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Summary of the Leaked iPhone 5 Pictures

Last week, numerous photos and videos of the next iPhone leaked to both 9to5mac and macrumors. I've compiled the important details below. The first picture is a mockup, while the second picture is almost positively an actual picture of the next iPhone's back.  Additional pictures can be found at the links above. 


Naming the new iPhone 

The next iPhone will likely be called one of three options: iPhone 5, iPhone 6, or the new iPhone.

iPhone 5 will never happen because it lends itself to obvious headlines such as "Apple finally releases the iPhone 5" and "iPhone 5 arrives a year late". Neither of which is flattering.

iPhone 6 won't happen either because normal consumers know the iPhone by its external appearance. Under that context there are three iPhones: the original iPhone, iPhone 3G, and iPhone 4. Apple can't and won't create confusion by skipping over 5 to 6.

The new iPhone will be called "the new iPhone", joining "the new iPad" and the rest of the Apple lineup (MacBook, iMac, Apple TV, etc) with no numbers. After this year, they won't even refer to new hardware as "the new iPhone" in print, it'll just be "iPhone".


iPad 2 vs iPad 3

I can't believe I'm about to do this.  I hate doing this because specs meaning absolutely nothing anymore.  That being said, it's a good way to compare the products concisely as long as you remember that not all things on this list are of equal importance.  In the real world it's performance that matters, and the new iPad will crush everything including the iPad 2 in the real world.  Proceed with caution.  

  iPad 2 iPad 3
Display 1024 x 768 2048 x 1536  
Display Resolution 132 ppi 264 ppi 2x more
Display Pixels 0.8 Million 3.1 Million  4x more
Processor 1 Ghz Dual Core 1 Ghz Dual Core same
Graphics Dual Core Quad Core 2x better
Memory 512 MB 1 GB 2x more
Storage 16/32/64 GB 16/32/64 GB same
Wireless 3G 4G LTE  
Data Speed 7.2 Mbps 73 Mbps 10x faster
Bluetooth 2.1 4 a little better
Battery Capacity 25 Watt Hrs 42.5 Watt Hrs 70% bigger
Battery Life 10 on WiFi, 9 on 3G 10 on WiFi, 9 on 4G same
Rear Camera 0.7 MP, 720p 5.0 MP, 1080p much better
Weight 1.325 lbs 1.44 lbs 8% heavier
Dimensions 9.5 x 7.31 x 0.346 in 9.5 x 7.31 x 0.37 in <1 mm thicker


Note: Yes, I know it's called "The new iPad" or "iPad 3rd Generation" and not iPad 3, but that's annoying


Important Update: ATT vs Verizon 4G LTE

AT&T just updated their pricing on 4G LTE plans.  I'm not sure why, but one must assume that Verizon's superior coverage forced AT&T to offer more data for the same price.  Notice that for $30 on AT&T you get 3GB, but on Verizon it's only 2GB.

With the ultrafast 4G LTE speeds, you will probably consume more data.  Accordingly this has a big effect on my recommendation to choose Verizon for it's superior coverage.  It's not as clear cut anymore, and so you'll have to choose which is personally best for you based on three criteria: coverage, price, and speed.  

But, I'm going to be concise and say:  Only people who live in cities with Verizon 4G and no AT&T 4G should get Verizon.  Everyone else should probably get AT&T.

I realize this is an important decision, so for a super indepth take, read this guy.


The New iPad

Today Apple unveiled the new iPad with a Retina display, 4G LTE speeds, quad core graphics, and 5MP camera.  It doesn't have a name or number, but instead follows the naming convections of the computers (MacBook, iMac, etc) with just "iPad".  

Apple also unveiled a new Apple TV which supports 1080p video.  TV Shows and Movies are now synced via iCloud to all your devices.  

I previously stated that I'd be getting a 16GB iPad with Verizon 4G LTE, but with the addition of TV Shows and Movies on the iPad which take up significant space, I'll be upping mine to 32GB.

Also, preorders start NOW, so go to and click the blue "Pre-Order Now" button.


4G Battle: Verizon vs AT&T

Last month I explained the differences and evolution of 2G, EDGE, 3G, 3G+, and 4G LTE.  Now that we know the iPad 3 (actually I think it'll called the iPad HD) will have 4G LTE - the question becomes which service carrier should you get if you want 4G LTE on the iPad?

The US's two main carriers, Verizon and AT&T, both have 4G LTE but as of today they have some differences.

Verizon has 4G LTE in 196 cities which it says covers 200 million people.  They claim that within 3 months they will cover two thirds of all Americans.  Currently, their network speed is advertised at 5-12 Mbps download and 2-4 Mbps upload. You can use this tool to see the coverage in your city.

AT&T on the other hand currently covers only 28 cities and 74 million Americans.  (Don't be fooled by the tricky "4G" marketing claiming 200 million americans! Since they are losing the 4G LTE race, they've resorted to misleading customers as we discussed here in the 4th paragraph.) They don't advertise their network speeds but many tests show 7-15 Mbps, including this one from CNN of about 13 Mbps download.  You can use this tool to see if you are one of the lucky 28 cities covered by AT&T 4G LTE.

In summary, AT&T covers 28 cities at speeds of 7-15 Mbps download while Verizon covers 196 cities at speeds of 5-12 Mbps. Whether you chose slightly faster speeds or more coverage is up to you, but remember it varies from city to city and we don't yet know the affect that many new 4G LTE iPad's will have on the network performance. 

When I purchase my iPad 3/iPad HD I'll be getting Verizon.  The main reason is that if I get AT&T, and I'm not in one of those 28 cities, then my speeds immediately drop to the 3-5 Mbps of the 3G network.  And the difference between Verizon's 4G LTE and AT&T's 3G is great, and with AT&T's smaller coverage map, only having 3G is a real risk.  By getting Verizon, I'm certain that I'll have coverage in 168 cities (196 minus 28) that is definitely faster than AT&T, and in the other 28, I guess I'll just have to live with 12 Mbps as compared to 15 Mbps. Tough life.  


How to Buy an iPad 3

We don't know if Apple will do preorders, but they didn't last year.  So the best guess we can provide at this point for getting an iPad 3 is to look at the iPad 2 launch last year.  In summary: order online within 6 hours of orders going live (early in the morning).  For more details, read on.

Wednesday March 2 - iPad 2 announced

Friday March 11 at 3:41am EST - iPad 2 online orders begin

Friday March 11 at 9:13am EST - iPad 2 online order delivery estimates get delayed to 2-3 weeks

Friday March 11 at 5pm Local Time - Apple Stores start selling iPad 2's to huge lines at the stores

Tuesday March 15 - some online orders start arriving for the first customers

Tuesday March 15 - iPad 2 online order delivery gets delayed to 4-5 weeks 

During these initial days, Apple Stores received shipments of iPad 2's almost daily, but they were sporadic and lines would start forming immediately.  You had to be there within 1-2 hours of the shipment arrival or they sold out.  Even then, the specific model iPad you want could have been sold out already. (ie. "Only Verizon 3G iPad 64GB are left.")

In short, you need to order online as soon as possible.  Last year, waiting until 9:30 EST to order meant a delay of 2-3 weeks!  We will know exactly what the ordering situation is next Wednesday, March 7th at 1pm EST when Apple announces the iPad 3.


Which iPad 3 should I get?

There are three considerations: storage capacity, price, and 4G/3G connectivity.

Let's start with price. The iPad 3 prices will probably be very similar to, if not the same as, the iPad 2.  As a reminder here is the pricing matrix as presented by Steve Jobs last year.

Next is storage, which is a really hard question to answer since it's a specific to each person's uses. Roughly speaking for 85% of you 16 Gb is plenty, for 10% 32 Gb is plenty, and the last 5% carry around way too much data.  Just look at your iTunes to see how much storage you are currently using.  Then consider what exactly you'll be syncing to your iPad...

Personally, I would never put music on my iPad.  It's already on my phone which I always have with me. If for some reason I'm without my iPhone but I have my iPad (can't think of a single scenario for this, but I'll play along), then I would just use Pandora to stream music to my iPad. 

I would also never put pictures on my iPad.  I take all my pictures with my iPhone, so it's much easier to keep them there and just let iCloud sync the most recent 1000 to my iPad for large screen viewing if necessary.  And 1000 pictures takes up minimal to no space.

That leaves only apps, books, and movies to take up 16 Gb.  I don't keep a movie library on there, so that's plenty.  I'm getting the 16 Gb version.  

Finally, 4G/3G connectivity or not?  That's easy, unless you travel a lot or have a daily commute, stick with WiFi only.

Here's the typical use cases to help see where you fit.


Mountain Lion Non-Announcement

Apple posted a simple preview site of the new software for the Mac today on It's stunning to me that a new operating system is being previewed without an event. Imagine Windows 8 just showed up on a Microsoft website one day with no fanfare - yaaa, no.

Apple is moving to bring the iPad and iPhone experience to the Mac, but without just copying it. I have the best beta tester in the world - my dad - who can break anything and attach to incorrect logic chains better than anyone. To me, this new system is aimed squarely at him. It's his iPad, on his Mac, but tailored to it, not just copied.

However, that's not the most striking thing about this preview - that would be the "Non-announcement". If you've never read John Gruber's writing, now is the time to start:

We were sitting in a comfortable hotel suite in Manhattan just over a week ago. I’d been summoned a few days earlier by Apple PR with the offer of a private “product briefing”. I had no idea heading into the meeting what it was about. I had no idea how it would be conducted. This was new territory for me, and I think, for Apple.

His take on Apple's self awareness to have a non-announcement is fascinating.



We know almost everything about the iPad 3

The leaks and rumors have really heated up this past week and we now know most of what will be announced on the iPad 3.  Here's a rundown with appropriate links.

- announcement will be March 7

- release will be March 9 or March 16

- exterior will look nearly identical to the iPad 2

- screen will be "Retina" quality of the iPhone 4 & 4S (better resolution than HD)

- data speeds will be 4G LTE 

- battery will be significantly larger (with the same or slightly better battery life)

- processor will be quad core speeds

- better camera (not sure how much better yet)

So, it will look the same and have the same great battery life; but, it will have one of the best screens ever produced, with the fastest data speeds possible, and quad core processing speeds.  

Typically, there is a lot of wishful thinking involved in Apple rumors, and then the actual announcement comes and something gets "left out" due to design considerations.  This doesn't seem to be the case here, and would mark the first time since I've been closely following Apple (2008), that every single hopeful rumor looks to be true.  There's literally nothing more they could add to this product.  

I know this sounds like a superlative, but it's not - I think the iPad 3 will have the same magic feel that the iPhone 1 had.  It will be a step change better than everything else on the market and literally seem impossible.