With just less than a week to go before the expected announcement from Apple about the latest iPhone, expected to be dubbed the iPhone 5S, we’ve all started to wonder what the “S” will stand for this go around. As you probably know, every second version of an iPhone carries the “S” moniker (iPhone 3G, then 3GS; iPhone 4, then iPhone 4S; current iPhone 5, then iPhone 5S). With the iPhone 3GS, the “S” stood for speed. With the iPhone 4S, the “S” stood for Siri.
He’s what I’ve come up with for as possibilities for the “S” in iPhone 5S.
No doubt about it, every iteration of the iPhone is faster than the last. We know Apple has used “Speed” before, as mentioned above, but this year we’re expecting a 31% boost in CPU performance thanks to a rumored new A7 processor. My best guess still has it as a dual-core CPU with a quad-core GPU, which gives six cores in all. Although doubtful, Apple could double the RAM of the iPhone 5S to 2GB (instead of just 1GB) to provide an even speedier sensation.
Space (or Storage)
Other rumors we’ve heard in the past few months leading up to the iPhone 5S launch on September 10th indicate we might finally see an iPhone with 128gb of storage space, which would be double the space of the current 64gb model. In offering a 128gb model, Apple would be able to claim another first: the iPhone 5S would be the first phone with that much internal storage.
When the iPhone 5S is unveiled on September 10th, it’ll roll out alongside iOS 7, which has a completely redesigned look and feel. It’s more “flat” in appearance, ditching 3D effects and skeuomorphism like drop shadows (icons), reflections of light (icons), stitching on leather (Calendar), and torn yellow paper on a legal pad (Notes). Since the iPhone 5S will be the first device to ship with iOS 7 pre-installed, the “S” could easily stand for Seven.
While this one might be a bit of a stretch, it’s possible the “S” could stand for Stylish if indeed a gold / champagne model is available. Gold is, after all, associated with style, wealth and power, all of which Apple’s brand represents. A gold / champagne-colored iPhone would be a departure from the simplistic black and white choices they’ve made available for the iPhone since the beginning. Since such a color option is unprecedented, it could very well be worthy of the “S” moniker.
While the iPhone is essentially synonymous with smartphone these days, Apple could be dedicating the “S” in iPhone 5S is it’s Smart capabilities. Since the iPhone 4S, in which the “S” stood for Siri, Apple has continually tried to make Siri (and thus, the phone itself) smarter and more aware of its user. This could be an extension on Siri, in that we’ll surely see new Siri capabilities added as part of this iOS release. Among a few examples that come to mind: always-on listening mode, phone settings that adjust based on day / time / location, and integration with Safari on your desktop for bringing together your searches and other relevant local, social and news information.
Ever since Apple bought security company AuthenTec back in July of 2012, the rumor mill has been on fire with predictions of a fingerprint scanner embedded in a future iPhone. Supply chain reports suggest that we very well may see those predictions come to reality this year with the iPhone 5S. Obviously, there’s very few forms of security better than biometric, since no two humans have the same fingerprint. Instead of a simple 4 digit unlock code, your unique thumbprint could identify you as the owner of the device. That technology could also be utilized by third-party apps via an SDK, allowing those apps to take advantage of the extra level of security. With the iPhone being used more and more in enterprise and government agencies, you’d be foolish to write off the importance of security on a mobile device. Even with consumer implementations, mobile wallet services could take advantage of a fingerprint scanner before allowing you access to your personal financial data and credit cards.
These are just a few of my predictions for what the “S” in iPhone 5S could stand for. There are others, of course, and who knows — maybe Apple will just call the next iPhone “the iPhone” like they did with the 4th generation iPad, ditching the numerical moniker altogether. After all, in just a few short years, we’d start sounding weird calling it “the iPhone 10″ or “iPhone 9S”. What are your predictions for the big announcement next week? Let me know on Twitter: @mbchp.
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