The iPhone 5 was evolution rather than revolution, so what's in store for iPhone 6 or iPhone 5S, if Apple's next iPhone is so named.
Some rumours suggest that there will be a new cheaper iPhone, which may or may not be the iPhone 6 (it may well be the iPhone 5S, perhaps?). Digitimes says the cheap iPhone will have a plastic chassis rather like the iPhone 3GS - or at the least some kind of hybrid plastic-metal design. TechRadar's Gareth Beavis believes the lower cost market is something Apple can't afford not to be involved in.
Blogger Ed Valdez cites six reasons why we can expect an iPhone 6 announcement by June 2013 - a mere nine months after the iPhone 5. But it's still quite likely there will be an iPhone 5S instead of iPhone 6.
iPhone 6 design
Many potential buyers d on the iPhone 5's design. For some of you the taller screen was odd - it "looks strange at best," said nebulaoperator - and for others it simply wasn't big enough.
Lions87a reckons even 4.5 inches would be too little: "popular phones like the Galaxy S2 and S3 have shown that people are pretty happy nowadays to accept bigger than what the iPhone 5 is currently offering."
Writing in the Chicago Sun-Times, influential tech journalist Andy Ihnatko suggests that taller isn't necessarily better. "The benefit of bigger screens is almost entirely in their increased width, not their length," he writes.
"A wider keyboard is easier to type on. Books, web pages, and emails will have wider margins and they'll be more comfortable to read."
John Gruber of Daring Fireball agrees that bigger isn't always better, but he's not a fan of wider, either: while he says that "navigating the full screen while holding the iPhone in one hand is worse," rivals' wider screens mean it "really is far more difficult to do anything on them one-handed, including typing."
A new set of patents filed by Apple, that we outlined on 15 October 2012, suggest that the iPhone 6 design might hide external-facing components such as the camera and flash from view using a polymer-dispersed liquid crystal window which can change opacity on demand.
No surprises here: we had plenty of people telling us that rival firms' processors have more cores. However, as Lions87a pointed out, "If the iPhone 5 or Nokia 920 can run their OS without any lag or delay, and delivers a flawless experience, and the Galaxy S3 does the same with a quad-core, then the number of cores, and the speed of the cores is irrelevant. The argument turns into 'which operating system is best?'"
Did someone say operating system?
iPhone 6 operating system
iOS has been around for a while, and for many it's getting stale. "I don't think anyone can deny that the
UI needs a refresh when you see widgets and live tiles on competitors' phones," says Vincennes, while Tubemonkey2000 says that "the current [UI] is so tired and old it makes it seem really basic, sort of like a kids' toy."
Our own Gareth Beavis agrees, arguing that "there are so many tweaks Apple could make to its OS to turn it into more of a powerhouse – icons that update with information, or extending the widgets in the notification bar beyond weather and stocks... Apple is taking things very slowly on this front."
iPhone 6 price
iPhones have never been cheap, but in a world of credible - and cheaper - competition they look pricier than ever. Or maybe it's because the iPhone's price has gone up. Saltire is "surprised no-one has mentioned the price increase for the 16GB model", while Gareth Beavis says that "we simply cannot see how a 16GB model can cost £529 / $199, but to double the memory will cost an extra £70/ $100 with no other changes to the design."
There's no doubt that you pay more for the materials, fit and finish of an iPhone than you do for, say, a plasticky Android handset, and not everyone thinks that's worth it.
"£529 for a phone that is no better than my six month old Android shows the arrogance of Apple," Alastairmack says, while Beavis points out that when you consider contracts, "it's far and away the most expensive in the shop, and most of the time you don't even get unlimited data."
NFC has, possibly unfairly, been dubbed "Not For Commerce" (or more saltily, "No Effing Customers"), but for many it's the most obvious omission from the iPhone 5 - "not because of the technology itself," says Fmartins, "but to really give the critical mass contactless payments need. Plus, I would love to use the phone as my Oyster card."
For Fmartins, that would be good for everyone: while s/he isn't an iPhone fan, "it would have been nice seeing Apple push the envelope again so that I could benefit on [a] Lumia down the line." Gareth Beavis agrees. "It's not quite there yet in terms of market penetration for payments, but the world's largest network of accessories could definitely have made use of it for making ever cooler docks and cases," he says.
Other suggestions included more LTE bands, which we're sure we'll get next year when other UK 4G networks launch; expandable storage - not something we imagine Apple doing when it can flog you iTunes Match and/or get you to pay a small fortune for the 32GB model over the 16GB - and brighter, more saturated screens, although given the improvements to the iPhone 5's screen that one's largely a personal preference. Oh, and of course you'd like Apple to fix Maps too.
iPhone 6 reception
No, not antennas - they seem fine this time - but the critical reception. As Lusky79 says, even without cock-ups such as Maps, any new iPhone is going to be disappointing: "Even if Apple had all the suggestions [here], it would still seem mediocre because the revolution was the original iPhone and the other, similar, smartphones that followed." As Nenslo put it: "What the iPhone really needs is Steve Jobs."
iPhone 6 wireless charging
According to CP Tech, Apple filed a patent application last month for Wireless Power Utilization, a wireless charging system with near-field magnetic resonance (NFMR). That means we'll get wireless charging at last.
Hit the comments to add your wishes for the next iPhone.