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Here in the next few months, we should finally get to see an Apple event geared towards their iPhone lineup, or maybe about iOS. While it’s rumored that we could get a new iPad event before that, the new iPhone, and especially the new iOS, are all hot topics full of controversy and plenty of discussion. The rumor mill is starting to pick up the pace about Apple’s upcoming plans, and it’s turning into a mixed bag. If this keeps up, we should have a plethora of options to choose from, and we could probably build our own iPhone 5S to our liking.

Of course, what really comes down the pipe from Apple will ultimately only have two options: Elation or disappointment. As we’ve seen in the past, the Cupertino-based company has the ability to elicit those types of reactions regarding their hardware and software. I’ve spoken with people in the past who are indifferent about Apple as a company, but who have absolutely hated devices like the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4S. They’d rather use just about any other smartphone then pick up those marginally updated devices.

We’re right on the cusp of an announcement that could turn into one of those “S” events. There are still rumblings that Apple could be gearing up to announce something else entirely, to break away from the molds of their history, and to rock the socks off the world with their ability to buck the trend of their own design. It’s possible, sure, and we could see that being done in another way: A cheaper iPhone, made of different materials, and not simply a reduced-in-price iPhone 5. However, the safer bet is that Apple will launch an iPhone 5S, meaning we’ll see the same physical design, but with a few tweaks, or “improvements” here and there.

I wrote earlier in the week that I can’t see myself upgrading to the new iPhone if its biggest draw is an updated camera. Rumors had begun suggesting that the iPhone 5S’s one big upgrade would be a new 13MP camera on the back, up from the 8 megapixel shooter currently installed in the iPhone 5. There’s no doubt in my mind that Apple is going to put a big focus on the camera in their new iPhone, seeing as companies like Nokia and HTC are making a real effort to make that part of the conversation in 2013. I just won’t upgrade if that’s the only upgraded feature.

On the other hand, near the end of March we started hearing reports that Jony Ive, the lead of Apple’s human interface iOS software team, had given iOS a new “flat design.” The same reports point out that this new design would be “starker and simpler” than previous versions of iOS. As our own Anna Scantlin pointed out, a “starker and simpler” iOS would be pretty hard to do, seeing as it’s still touted as the simplest mobile operating system for consumers. “It just works” and all that.

Now, this week, we’re hearing that iOS may be subjected to bigger changes after all. As revealed through a Branch discussion begun a couple of days ago, Apple-focused writers like MG Siegler, John Gruber, and Rene Ritchie all articulated their thoughts on iOS 7, and what they’ve been hearing from their individual sources. The main takeaway, as Alex Wagner reported, is that iOS 7 will see major overhaul in its user interface. This sounds like it could be a bit more than just a “flat design,” so it would be reasonable to start getting excited about what Apple is getting ready to unveil later this year.

The bad news is that many of those same sources have revealed that iOS is running behind schedule. Considering the individuals that have left Apple, especially those directly involved in iOS’s development, this isn’t a big surprise. However, there is a small chance that this could mean Apple will unveil both iOS 7 and the new iPhone at the same time, which I don’t think would be a terrible idea at all.

Fingers are pointing at this June for an announcement, which could mean that the new iOS and iPhone could launch this summer.

Realistically, I’m trying to keep my excitement in check. There are some rumors I’m thinking are going to pan out, but otherwise I’m looking more into Apple’s past announcements for what to expect in the future. Specifically, I believe that we’ll see the 16GB iPhone 5 drop in price and be the “cheap” option available once the iPhone 5S becomes available. Moreover, I believe that there won’t be a 16GB iPhone 5S; we’ll just see a 32GB, 64GB, and a 128GB option, but with the same price points as the current generation of devices. (The HTC One is at 32GB, and it starts at $199, for what it’s worth.)

I also think we’ll definitely see an upgraded camera, and a new processor tucked away inside the familiar frame of the iPhone 5S. As far as the software is concerned, I wish I had a better guess at this point. But, based on the rumors, I believe it’s anyone’s game at this point. I will say that I do think this is the year iOS sees some kind of overhaul, whether that be into a starker, simpler design, or into something completely different. iOS will change this year.

So what do you realistically expect Apple to announce later this year? A brand new, totally redesigned iPhone? Or an iPhone 5S with the same design as the 5? Do you expect iOS to see an overhaul of some kind, or will it look the same as every iteration before it? Do you much care at all what Apple announces, or have you already promised yourself to devices like the HTC One or Samsung’s Galaxy S 4? Let me know.


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68 Reactions to this post

"What are you realistically expecting to see from the new iPhone and iOS 7?"


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Dane Walton I'm expecting to see more great ideas lifted (stolen?) from Android.
Troy Bauman Realistically? No change in design (UI or appearance wise), updated camera and processor, and for apple to say how amazing and revolutionary it is...
Jerry Goldbaum Anyone saying that "nothing will change" are 1) clueless 2) have no substantial basis for their comments except prior history. If you think Apple is sitting on their laurels and not planning future changes then you are truly clueless. Apple is not RIM and have revolutionized more than one type of electronic product category throughout their history. Which BTW is more than can be said for Samsung, HTC, etc. You can click all the checkboxes in terms of features if you want. If Apple doesn't offer a product that doesn't fit your needs, then don't buy it. The iPhone 5 hardware is spectacular and still one of the highest quality devices out there. Even if minor HW changes are made, it's the OS changes and improvements to cloud services which will improve the experience of owning and using an IOS device which includes the phone, the iPad, and even Apple TV.
Waii Hui it would be funny if Apple just gave us the same old iOS and the same 4 inch phone, and called it a new product.
Mark Belkowski i wouldnt expect much of any change. apple is years behind in the game. steve may be gone but his vision "dictatorship" lives on.
Teron Facey Hate to break to Apple fans the next iPhone won't have NFC even Tim Cook said it himself. Also stop having high hopes for this phone since its basically an iPhone 5.
Nikola Karovic 4,5 + inch
Justin Lindland Slightly faster CPU&GPU slightly better camera probably about it.
Dave Gray Then the iSheep need to stop "Sheeping" Jose... There would be no word for it if they didn't exist...
Dee Nazario Nothing.
Jose Calderon "iSheep"should be considered a hate word Dave Gray, it's demeaning, it's rude, it's a put down, it's just plain hateful.
Jonathan Onuluk New design that will revolutionize the market and a new OS that is dramatically improved.
Paul Keefe Nothing new
Vicente Reyes More apps in windows 8, then it would be number 1. But android for know. And ios sucks
Eric Magana Apple sets the standards usually for phones, hopefully Ives has a surprise up his sleeve that will make ios not as plain
Dave Gray Tammy, I was calling the "iSheep" the idiots (not you), I was also having a dig at Apple for creating hype that drives said "iSheep" to que for days outside a shop to buy a piece of shiny hardware, because they have taken in every piece of smoke that Apple have blown up their arse!
Patric Pederson I can see Dashboard being the widget engine in iOS 7 (or some future version). I imagine homescreen management will be called Mission Control. The app grid will remain intact but it will be supplemented with Dashboard and mission control...maybe a two finger swipe to get to it (or pinch in as is on a lot of Android phones). I would like to see the screen made larger and the home button made smaller bu
James Norwood Samsung: All your iphone customers now belong to us, bitches.
James Norwood Annihilation by Samsung and Galaxy.
Darrtel Brown I just got an iPhone 4s so i don't much care what the new phone brings just the new iOS
Brandon Holley Technically the retina display is a step above 720p but well below 1080p.
Brandon Holley People say android in the sense that in iOS5 or iOS6 they brought the pull down notifications to it from android. So they might start taking other features from android as well.
Tammy DelVasto Pagliaro Dave I'm def not an idiot because I have an apple phone! I also don't stand in line to get the newest phone. You like android that's fine , I wouldn't call someone an idiot cause they have an iphone! Smh!!
Charlie Ebner Thinner and better display. Apple likes pretty devices and I'm pretty sure that's what they're gonna focus on.
Vicki Figueroa Nothing much different than what its always been. They never change
Cat Velarde I'm no longer expecting anything! I'm moving to Android! iOS is becoming redundantly obsolete like Blackberry! Superficial changes just don't cut it anymore. Maybe in a couple of years when Apple pulls a 'Blackberry 10' move :P
Jason Ramos Just more useless features with the same tired interface
Josh Lytle The phone will look the same, but faster CPU, and probably NFC. I have high hopes for iOS 7. If they weren't making major improvements they wouldn't have needed to pull OSX engineers over to work on it.
Roger Ohlsson Bigger screen customize iOS, if not no interest for me
Jourdan Fletcher ha that would never happen!! Apple giving the customer an option of another OS!!! not in this lifetime
Itsok Imawelder flashable roms for it would be nice
Nemanja Reljic Probably same as in ios6
Lew Sing Wan how about iOS 7 is android?
Geffá Oliveira "we’ll just see a 32GB, 64GB" realistically? you are dreaming
Tony Etolle iOS = inferior OS.... nuff said!
Jason Angeles why you need a major change when it works well they way it is? Maybe a simple os that works is what people are looking for in a os. Adding widgets to an iphone wouldn't make the phone useful.. A phone will always be a phone and iphone is the most reliable out there.. call quality, smoothness and built quality
Micca Koster I really don't care what they do. Apple will always be behind the competition
Breezy Roscoe Jenkins Not a damn thing loll not even a 720p resolution screen
Dave Gray You know what, I don't care what they do, it won't be anything special, it won't have anything revolutionary as a feature, it will be the same old crap everyone has come to expect from a company that has done nothing but stand still for years and rake in the cash from lines full of idiots trying to be the first idiot buying their "idiot phone"...
Julian Scott Nothing new really not even a bigger screen
Tonio Johnson Because they make quicker profit from cell phone sales. Would you rather a new phone every 6 months from apple or having to pay for OS updates that will be stripped of certain features, depending on which iphone you have ?
Seokjun Han exynos 5 octa
Ryan Smith bigger screen and CM10
Derek Wheeler wider screen and/or faster processor. hopefully iOS 7 will be still just as easy to use with more options. if it's not broke don't fix it.
Sam My I am expecting to see another expensive device which will have all the features of a phone that was released 2 years ago
James Shurtleff Camera upgraded to about 13mp, 1080p screen (or equivalent), quick access to settings in NC, more customization of home screen and probably the same design. Upgrades to Siri and probably NFC with something that Apple plans will revolutionize it. Hopefully quad core and 2gb RAM and a new GPU.
Pau Borlagdan Another expensive piece of crap
Austin Azevedo Nothing but the same thing like its always been. That's why I am going back to android.
Lucas Rodrigues a new OS (get rid of iOS)
Justcallme Ren The question is, why is there even a new iphone? The iphones are well-built, well-specd devices. Why not just have updates that slightly over clock the processors or install better kernels to match new features instead of making someone buy a whole new 7-900 dollar phone just to fully enjoy a new os. Realistically I'm expecting to see a more refined version of the same os: new icons, a few more widgets, and a few more software enhancements.
Geffá Oliveira Nice tittle. Realistically? Something like NCSettings (Wifi, GOS, Airplane... toggles in the Notification Center) and maybe widgets.
Andrew Wong nothing,and a whole lot of it.
Stewart Tan Nothing! It won't change anything. Android is taking over and Mark Zuckerberg himself is a fan of Samsung smartphones himself! Android is dominating the smartphone market. Samsung and android for life!
Basim Zaidan Most of all it needs a bigger screen.
Tabib Rehman Old android features
Jim Sowell the Apple zombies will go crazy and stand in long lines for a small camera upgrade and the same old UI that's packaged a little differently.
Jesse Ling anything is better than any iFail
Fabian Toti Another Boring phone
Milton Gfl Williams Its this a trick question -.- ??
Rich Field 0.25 inches thinner, bit bigger battery, new colour options, same old boring ios repackaged lipstick on a pig with great marketing and a new box.
Stephen Wagner that is makes the company crash and fail
Wade Murray A new interface ... just as smooth, but something that really sets it apart from all the others. It's going to have to be pretty revolutionary, if not now, when? Adding small "actions" and integrating little features is not updating / improving .. it's just adding what they think is enough to make people buy their product. Sadly, we do ... That is why a "Jailbroken" iPhone is leaps and bounds better than a standard / stock iPhone.
Joseph Alan Richardson A new row of icons.
Edward Gonse Minor refresh of iOS and possibly gesture commands and a widget or two. Apple has to take baby steps if they want to step out of their comfort zone.
Ricardo Alexandre Nothing just the camera xD
Jesse Ling I expect the change will be very minimal and the same boring UI thats one more nail in Crapples coffin.
Abram Wenevermet Dennis The same thing with an even longer screen.. YAWN




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