Tomorrow, Apple is going to release the next version of the iPhone, it will be called iPhone4S, and it will have the same form factor as the current iPhone. I am not sure why this is a surprise to anyone?
If you believe Chinese iPhone case manufacturers, they think the next iPhone will have a teardrop design, but there is tons of evidence pointing to this being incorrect. I even wonder if the images of these cases are actually for iPodTouch. John Gruber has a great take on the teardrop skepticism.
The guts of the phone have definitely improved, faster processor, better camera, an option for 64GBs, and support for 4th Generation (4G/LTE) networks that AT&T, Verizon and Sprint have been building out so quickly this summer.
One of the nicer features we are getting with the next version of iOS is the ability to take a picture with the volume button on the side of the phone. I am pretty sure the teardrop design will render this feature useless.
So why is everyone going to freak out when Apple calls this an iPhone 4S, instead of 5? The phone is going to be a significant step forward but people are caught up by the look and feel and the silly version number. People think it’s not cool to have a new device if the outside is undistinguishable from the previous version. It makes it harder to show it off as a status symbol. Sometimes consumers drive me batty! :-)
I think we are all missing the real point, we are getting a new phone that will run iOS5 which is a superior operating system to iOS4, and depending on your view an OS with tight integration with both Twitter and Facebook. And who can forget about iCloud, Music Match and the magazine store front. Tomorrow’s announcement is going to be huge, I just hope Tim Cook and others can fend off the criticism if the phone looks the same.