Like a lot of other people, I've been pondering where Apple's next iPhone will fall in line with the rest of the competition given the various new features being rumored across the Web these past few months. As I see it, the only things that seem like sure bets are a faster processor and a bump in its camera sensor; inclusion or exclusion of anything else (NFC, 4G, larger screen, kitchen sink) is anything but a sure thing.
After looking at the many possible hardware enhancements Apple could have in store for its next device, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I’d be satisfied with just the two additions that I see as a must (as well as the most probable), namely a faster processor and an upgrade to the camera.
What's interesting to me is that most iPhone users would probably posit that even without a dual-core processor or a +4-inch screen, the iPhone 4 is still the most complete smartphone package on the market. Android users that boast of beefed up hardware are to those PC users in the mid- to late ’90s who boasted that their dual-core machines had the Mac beat by a country mile. Both camps, the PC users and the Android faithful, fail to realize that Apple users don’t care about the specs; they care about the seamless user experience that comes sans instructions and bearing the little logo of an Apple on the box.
The consistent quality of Apple products paired with the familiarity and simplicity of the “experience” has groomed a devoted consumer following, while simultaneously attracting new users. Call it whatever you want, when returning users know what to expect of a company’s product and said company delivers that experience every time, the user doesn’t demand much beyond more of the same. In the case of the next iPhone, if more of the same means iOS with a little extra speed and better pictures thrown in, that’s just fine by them.
All of that said, I won’t deny that iPhone users would still love a little extra screen real estate, and that new NFC thing sure looks neat. Of course, it might be another six months to a year before there’s a whole lot of tapping going on. Removable SD card? Yeah, great, but everyone knows that’s not happening.
I think most would agree that we won't see the next iPhone until September, which leaves plenty of time for wild conjecture and wishful thinking. I’m sure Jobs will have “one more thing,” and iPhone users everywhere will be doing a jig because of it. Still, I maintain that most of the iPhone community’s wants and needs will be handily fulfilled with the rollout of iOS 5.