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Report: iPhone 5 Will Be 'Completely Redesigned' (nytimes.com)
76 points by joshrule on Jan 18, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 48 comments



I really don't like this co-branding the Times has been doing for awhile. This is actually a ReadWriteWeb article, not an article written by Times staff, and not one that goes through the Times' fact-checking process or anything else.

Here's the original: http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/iphone_5_completely_red...

Every time I get an article like this, and it's under the times brand, I presume that it's been through the editorial processes of the Times. But it hasn't. It's a way to confuse credibility and I really wish the Times wouldn't do this.


The New York Times selling unsubstantiated rumors as newsworthy, shows why the newspapers are in trouble. It is nearly impossible to imagine Apple allowing someone else's shoddy product to carry their logo...let alone doing so on a regular basis.


It's not sold... it's just a syndicated blog. You won't find this article in the newspaper...


Only Apple can get this sort of marketing fluff in the The New York Times very morning Wall Street will respond to the announcement about Jobs. When Endgadget calling their sources "Reliable"is sufficient for its editors, the Times is only one or two steps above MacRumors.


I think it's important to note that this isn't a New York Times piece but a Read Write Web (and an amateurly written one at that) reposted in the NYT template shell. It's a bit misleading to call it an NYT article entirely, though they should take some responsibility for republishing it.


How would it be different if they hired an independent journalist to write it? Apple gets their PR in front of analysts on the subway and the The New York Times can maintain plausible deniablity.


If the NYT puts their logo on it, they have to take complete responsibility for its contents like they would an article written by in-house staff.


Why does it have to mention Steve as a key part to the process in such a way that his leave of absence determines the success or failure of Apple ? The last few quarters have been pretty good for them right ?

Jobs was absent for a good bit in 2009 (the same year 3GS was released). I think that if Jobs is the visionary and leader everyone talks about then a few months without him cannot dent the Apple market and development. The company will still run, it is still running. It did it in 2009 and it can do it again in my opinion.


Because most business journalism isn't all that good.

If the product is going to be out in the summer you can bet a good amount of the design has been going on for many months. Obviously Jobs would be heavily involved in it, and would continue to be. This point of the article doesn't make much sense to anyone who thinks about it for more than a few seconds or who is familiar with how products are designed; it's as if they intentionally decided to keep the story at the surface-level.


Because most business journalism isn't all that good.

Science journalism is bad. Political journalism stinks. Is it a case of those who can do, do, but those who can't report?


The 3GS was an evolutionary product. If the Iphone5 is a revolutionary departure from what Apple has been doing (e.g. like the iPod was from Apple Computers), then who controls the company matters greatly.

It's very likely that without Jobs, the iPhone5 will be released with all kinds of little warts that a team under his guidance would have caught.


3G was also an evolutionary product, as was the 2G. The revolutionary products take a long time. Long enough for Jobs to take a vacation, come back, and they will still be working on it.


I thought he was taking a "medical leave of absense" and not a vacation.

It's possible that his condition is deteriorating, especially considering this is his second length leave of absence.

How long will the product development take---2 years? 3 years?

How long will Steve be out---a year? When he returns will he be at a 100% or will he likely leave for medical reasons again? For many people, this looks like the 'end of an era' with Steve Jobs.


The cult of personality around Jobs cuts both ways. For years he (and Ives) has been viewed, if not held, as the rock of Apple, and the font of its inspiration.

That perception can't just suddenly change overnight when its no longer convenient.


I didn't see anything in there about a new design, just different software capabilities. A new design, to me, would be a slightly larger screen so that my Kindle-App technical books would be more readable.


Opinions differ. To me, a 'complete redesign' means that all previous design decisions get revisited. The end effect of a redesign could, in extreme cases, even be the identical product (that is what Coca-Cola eventually did in the 80s)

For iPhone, I would expect differences, though. The technology (especially batteries and screens) improves rapidly, and the target audience changes, too. On the one hand, apple has to reach out to less technologically savvy users; on the other hand, even those likely are more familiar with the UI than the original iPhone buyers were.

I would expect that the UI and the hardware should focus more and more on the cloud. The (eventual) end result of that will be the removal of the iPod connector in iPhone 7 or therabouts.


Sounds like they've bought too much of the hype without having any tangible to show for it.

It's very likely that we won't see a Home button on any future iOS devices; that's pretty impressive, but the new gestures seem to perform the same function really well. It should put Apple way ahead of other mobile platforms who still struggle with which order to place all their buttons.


I don't buy it. We might see an option to make Home inert, but to be completely buttonless hurts discoverability and familiarity with non-techy consumers.

(I won't say it's completely impossible that Apple would do it, just that it's overall a bad idea.)


That would be perfect for my toddler. He sits on my lap and plays with Uzu (an app) but can't resist the home button. There seems to be many people asking in forums for cases that solve the same problem by obscuring the button. It could be great for a kiosk mode too, especially if the gestures to get out of the app could be a chosen secret.


Yes, it would make a great toy / embedded device.

However, as a phone I don't see how less than a back button and a home button is sufficient. It's a lot like the mouse debate. I need at least a couple hardware buttons.


Lots of iPhone users are quite productive with just a home button and no back button. Not to say that it's definitively better that way (I think I prefer it, though I haven't spent nearly as much time with an Android device), but it's certainly not so much worse as to cause an outcry for it.


I use an iPhone daily, and have only played with friends Androids, but the Android back hard key doesn't work as well for me. I think it's asymmetric position works worse for people whose thumb is on the other side of the device (if they're a lefty). No such issue with iPhones home button; there's no wrong option.


Discoverability isn't an issue if the learning curve is small enough to fit into a 30-second ad. By the time iPhone 5 comes out, everyone who watches major network TV will know how to use it.


Maybe buttonless for the iPad, but I doubt it for the iPhone as you would lose the ability to use it one-handed.


I'm starting to wonder if the persistent "no home button" rumor isn't coming from other device makers. It seems utterly unlike Apple.

And I wouldn't be surprised at all if someone else was floating their design concepts as Apple rumors, so that people would see them, talk about them and consider them through the prism of deference to Apple's design track record.


Well, the unnamed platform you are referring to has already made public their intentions to work with no hardware buttons in the next version, so I think things will remain fairly even.


If you wanna know how likely a no-home-button iphone is, try doing a 4 or 5 finger swipe using only one hand.


... but there aren't many ordering problems with one button.

Daring Fireball has some good discussion on this; he thinks that the rumors of removing the Home Button are false (due to difficulty of discoverability and one handed-use).

http://daringfireball.net/linked/2011/01/12/gestures-home-bu...


But if Honeycomb (somehow) makes its way into smartphones, the struggle might well be over for Android!

For reference: http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/07/exclusive-interview-googl...


No it's gonna stay and gets a LED behind it, so it can glow in different colors, making a notification system. Calling it now!


Re: Jobs's absence, AAPL stock increased by 52% while he was gone from January 2009 to the start of July 2009.

Given that the iPhone 5 has been effectively complete for a little while, and given Apple's performance during 2009H1, I really don't see why there's a question about Apple's performance in 2011.


the results from 1/2009-7/2009 were the product of work completed earlier


Fair point. My extremely scientific analysis of (a) setting a 6-month interval on GFinance, and (b) dragging that 6-month interval forward from January 2009 revealed no lower than a 10% return on AAPL at any point in time.


Proximity payment system? Banks, meet your "Napster".


Would you explain why proximity payment is like Napster to banks? My (limited) understanding of proximity payment is that it is a token that isn't very different from the magnetic strip swipe; it is still a token that resolves to a particular bank account through a payment processing network.


Sorry for my rather brief thought. Here it is explained:

Napster changed the music industry forever and caused the music industry to (at least to some extent) change.

My thought is that proximity payments + API for banking system (ie: PayPal or Google equivalent) would shake things up for the banking industry.

In other words, if you could completely bypass the big banks - while they struggle to implement 10 year old payment system technology, not to mention high service fees - you'd end up with a system that is more convenient and manageable.

My point wasn't the file sharing aspect of Napster. It was about how Napster changed an industry.


I'm not sure what you are suggesting can change. You cannot completely bypass the big banks with just proximity payments. That's where the money is. Apple can help you move your money, from your bank account, to a merchant, into their bank account, but that's just Paypal level of functionality, nothing new.

Proximity non-card payments will change the situation for the debit/credit card operators, and possibly to a degree for Paypal-like services. Big banks are here to stay, and if they change something, it'll sooner be reasonably priced wire transfers to cut out the Paypal/cheque alternatives from hell.


You're thinking of a complete overall, whereas I am thinking a gradual disposition.

To some extent, the card is where the control is. PayPal knows this, which is why they came out with a debit and credit card.

If a proximity payment service emerged that could interact with the API inside a device, it is a matter of time before a "simple, affordable microtransaction" service/app comes about. From there, exponential growth due to the order of convenience and simplicity. Banks, meet your "Napster", as it were.

Imagine mint.com came out with a proximity payment system for all devices and used the existing mint.com system as your "Bank Account" overview. Simply amazing!


If a small business already has a merchant account at their bank, and can process proximity payments via Paypal or other ways, then they can avoid the 2-3% Bank/Credit Card charge every time someone uses a credit/debit card.


It's possible that the credit card companies might get affected by this if somehow these NFC technology communicate directly with the banks, akin to the debit system. But that's an unlikely scenario, credit cards and their reward system gives incentive to people to use their credit cards.


Rewards programs are not what keep competitors to Visa at bay, network ubiquity is.

Phones will replace credit cards.

I have a friend who works in IT for a fast food chain. They are gearing up for the iPhone5 among others. Drivers will be able to place their order on the highway for the next franchise location. When they arrive, they waive their phone at the proximity payment box and collect their food. The phone acts as both a payment method and a loyalty card with user history data down to the 'no mayo on the fish sandwich.'


More than banks its the credit card companies that could get short circuited. If itunes gives an option to associate a bank account with the account then you can pay direct to vendors and split the merchant fees with the place youre buying things.


Indeed. I would love to get my paycheque via a proximity transaction on my smartphone.

(Yes, that is sarcasm.)


Something tells me it will also have a bigger screen - like 4". The PPI would still be good enough, although less than 300 PPI.


good enough isn't something apple seems willing to compromise with on their displays. they were pretty clear about the 300ppi benchmark and it's significance when they announced the iphone 4. my guess is they never dip below that again on their phones.


Angry Birds will work in portrait orientation.


It is far too late for Jobs' illness to have any effect on the iPhone 5. That product is practically done from a design standpoint if it is going to be in user's hands by July.

If anything the iPhone 5 will be largely similar to the iPhone 4 except faster and with an NFC chip in it. And yes, a dual CDMA/GSM radio which happens to come from Qualcomm.


Jobs is not on leave. He went to meet his alien friends to get new iPhone design.




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