8 Things The Travel Industry Expects In iPhone 5
September 12, 2012 marks the launch of the most expected product from Apple – iPhone 5. This launch has a special speculation, because its believed that iPhone 5 is the last product that Steve Jobs involved in designing. It’s expected to be a complete product refresh than the earlier models. Apple products have literally helped travelers and travel companies in their day-to-day life – be it the 30K+ travel apps in Apple App Store, the Siri assistant that helps travelers to navigate by talking to it, companies deploying iPad in airports and using it as in-flight entertainment, iPads replacing pilot flight manuals and the list is endless.
All four generations of iPhone had incremental penetration in travel industry. Is the new iPhone (5) going to incrementally impact travel industry? We strongly believe YES. Leave aside the hardware and technical improvements / changes, below are our eight expectations / speculations on how iPhone 5 is going to help travel industry:
1. Big Screen Display:
We believe the iPhone 5 is going to have a 4 ” screen size. Thanks to the high volume sales of big-screen Samsung phones. People love big screens. The photo / video viewing experience, map navigations, browsing (trip planning, ticket booking) are going to be better.
2. LTE Support:
Long Term Evolution (LTE) a.k.a 4G is definitely going to be present in iPhone 5. The basis to this is the 4G support in the latest version of (new) iPad. With 4G, travelers will be able to upload/download data to the maximum possible speed – pictures, maps, content heavy (picture centric) travel sites, video chat – all of these will be faster.
3. NFC Enabled:
Near Field Communication (NFC) technology / chip is a feature that Apple considered in iPhone 4S, but since the NFC chip costs design compromises Apple decided to push out NFC for later release. All recent high-end smartphones (Samsung S2 / S3 / Note, HTC One, Blackberry Bold 9900) are NFC enabled. Travel usecases for NFC enabled devices are huge. Payment processes will be made simpler, the mobile can act as a keyless entry to hotel rooms / airport lounges, localized advertisements, payments in public transports (countries like Germany, China area already using it) will be easier.
4. Better Camera:
We believe the current 8 Mega Pixel camera is going to get even better. We cannot estimate on the number of pixels its going to be. Going by the history that every iPhone version had a better camera than the earlier version, the camera upgrade in iPhone 5 is pretty much on the cards. In Flickr, among all the pictures uploaded, iPhone stands tall as the number one source of photo capture. There are many articles on the web that says iPhone 4S camera is better than some of the digital cameras in market. We simply believe a better camera is going to push the bar even higher. Travelers are going to love it. Many (travel) photo centric apps might be built.
5: Passbook App:
We have discussed this particular topic in detail in our earlier post. We have discussed travel usecases in this article.
6: Google Apple Maps:
Apple announced that they will be using their own version of Maps in the next version of iOS (6). No more Google Maps in Apple products. With Apple Maps, travelers will be able to see 3D maps, flyovers, get ETA of route based on LIVE traffic / accident, real-time re-routing, voice (Siri) enabled map navigation, turn-by-turn voice assisted navigation. This particular feature especially is going to be a big leap for iPhone.
7. Even More Intelligent Siri:
In iOS 6, Siri gets the ability to launch apps, pull reviews from Yelp, manage restaurant related activities with OpenTable integration, Facebook / Twitter status updates. Siri is still in beta, we believe Siri is going to be deeply integrated with Camera, navigation, social and passbook app. Travelers might be able to do this: “Hey Siri, take a picture of this lake, upload it to my Facebook and Twitter accounts and then show me the direction to the nearest Starbucks”.
8. Realistic Face Time:
The current VGA quality with 30 FPS front facing camera might be replaced with a good 2 Mega-Pixel camera. With such a real-life-feel camera, attending business meetings or video-chatting while on a trip is going to be a breeze.
Author: Karthick Prabu