Now that Apple’s slipped to number two in market share behind Samsung in smartphones, its iPhone strategy is coming under increasing scrutiny.
Will the company go “big” with a phablet model that functions as a kind of mini iPad Mini? Will Apple bring out a low end iPhone that will compete more directly on price with the flood of cheap Android smartphones?
It's hard to know for sure. For industry watchers the next release is also important as another measuring stick of CEO Tim Cook’s post-Steve Jobs performance.
But a recent report indicates the next two iPhones, which could both be released this year, were designed under the watch of the late Apple CEO Jobs, not Cook.
The first of the new models could be available as soon as this summer and will be the same size as the current iPhone 4S, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, which says Apple is also looking at ways to bring out a new cheaper iPhone.
A new iPhone could sport a new version of iOS with additional features including an improved Maps program, a faster processor and improved camera.
But if all Apple does is improve current features, the company could risk a perception that it’s falling behind Samsung on the innovation front.
At last month's preview unveiling of its Galaxy S4, Samsung showed off a number of cutting edge features including a dual-record mode that lets the person taking a picture or video insert their own image or video, and an eye-tracking feature that lets you scroll or pause a screen with your eye movements.
No kill switch for iPhone or iPad
San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón said Apple government liason Michael Foulkes told him the next two generations of iPhone have already been developed.
In an interview with the San Francisco Examiner, Gascón said Foulkes told him the new iPhones “preceded Tim Cook.”
Gascón arranged the meeting with Foulkes to try and persuade the company to include a “kill switch” that would make iPhones and iPads less desirable to thieves.
He said the iPhone and other mobile devices were involved in half of San Francisco’s robberies last year.
But Gascón reportedly came away from the meeting disheartened that Apple has no plans to include such technology. Presumably the reason for noting the next two iPhones have already been developed was to convey the idea that it was too late for Apple to add any new features.
Gascón, who has pushed the telecommunications industry to adopt kill switch technology, speculated the companies are more motivated by profits.
“I think there’s just too much [money] being made on stolen phones,” he told the SF Examiner.