iPhone5 Speculation

Figuring that I’m just as qualified as all the other people who make up iPhone5 speculations – I’d like to make my own predictions.

My Key Premise: Apple tends to think in terms of scenarios/workflows instead of features – which I think is why they often surprise the press – the press is looking for features, and Apple tends to leak a few out – but for many they don’t make sense until they all add up and you see the workflow they intended. So, this year – I think Apple’s decided the key, marquee workflow of the iPhone 5 is “using your iPhone in the Car”. Here’s where I think it adds up:

  • Siri – I think Siri is *the* car command interface feature
  • Maps/Navigation – I think Apple’s finally decided that owning mapping is strategic – possibly by watching the evolution of Android’s maps, possibly just their own thoughts
  • Dock Connector – If Apple’s really changing the dock connector, and disrupting that ecosystem – I think they will clearly have a driver for it, or a reason it’s no longer important (e.g. dropping the floppy)
  • Magnets – Apple’s played a lot with using magnets for various things – witness the iPad2’s magnetic cover
  • Passbook – this makes it look like Apple’s broadening out the iPhone into local applications

What I think the iPhone 5 will look like:

  1. LTE – as much as a bone to the carriers to ensure strategic positioning as for users
  2. Physical tweaks to make it visible difference
  3. A really killer car experience

My WAG on how Apple’s going to do #3 above:

  • Inductive charging on the iPhone
  • Magnets supporting attachment to accessories (e.g. a killer car dock that charges and holds the iPhone w/no wires/clips)
  • NFC (or a really clever bluetooth type hack) allowing for contact style actions
  • Car mode – dropping your iPhone in the car dock triggers a # of things – an alternate screen display, connecting to BT audio/other items
  • Radio mode – an alternative screen to let the iphone control the car’s radio and other systems
  • A tie-up with a premium auto manufacturer – like BMW – e.g. “new stereo option has a spot your iPhone sticks to that charges it, turns maps/car mode on, and hooks it into the stereo”