Pictures of accessories for Apple’s new iPhone have already leaked, several hours before the mobile phone’s official announcement.
Be still my heart.
Code named “Lightning,” says 9to5Mac, the new iPhone connecting/charge cord features a smaller, simpler plug interface to the phone, allowing a slimmer device profile and purportedly transmitting data quicker. New iPhone earphones, called “Earpods” promise to hold in place better and deliver improved sound.
That smaller connector configuration on the iPhone 5 (or whatever Apple calls it) has already caused great consternation among makers of accessory products. This “aftermarket” community offers hundreds, if not thousands of docking devices (chargers, powered speakers, phone call relayers, etc) that conform to the old 16 pin port used on every iPhone and most iPods since the dawning of the species. Apple will doubtless announce an accessory interface/adaptor so early adopters can use the new phone with old add-ons. But there’s genuine fear among makers that this extra plastic piece will then make the phone stack higher and wiggle more loosely in the accessory device’s connector base. And that will ultimately loosen or otherwise damage the internal port in the phone.
What else are we expecting in the iPhone 5 announcement today? Surely a larger screen – probably 4 inches – allowing for an extra row of app icons to be displayed and easing user input of keyboard strokes. The latter’s a sore subject with butterfingers me, made worse by Apple’s often wrong “predictive” spelling correction software.
The new phones also will access the faster and less trafficked LTE networks launched by Verizon, AT&T and possibly Sprint (which just joined the upgrade pack this week.)
Speculative talk of turning the phone into a swiping charge card with a Near Field Communications (NFC) sensor/radio chip may turn into something real on the new iPhone. Or maybe not. There are already several rival NFC formats in the field, backed by the likes of MasterCard and Paypal. If Apple can’t eat the rivals’ lunch, they’re probably not gonna bother.
There’s also been buzz about Apple introducing a free streaming music service to compete with Pandora. Hard to imagine it wouldn’t also be supported on older iPhone models, too..