iPhone 4: As Far As The iPhone Can Go?

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When iPhone 4 was announced I’ll admit it, I was giddy. Apple’s newest creation looks to be almost as revolutionary as the first iPhone they released. Jammed packed into arguably the sleekest, most stylish handset on the market, are a ton of features.

Some of the highlights that really stand out?

Orientation Lock
Video Calling
Only 9.3MM thin
Glass Front and Back
960×640 Screen
Better Battery
5 MP Camera with LED Flash
HD Video
A4 Chip
Portrait Lock

iPhone 4 looks to have almost every feature I could ask for in a mobile device. And to top that off the hardware itself looks incredible as well.

But as any good student of marketing knows you have to “innovate” or you “die.” And while I’m thrilled with the new iPhone I can’t help but also think about the future. So here’s my question? Does iPhone 4 mark the last major change to the iPhone platform for the foreseeable future? If Apple stays true to form and release a new iPhone every year what could they possibly add to next year’s iPhone that they haven’t already done?

Sure a Verizon version of the phone is possible, but that’s not technically something new is it?

The Apple critics always seems to rally around WWDC with the same credo. “Apple really better come out with something new and innovative this year, that XYZ phone is going to give it some stiff competition” (this year the talk is focusing on what the HTC EVO 4G has that the iPhone doesn’t.) And most agree this year Apple has lived up to expectations but what happens next.

In some respects I’m a little nostalgic over the fact that this could be the last big change in the iPhone for quite some time. Technology is of course moving fast and Apple has kept pace. It’s fair to assume iPhone 4 was in the works for some time, perhaps 1-2 years. If that’s the case it’s also fair to assume that Apple is currently working on iPhone 5 right now, even before 4 hits the market. Knowing what’s coming in iPhone 4 and knowing what Apple has left out next year’s WWDC keynote might not be nearly as exciting.

What I’m talking about here isn’t exactly new. The same thing happened with previously versions of the iPhone. The move from the first generation device to the iPhone 3G was a big one. But the next year, the move to the 3GS was not. Many felt the 3Gs was a let down in some respects. They were looking for APple to hit one out of the park, like they look for every year, and the 3Gs was move was more of a triple than a four-base knock. I think that’s most likely what’ll happen next year. If Apple does release another iPhone next year it’ll have subtle changes, faster processor, more memory etc and be something akin to the iPhone 4Gs.

Before all the haters jump in and slam me for being critical of something that’s not even been released yet let me stop you. I’m not being critical at all. I can’t wait for iPhone 4. It looks to be every bit of the innovative device I’ve grown to expect from Apple. I will however take note upon receiving it that it’ll mostly likely be living with me, everyday for at least the next 2 years.

Until then I’ll be waiting for that multi-touch back.

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