While rumors and speculation still surround Apple’s next generation iPhone handset – the iPhone 4S or the iPhone 5, depending on whom you believe – other cell phone manufacturers continue to develop newer, faster handsets to compete in the marketplace. This week, a leak took the wraps off what is being called the Nexus 4G – Google’s next flagship Android handset which is scheduled for launch sometime in November 2011. With the next iPhone rumored to be launching in September 2011, let’s take a brief look at how these handsets will stack up against one another.
Nothing is yet known about what kind of upgraded internals the next iPhone will ship with. It’s rumored to be packing a dual-core processor, which is likely a derivative of the A5 processor currently powering the iPad 2. As the iPhone 4 has 512MB of RAM, the next iPhone will likely push this up, perhaps to 1GB. Most analysts and journalists doubt that Apple will be including a true 4G LTE radio in the next iPhone as Verizon is the only carrier in the US with a reasonably sized LTE network at this point.
There are many rumors swirling around concerning the display, with most believing that the physical size of the display will grow to somewhere around 4” total, while keeping the same screen resolution so developers won’t have to do any scaling with their apps. Technically, this display will still be able to be called a “Retina Display” although the pixels-per-inch count would be lower than the iPhone 4. Finally the jury is still out on whether or not the next iPhone will receive an upgraded rear camera, but it is largely expected that Apple is going to move the flash to the opposite side of the phone to get rid of red-eye and other artifacting that is currently plaguing the iPhone 4.
If it truly is launching just a month after the next iPhone, the Nexus 4G could end up a serious competitor. The processor is expected to be a dual-core processor running somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.2 to 1.5 GHz; this would either be one of Texas Instruments’ OMAP 4460 chips, or a newer Qualcomm Snapdragon. The phone will most likely ship with 1GB of RAM as well. Since it has the “4G” moniker as part of its name, rest assured the Nexus 4G will almost definitely be shipping with an LTE radio in it. Rounding out the rest of the rumored specs, the phone will have a 720p HD display – the physical size is unknown but expect it to be well over 4” at this resolution – and a front/rear camera combination which will probably be 1 megapixel and 5 megapixels respectively.
The hardware is, of course, not much without an operating system to power it. Apple took the wraps off of iOS 5 at the recent Worldwide Developers’ Conference, with most of the major announcements showing off huge improvements in daily-use items like notifications. The Nexus 4G will most likely ship with Android 4.0 – codenamed “Ice Cream Sandwich”. This will be Google’s first version of Android that combines the phone operating system with the tablet version, so it’s expected that it will be a strong offering.
Without knowing more about Apple’s plans for the next handset, it’s tough to say whether or not the Nexus 4G will be an “iPhone 5 killer”. What is clear is that in the end, we’re all benefiting from the heavy competition playing out in the marketplace between Apple and Google, with better and better handsets coming out each year.