Signals have been surfacing over the blogosphere that Apple may have something special in store for us with the iPhone 5. Here are the two main reasons why:
1- The iPhone concept is stagnating. Since the iPhone 3G, Apple has been innovating incrementally and it looks like it has more or less reached the end of a cycle with the iPhone 4. Apple has used us to regular game changing innovations that completely redefine the rules of competition in the market (Macbook air, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch etc...). Furthermore, it looks like Apple is working on lots of cool stuff such as NFC chips, tactile screens that can recognize up to 4 touch points, a new system that would allow the phone to be controlled via the camera (ex: while listening to messages, you simple flick your finger in front of the cam to delete or skip) etc...
2- Its competitors have stepped up their game. Android now enjoys a 35%+ market share and shows no sign of slowing. More crucially, Google looks determined to address Android's one shortcoming: fragmentation. Openness may be cool in principle but it has resulted in operators loading Android phones with crappy apps and basically building their own version of the software. The result is a very uneven customer experience that widely varies according to the phone and carrier. With Google now tightening its grip over the Android eco-system, more people will flock to the little green man and the Android market will take a more central place. This in turn means more app downloads which equals more ad revenues and a higher potential for monetization. You get the picture.
Bring it on Stevy!
So how will Apple try to re-establish its preeminence over Android? I expect a push on content since that is where the threat represented by Android is the greatest. We can expect more stuff to be sold through iTunes (concert tickets for example) and maybe mobile payment. One thing is for sure: it will be pretty interesting battle.