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The iPhone 4 has barely made it out of the gate, disappointing a host of consumers and Apple share holders, and people are already anticipating the iPhone 5. If it wasn't for the apparent failures of the iPhone 4's calling function, not to mention a lack of other things that were anticipated, people may not be looking to the supposedly glorious iPhone 5 future. Now that it is in the public consciousness the speculation has started, but at this point speculation is all it is. Here we gaze into a crystal ball and try to conjure a possible iPhone 5 preview.
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The first problem that Apple is likely to address with the iPhone 5 is the antenna issues that have surrounded the iPhone 4. There has been talk about the possibility of Apple churning out the iPhone 5 earlier that originally planned, but this would break their yearly release pattern. Instead they will likely cut their teeth on the current iPhone 4 before finally previewing their iPhone 5 with a properly developed antenna. If they do release an updated iPhone before the year ends, it will likely not be a full release and will not take the role of the iPhone 5, or whatever clever title Apple bestows on it. If they did release the iPhone 5 early it would likely be without a comparable release of new functions and this would undermine the general anticipation that most iPhone users have for the new model.
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iPhone Pro and iPhone Nano
There have been, for a couple years now, discussions about the possibility of an iPhone Pro and an iPhone Nano. The idea, supposedly, behind each one would be comparable to that of the iPod. The iPhone Pro would be a larger release with a complete video camera, as most of these "previews" were done before the iPhone had video capabilities, and a full size keyboard. The iPhone Nano would be comparably smaller, like the iPod Nano, and have fewer functions and a smaller price maybe even under $100. The iPhone Nano rumor may have actually resurfaced with new reports from "Apple insiders" that state there may be an iPhone Nano release with a 2.8 inch touch screen and Verizon connectivity. Does this mean that we may even be looking at an iPhone Shuffle?
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What we may end up seeing instead of an iPhone 5 is really an iPhone 4G, where the extension of the mobile data network becomes the main priority. It is debatable how quickly this upgrade will happen with the new data plan requirements of AT&T, but you can expect that the 4G network will continue to be the most asked about feature and will be included in most iPhone 5 previews. This is much of what the iPhone 3G's release was about, and you can definitely see that the absence of 4G in the iPhone 4 has allowed for the possibility of an iPhone 4G release next.
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The iPhone 5 could also mark the first time an American iPhone version is sold unlocked. In the coming smartphone wars the unlocking of the device is going to be incredibly important to remain competitive, and unlocked iPhones have not been pushed very dramatically in the markets where they are available. If an unlocked iPhone becomes the main focus of the next iPhone release then Apple can maintain its dominance a few years longer.
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The Possible iPhone 5 Preview
If there is a standard iPhone 5 that builds on the previous models the way that the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and iPhone 3G did, you can expect that the overall design that marked the visual difference in the iPhone 4 will be long gone. For many of the new features that have come along, Apple had to demonstrate a pertinent need as they were not things that people originally assumed were necessary on a mobile phone. Many of the major developments that people can expect from the iPhone will build on some of the newer features that have legs, such as a further refining of the FaceTime video calling and possibly an even better camera. Apple has put a lot of effort in to these developments, which can be seen clearly in their marketing strategy, and therefore they will likely extend this further. Of course this is all speculative and based on the idea that iPhone users will take to the FaceTime feature.