iPhone 5 Release Date: iPhone and iPad Mini Compete with Samsung, Android, and Kindle

If anything can cause more swirling rumors than Snooki's baby, it's a new bit of Apple technology about to hit the market. Speculations abound concerning the iPhone 5 and an iPad Mini, reportedly to be released over the next two months. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, the iPhone 5 could be a tiny marvel that is half a millimeter thinner than its predecessor. Consumers are always pleased by an easier-to-carrry phone, but this advance has larger implications for Apple's competition with other companies. By using a new technology called "in-cell," manufacturers can incorporate touch-screen sensors into the LCD. Before this, a separate touch screen layer always had to be added, resulting in a slightly bulkier product. Reports say that this streamlined process will increase screen quality, and ultimately make the product more cost-efficient because it contains only one screen, manufactured by only one factory. It is also reported to have a 4 inch screen, competing with Samsung's 4.8 inch model. On the downside for consumers, the new device is rumored to feature a 19-pin docking port, instead of the familiar 30-pin port. Splurged on a new dock or speaker just last month? Sorry folks. Apple might decide to include an adapter, but in the battle against the Droid, even tiny inconveniences like a new docking port could sway consumers' minds. 

While leaked information about the iPhone abounds, even several weeks before its supposed unveiling, the iPad Mini rumors are much less certain. The widely popular iPad has sold 84 million products since 2010. The ultimate diverse gadget, the iPad can do a little bit of everything, from gaming to complex business functions. So, what could be gained simply by making it smaller? According to some, an iPad Mini could be a shrewd business move designed to squeeze others out of the e-Reader market before the Christmas season. If Apple can make an under 8-inch model sell for under $199, it can effectively drain the life from the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 tablets. This would be a blow to competition that even Apple's recent legal conquest could not top. 

Apple has always displayed a coherent plan for its products. Its top-down innovation style focuses on creating an elegant, efficient product, and then aggressively pursuing its perfection. Combined with some of the best marketing strategies of the last fifty years, this has produced impressive results for the company.  Everyone knows that Apple makes little one-buttoned rectangles, and that it does that really well. With the iPhone 5 and iPad Mini geared for release, Apple has combined its elegant design with a competitive strategy that could prove the deciding blow in its struggle to maintain its status as tech-trend industry standard. 

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Rebekah (Sherman) Brown

Rebekah is a graduate of Ashland University, where she double majored in Political Science and History. As a former non-conformist homeschooler, she follows education policy avidly, but also spent a summer cooped up writing a thesis on foreign policy, so she likes studying international relations, too.

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