New iPad Underscores Apple’s Development Plan for Next iPhone

by Matt Klassen on March 13, 2012

Longer battery life, better graphics, LTE capabilities; they’re all features that we’ll see on third generation iPad when its released later this week and while such features are the makings of yet another sure-fire tablet success story, they speak volumes to Apple’s product development plan for its iPhone line as well.

Traditionally, Apple’s development modus operandihas been to release its newest features on the iPhone first, then scaling them up for use in the next iPad. But with the new iPad, Apple is uncharacteristically diverging from this plan, choosing this time to unveil new upgrades and industry changing features on its tablet brand that we’ll now likely see make an appearance on the next iteration of the iPhone.

So what does this mean for the next iPhone? For starters, don’t bother calling it the iPhone 5 anymore, as Apple’s change from a numbered naming system to the ambiguous ‘new’ or ‘next generation’ moniker is likely here to stay….

The features we’ll see on the iPhone aside for a brief moment, why would Apple want to change its naming pattern for its latest products? For starters, while it ultimately didn’t affect the sales, the technology world was devastated when this past year all our anticipation and excitement was met with the iPhone 4S, instead of the iPhone 5.

There was a sense that “4S” meant less upgrades, limited development, and thus, nothing much to get excited about (and in my mind, such thinking was right on the money). To combat the way consumer expectation is tied to this numbering system, Apple is likely leaving it behind, meaning the iPhone 5 will likely be the ‘next iPhone’. As Sarah Rottman Epps, an analyst with Forrester Research, explains, “They want to get away from the expectation that it has to have a number on the end to know if it’s a really big refresh or just a little refresh.”

Aside from the naming, Apple has also departed from its previous technology release plan. Till now, most of the new technologies like the Retina display, Siri and an improved iSight camera were introduced first on the iPhone and then scaled up to the iPad, but here we see new technology like LTE capability, enhanced graphics, and longer battery life first appearing on the new iPad.

While unusual, the explanation behind such a departure is likely to test the waters on technology that could have an adverse affect on the usability of the next iPhone, specifically LTE and how it affects battery life. Although Apple is saying that the iPad has sorted out any LTE battery draining issues, I’m sure the company wants some time to gauge what changes it may need to make for its much more popular iPhone brand before the new smartphone is released presumably later this year.

The iPad also unveiled the new A5X processor, a dual core chip with quad core graphics capabilities. While it will likely need to be scaled down (and thus slowed down) for the iPhone, look for it to make an appearance as well.

In the end, while this all remains speculation it’s based on years of observing how Apple works when it comes to product development, meaning that when things change (which they don’t often do) usually those changes are here to stay.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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