap iPhone 4 Coming Soon?

Steve Jobs may have resigned as Apple CEO, but the iPxxx products will keep on coming.

11_8-30_apple_store_gctRejoice, all you Sprint subscribers suffering from iPhone envy. The Wall Street Journal has reported the next iPhone will be coming to the nation's third-largest carrier in mid-October. Sprint has scheduled an event for Oct. 7, although the company has not indicated a precise topic. A Sprint iPhone is only one of this week's spate of iPhone 5 and iPad 3 rumors. The other big rumor: the potential for a "cheap" iPhone 4. More on this in a bit.

What kind of iPhone 5 Sprint might get – in fact, what kind of iPhone 5 AT&T and/or Verizon will get – is still an open question. But it does look as if the iPhone 5 will be called the iPhone 4S. That's not confirmed, but I'd put a $2 wager to show on it.

Sprint is the most experienced 4G carrier; it was the first carrier to offer 4G connectivity over its WiMAX 4G network since late 2008. But WiMAX suffers the same malady as Verizon's LTE 4G technology – it's a power hog. The aforementioned EVO lasts maybe four hours on 4G (hmm, a 4G phone that lasts four hours – coincidence? Uh, yeah.). Since Apple values battery life higher than connectivity speed, it's highly doubtful a Sprint iPhone 4S would be WiMAX-able.

Timing is everything

Since Sprint is unlikely to get its iPhone 4S before Verizon, and since the WSJ says Sprint will get its iPhone in mid-October, than it looks as if we'll see the new iPhone 4S in late September – just about a month from now. I'm already drooling.

So what do we know now that we didn't know the last time I reviewed all the previous iPhone 4S/5 rumors?

Everyone in the iPhone know is pretty sure iPhone 4S will have an approximately 3.7-inch screen and an 8 GB camera, possibly a 1.2 GHz processor (iPhone currently runs on a 1 GHz engine). But will it be 4G, the souped up HSPA 4G AT&T is using (I explained this not-quite 4G HSPA iteration in "Why 4G isn't 4G")? I hope so. Homey wants 4G of any kind.

Psst! Wanna a cheap iPhone?

But this week's most interesting rumor is of a pending "cheap" iPhone 4.

How cheap?

iPhone model price differences derive solely from how much flash memory is built-in. iPhone 4 is available in 16 and 32 GB models, priced at $199 and $299 respectively.

Rumors say Apple is considering an 8 GB version, which would launch along with the 4S. It stands to reason an 8 GB iPhone would be priced at $99.

But considering just how cheap flash memory has gotten, I have a sneaking suspicion we could be looking at a $49 iPhone 4.

iPod 3 timing rumors

Finally, it seems Apple has had problems getting its hands on enough high-resolution Retina touch screen displays (2048 x 1536 pixels, half of iPad's current 1024 x 768 screen resolution) to get the iPad 3 out this fall.

As a result, the latest rumor has the iPad 3 arriving early next year, which could be as late as March.

But as I noted in my last iPhone/iPad rumor round-up, iPad 3, which also is likely to get a processing boost via the same 1.2 GHz chip rumored to appear in the next iPhone, is likely to be priced as an additional, more expensive step-up "pro" model, rather than as a same-priced upgrade to the iPad 2.

Of course, with the "success" of the $99/$149 HP TouchPad (it seems no one paid any heed to my contrary buying advice), Apple may want to consider a cheap iPad along with a cheap iPhone 4.

Mystery wrapped in an enigma

This week's last rumor focuses on a mysterious product in a category Apple has not heretofore been involved in. That's all there is to the rumor – a mystery product.

But speculation, of course, is rampant.

It could be a new way of getting video to your TV, or more specifically a way of wirelessly connecting your iPad or iPhone to your TV to play video games – your iPxxx would both play the game – wirelessly transmitted to appear on the TV – and the controller. This technology is called  "AirPlay Mirroring," an extension of the existing AirPlay technology, which I explained in "Wirelessly Listen To Your iPod/iPhone/iPad Music" – although AirPlay also transmits video wirelessly from your portable to your HDTV via an Apple TV.  The idea behind AirPlay Mirroring is to eliminate the need for a separate gaming console such as an Xbox or PlayStation.

Or, it could be a complete Apple HDTV, as I've been predicting for a while. It wouldn't surprise me if Apple – with or without Steve Jobs on stage (and I bet he will be – he resigned as CEO, he's not dead) – sprang it on us as the rumored mystery product sooner than later.

Stay tuned.

By: STEWART WOLPIN

From tech.lifegoesstrong.com