Terrific post by Don Lehman analyzing the recent parts leaks and iPhone 5 rumors. He covers the rationale of the design choices using 4S and Macbook manufacturing insights. I was excited already about the more video friendly 16:9 screen, but this analysis of the rest of the hardware has me even more intrigued.
Don makes no mention of the new dock connector having faster data transfer speeds or faster charging, but I’m holding out hope for both.
For desktops, Apple has 3 form factors (iMac, Mac Mini, Mac Pro). For Notebooks, it has 5 or 6 (Air 11, Air 13, Retina MacBook Pro, MacBook Pro 13, Macbook Pro 15, etc). The iPod is currently available in 3 sizes. For the iPad and the iPhone, Apple currently has one form factor each.
If rumors are true and a taller iPhone and/or an iPad mini are coming in the Fall, that’s pretty big news. Apple will learn a lot about what customers want based on which device they buy, because the existing iPhone and iPad form factors will almost certainly remain in production (the 3GS is 3 years old and still selling strong and you can still buy the iPad 2).
Will we start to see people choosing an older model just because it has a smaller or larger form factor? I expect so.
It’s not exactly uncharted territory for Apple, but it will be interesting to see how they apply their learnings from other multi-form-factor product lines to the iPhone and the iPad. Will this be a transitionary period or will the iPhone and iPad continue to ship in multiple form factors?