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iPhone 5 - Can Apple Raise Its Game

Apple does incredibly well out of the smartphone - in fact more than half its income comes from its one product line. Or to quantify that more vividly, if Apple floated iPhone off as a separate company it would be bigger than Microsoft!

Which means a new iPhone is real news.

Especially when Apple is no longer seen as the leader in the sector. The iPhone 4S is a solid product, beautiful in the hand and to look at. Functionally though, its five years old. Apple dropped the ball on cloud services, was slow to add social integration and in its last OS update had to resort to cribbing off the competition - a move dripping in irony.

The result has been a massive erosion of the iPhone's market share. As smartphones have moved into the mainstream buyers have been moving elsewhere in droves. Barring the US and UK markets, where Apple has continued to hold its own, Apple hasn't kept pace with Android and now Microsoft are building some momentum behind Windows Phone those sales are going to be more of a struggle than before.

Apple has struggled to innovate recently too. Its last few upgrades have been all about slapping higher resolution screens into existing devices - a smoke and mirrors trick which hasn't really worked out.

Which brings us to the iPhone 5. The failure to maintain its once impenetrable security has meant that we have a good idea about what the new phone will be about - a taller device with a taller screen and new widescreen (tallscreen) format. Which should make for improved video watching but isn't exactly innovative. More interesting is the new iPhone connector which seems to be a certainty after multiple, corroborating leaks. The suggestion here is that Apple will implement an even stricter Made for iPhone licensing program and the new iPhones will only speak to devices for which Apple has been paid a hefty licensing fee.

Whilst the faithful will lap up the new iPhone 5 I wonder whether this amounts to enough of an upgrade to persuade more casual buyers, or a larger proportion of the marketplace to bypass leading phones from other platforms?

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