How would you change Apple's iPhone 5?

Published: May 2, 2013

We're just over a month away from Apple's developer conference. It's a big event. Some might even say "worldwide," even. And for a lot of people there is plenty to be excited about. This year, though, there had been plenty of rumor and speculation about what the Cupertino-based company would be unveiling, with most of it focused pretty heavily on some new hardware for the mobile space. Unfortunately, thanks to a recent Apple earnings call, most of those hopes and dreams got dashed pretty hard on the rocks.

Just a few weeks ago we thought we'd see the new iPhone at WWDC, based on the rumors. One could have easily imagined that a new iPhone would be launched in the summer. Now, though, we know that a new iPhone won't see the light of day until this fall. That gives owners of the iPhone 5 out there a little more time with their device, which I don't think is a bad thing at all. iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S owners who've been holding out for something better, and who didn't pull the trigger on the iPhone 5, will just have to wait a bit longer.

Hopefully the wait is worth it.

At this point, we know that while the next iPhone will probably follow the same physical design cues as the iPhone 5, the big focus is probably going to be on software. Everyone has been clamoring for a change to the iPhone's UI, which has essentially stayed the same since its debut back in 2007. Rows of icons, and that's it. While platforms like Android have been taking full advantage of our home screens through the years, and new platforms like Windows Phone and BlackBerry 10 have changed the way we use our home screens, Apple's iOS has stubbornly stayed the same.

That's set to change this year, though. Reports that iOS is set to get adjusted to a more "flat" design, with less "shine" just won't die, and by now it's accepted as an unannounced truth. A lot of people are excited that those same reports suggest Apple will be dropping all of its skeuomorphism elements as well, which makes sense. While the yellow notepad was a cool trick back in 2007, it's essentially run its course by now.

I'd venture to say that this time around, the rumors regarding Apple's change in software seem a bit more "stable" this time around, as opposed to previous years where we heard the same things. The reports were never this articulate or focused back then, to the point where we knew it was going to be a "flat" design. This time? This time we should know what to expect when Apple takes the stage in June.

Of course, that could turn around to bite them in the you-know-what if they decide to not change anything about iOS, especially not in such a big way as people are expecting. Would it anger enough people that no one would buy the next iPhone? That's hard to say, but I imagine that more than a few people would jump ship at that point. Then again, the question still remains whether or not Apple needs to fix what isn't broken.

A few weeks ago I asked you all what you were realistically expecting in the next version of iOS. It was your chance to set the table, along with your expectations, for what you believe the company will announce in June. Even if you aren't an Apple fan, it was a good way to paint a picture of where you think Apple stands now, and where you'll think they'll stand in just a few short months, once their new software is out in the world.

The iPhone 5 released back in September of 2012, so it's not quite a year old yet. The device saw plenty of sales, and up until the release of HTC's One, it was heralded as the best designed device on the market with its industrial design and thin frame. The individual components and features on the iPhone 5, from the hardware perspective, were all doted over back in September, and have survived the test of time on our own Official Smartphone Rankings, at least on the Expert's side of things. But now that the phone is inching closer to replacement, and we know that the next iPhone will be an "iPhone 5S," I'm curious as to what you'd change on the hardware front.

Most of these changes could go into the next iPhone, in one way or another, so I'm curious to hear how you'd change Apple's latest iPhone, in an effort to guess, if not know, what will be coming down in the next version of Apple's popular mobile device.

For me, personally, and I know this isn't very likely, but I wish that the iPhone 5S had a wider display, and not just a taller one. I'm a fan of the 4-inch display as an idea at this point, but I know I would have preferred a device that had gone wider, and not taller. And if Apple does plan on going with a larger display again for the iPhone 5S, hopefully they don't continue to stretch it vertically. I believe that would toss out the whole one-handed usage design idea at that point, and that's no good at all.

The one other thing I'd like to see change is the camera. With some of the best cameras on the market right now in our mobile phones focusing so heavily on low-light shots, this is clearly where Apple has to put its own focus for the next iPhone's camera. But, at the same time, it simply can't just do the same things and call it good. The next iPhone's camera has to take better shots in specific situations than, say, Nokia's Lumia 920, HTC's One, or Samsung's new Galaxy S 4. People are obviously expecting a lot from their smartphone cameras, and this is one area where Apple can't slack. This is one area I wish Apple had changed on the iPhone 5 right out of the gate.

But now I want to hear from you. I want to know how you'd change the iPhone 5, in relation to what you believe the next iPhone should feature. An even bigger display? New construction materials? A faster processor or more RAM? Let me know how you'd change Apple's popular iPhone 5.

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