I rarely do this. Especially because everyone seems to be doing this. Babbling about something before this something is officially introduced. I just wanted to briefly remark that I’m in the same line of thought as those who think that the external design of the new iPhone won’t be dramatically different from the iPhone 4’s. Of course I don’t know anything more than you do. My feeling is simply based on previous iPhone iterations. Every new iPhone has brought better technical specifications, better features and a processor/memory speed bump. As for external redesigns, consider this:
– From the original (2G) iPhone to the iPhone 3G: external redesign (and speed bump)
– From the iPhone 3G to the iPhone 3GS: speed bump
– From the iPhone 3GS to the iPhone 4: external redesign (and speed bump)
Perhaps it’s too short a sequence to deduce a pattern, but I think that tomorrow it’s time for ‘just’ a speed bump and general internal improvements (such as a redesigned antenna). I expect the outer look of the new iPhone to be quite similar to the current iPhone 4.
Some people will be disappointed. It always happens with a product like the iPhone, for which the hype and rumour flow is absolutely annoying all the time, and becomes unbearable as the official Apple event gets closer. But really, what do you expect? A thinner iPhone — say, like the iPod touch — is even harder to handle (I find the iPhone 4 a bit harder to handle than my old iPhone 3G, for instance). A teardrop-shaped “iPhone 5”? I’m with Gruber on this. An iPhone with a bigger screen? If the resolution stays the same (960×480), it will lose in pixel-per-inch resolution and won’t be as ‘Retina display’ dense as the current iPhone 4. I’m skeptical about this too.
As for me, if Apple tomorrow introduces a new ‘iPhone 4S’, I’ll be delighted, not disappointed. It means a longer lifecycle for existing iPhone 4 handsets out there, especially the Verizon variant, introduced rather recently. And a longer lifecycle for my iPhone 4, which I got in May when everyone was saying that we would have seen a new iPhone in July. A new iPhone 4S will mean the perfect update for current iPhone 3GS users who held on to their phones when the iPhone 4 came out. And overall the iPhone line will be refreshed, by reducing the price of the iPhone 4 and making it the cheaper iPhone while discontinuing the 3GS.
If my humble predictions happen for real, I bet that a number of disappointed pundits will blame Tim Cook and will go on and on about Apple losing Jobs’s ‘magic touch’ and various related nonsense. Sigh.