In my opinion the iPhone 4 is a near perfect device. When people ask me what might be added when the iPhone 5 debuts it usually takes me a few seconds to come up with an answer because there really is not a lot that I would do to improve the iPhone 4. Here's my short wish list for the iPhone 5:
The five-megapixel camera on the iPhone 4 is stellar. It's probably one of the best cell phone based cameras you can find and takes really amazing pictures. However, when I know I want to take "real" pictures I still carry a regular digital camera with me. It would be great if Apple could get the iPhone 5 camera to be on par with standalone compact cameras. A slight increase in sensor and lens size to improve overall image quality would be a good start (I'd be fine with the lens remaining fixed as I'm sure adding optical zoom would be out of the question). I'd also expect to see a slight increase in resolution, although I'm not one to compare cameras based on megapixel count. If Apple was able to pull this off then I might end up with my portable, carry everywhere dream device: a single small phone that doubles as a great camera and pocket computer.
This could be lumped in with the camera, but I thought I'd list it separately in case Apple can do one but not the other. I'd like to see a "real" xenon flash tube based flash on the iPhone 5. The small LED "flash" that many phones (including the iPhone 4) use is pathetic and really amounts to just a small flashlight to shine on your subject while the picture is being taken. A true xenon flash would allow the iPhone 5 camera to compete with standalone cameras for photography in low light. I'm sure this would drain the battery quickly, but it would be great to have when you need to take a few pictures and don't want to also carry a regular camera with you.
As the wireless carriers continue to roll out "4G" technology to more and more cities it will become important for the iPhone 5 to support 4G in order to remain competitive (at least on paper) with the ever increasing number of other 4G capable phones on the market.
Blackberry phones have it. Many Android phones have it. It's time for the iPhone to get a notification light. A small light that is hidden by the front glass when it isn't illuminated would be perfect. I'd love to have a way to see if I have any new e-mail or other messages by just glancing at the phone instead of having to actually turn the screen on.
The iPhone 4 has a great screen, both in size and resolution. I think it would be even better if Apple could squeeze just a little bit larger screen (maybe another half inch or so diagonally) into a device the same size or just ever so slightly larger. Just something a tad bigger would be great for reviewing photos and watching videos, but don't make it huge or else it won't fit easily in a jeans pocket.
The iPhone 4 is available with either 16GB or 32GB of internal storage with no way to expand the storage later. I'd like to see Apple at least bump the iPhone 5 up to a maximum of 64GB of storage to equal the current iPod Touch maximum. As we start to use the iPhone to store ever increasing numbers of photos and videos the extra space will really come in handy, especially since most people also have quite a few music and app files on their phones too. A 64GB iPhone 5 would allow you to shoot pictures and videos for a whole vacation and still be able to carry all your favorite music and apps with you on the same device.
This one is practically a given. Since the iPad just got bumped up to the dual-core A5 processor I expect the iPhone 5 to also include it. The iPhone 4 is no slouch but, as with everything in the tech industry, faster never hurts.
Those are the main things that I would include with the iPhone 5. There's no need for a physical keyboard or a smaller and less expensive model (as have been rumored). No need for drastic form factor or design changes. Apple should just keep with their tried and true strategy: Include a few nice upgrades on the new phone, and then start selling the old phone for $50 or $100. This keeps the bleeding edge tech fans that don't mind spending the full amount happy, and also allows other people who want an iPhone but don't want to spend several hundred dollars on one to get what they want too.
If Apple remains consistent with their yearly iPhone cycle then we can expect to see the iPhone 5 debut sometime around the beginning of June.