The New iPhone Might Not Be a Huge Upgrade

Tomorrow Apple will announce a new iPhone that might not be your iDream product

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Tomorrow Apple will hold a big media event where the company will likely announce a new iPhone. It is also Tim Cook's first product launch as CEO, so many are expecting a flashy new offering from the maker of sparkly new things. But the speculation in the run up to the announcement is not pointing to anything revolutionary about the iPhone 5: a thinner design with a faster processor and a better camera.

In the oceans of rumors that precede any Apple event, the most credible sounding details of the new phone have been an upgraded 8 mega-pixel camera, and the faster A-5 dual core processor. The Wall Street Journal's Geoffrey Fowler also reports, "Apple has been working on an iPhone that is thinner and lighter with an improved eight-megapixel camera but details otherwise are unclear." He asks, "What features will be sufficient to dazzle consumers? For years, Apple has won converts in part because of the freshness of the iPhone's design and software capabilities that didn't exist elsewhere."

In a sort of counter speculation, some are even suggesting that the iPhone 5 won't be unveiled at all. Based on a screen shot of the latest iTunes beta, 9to5mac believes Apple will only announce an updated iPhone 4:  "Today, rumors of a re-design can essentially be put to rest. Inside the latest iTunes beta is a specific mention of the 'iPhone 4S.' Along with the new iPhone name of 'iPhone 4S' comes an image, and it is of a CDMA iPhone 4."

But even if the phone doesn't dazzle, it might not matter, Fowler argues. "A survey by ChangeWave Research in July found that 46% of consumers planning to buy smartphones in the next 90 days would choose an iPhone," he writes. "Apple has caught me with the 'magic' of the phone, not the technical specs," Jeremiah Warren, a 19-year-old filmmaking student, told Fowler. It's new, it's Apple: that's all the matters.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.