Saturday, Oct 01, 2011
It's a rare thing lately to be so close to an Apple Event and not yet have the surprise spoiled. Sure there will be a new version of the iPhone, but what will it be? I've written up my best guesses and many others have done the same. I especially liked John Gruber's recent post about the inelegance of the teardrop design. With just a few days to go though, there's still a great deal of speculation as to what the new phone will look like, or even if it will be anything beyond a processor bump of the current design. That kind of uncertainty is so much more fun than the spoiled surprise of a lost iPhone in a bar, followed by the letdown felt by the child who peeked into the back of the closet early and was left without a surprise on Christmas day. Given last year's Gizmodo iPhone 4 debacle it wouldn't surprise me if Apple hasn't let a single iPhone 5 off of the Apple campus. The only glints of evidence we have for a new form factor are 3rd party cases already arriving in stores, and many have doubts of their credibility. This time around it's very unlikely that Apple has given case makers the form-factor in advance, an opinion bolstered by the fact that those companies revealed to be making 'iPhone 5 cases' are not the major brands. I wouldn't be surprised if a Foxconn employee snuck some silicone putty into the factory to make a 3-minute mold of new iPhone hardware, considering how valuable a month's head start on case design would be to accessory manufacturers. Do the cases accurately portray the next iPhone? Are we getting nothing more than a bump to an 8MP camera and A5 processor in an iPhone 4 case? I've heard smart people say that each of these is true and the other is not, but more than any rumor I believe that Apple has taken information segmentation further year by year, and that even many members of the iPhone team are only given enough information to perform their role, and they may get surprises as well. The uncertainty is exciting, and even as the tightest lips seem to loosen in the days and hours before a big event, I hope to be in the dark up until Tuesday's reveal, because while guessing is a lot of fun, who really wants to be the Grinch?
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