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Apple shows off their next iPhone tomorrow—Will Nokia outshine them?

Mock battle: iPhone 5 vs Lumia 920

When the day breaks tomorrow, the tech world will be focused on one thing: Apple. Then it will turn on everything else that is mobile and ask rhetorical questions. Will we be a part of that? Well, we can’t ignore it, can we? For that though, you have our sister site iMore who have had some fairly massive (and accurate) leaks on the upcoming iPhone 5.

But we want to know, will Apple live up to the hype or will Nokia outshine them this time?

...And let us be clear, we're talking about raw technological innovation, not the whole availability and release thing. What is perhaps most interesting about the iPhone 5 is it's looking a little behind the times, not pushing the edge anymore. We say that of course without knowing all of the details but the device is highly expected to have a 4” 1136x640 display.

Compare that to Windows Phone 8 and 1280x720 or 1280x768 (Lumia 920) and you can see who will win the pixel-density contest this year: iPhone 5 (325 PPI) versus Lumia 920 (332 PPI with a 0.5" larger display).

Going further, whereas Google and Microsoft have both embraced near-field communication (NFC) with the latter having an all-in-one solution with a Wallet app, Apple is expected to forgo the technology this time around. We're actually shocked, if this is accurate.

Proposed mockup of the iPhone 5

So what are we left with assuming the rumors are accurate? Apple will invent, we mean add 4G LTE, have a slightly longer display, a non-glass back and presumably some updated innards to make it all run more smoothly (1 GB of RAM is expected).

Does Apple have any secrets? No one yet knows but last week Nokia unveiled their PureMotion HD+ Display with ‘Super sensitive’ touch on the Lumia 920. The new technology allows you to wear gloves while using the phone and it has a 60Hz refresh rate for reduced blur when scrolling or watching videos. It also has a zippy < 9ms grey-to-grey pixel transition time.

That’s kind of a big deal as those things are firsts on a smartphone.

Likewise, Nokia was the first to introduce an optical image stabilizer (PureView) for a smartphone camera, dramatically reducing image blur and giving much better HD video recording abilities. Can Apple match that?

Or how about inductive wireless charging?

HAAC Rich Recording microphones?

Gorilla Glass 2?

Variety of colors in a super-resilient polycarbonate design?

Rich camera “Lenses”?

Look, we’re not trying to be too overly optimistic here as we know had Apple introduced any of the above, it would have been touted by the tech media as R E V O L U T I O N A R Y. But since this was Nokia, a lot of it was over-shadowed by creating fear, uncertainty and doubt.

Lumia 920: More interesting than the iPhone 5? Could be.

And for all we know, Apple may indeed show off some really crazy stuff tomorrow, even giving us pause. But so far, the rumors have been minimal. That's odd since as far as Apple releases go, this one has been the most leaky one yet.

We’ll of course revisit this tin 24 hours and we’re sure Nokia’s stock (which is up and holding steady at $2.80) may react accordingly. But we’re saying for once, we see a real chance for Nokia to have out-done Apple in terms of straight up technological innovation (release dates and sales are another issue).

Head to iMore.com for more info and for live coverage of tomorrow's event.

What are you thoughts and expectations for Apple and the fawning media? Sound off in comments…

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

252 Comments
  • I doubt Nokia will outshine them. But I can guarantee I won't care what Apple shows me.
     
    /Soon to be former iPhone user
  • The one thing people are forgetting is that the iphone has a million plus user fan base that are fanatical about their devices and would never consider switching to something else. Puremotion HD+? Super sensitive sccreen? 60Mhz refresh rate? Yeah,,,,but is it an iphone? I think most iphone users are going to be very happy tomorrow,,,there getting something that they have been wanting for a long time now which is a bigger screen I think that alone will be enough to keep loyal to their favotite phone,,,not to mention what will be anounced tomorrow.
  • A four inch screen might not seem like that big of a deal to the rest of the mobile phone world where 4.5 is quickly become the norm,,,but its something the iphone has never had and I'm sure iphoners will be all over it.
  • How can iPhone use a 4" screen when Steve Jobs referred to such devices as Hummers? Not to mention all those obnoxious iPhone users criticizing those packing 4" screens as losers trying to compensate for their perceived unworthiness lol.
  • I clearly remember that. Another point of the 3.5" screen was so the iPhone be used one-handed.
     
    Perhaps Apple had a change of heart? Maybe the 4" but taller body will still allow a one-handed operations? Guess we'll find out soon.
  • No. Theywill simply argue that people are now 10% taller in average then they were five years ago. Maybe they'll have even a Nixe graph to prove it.
  • well, remember that Steve tended to say a lot of things purely in the best interests of Apple at the time. Steve also derided 7" tablets as too small and that one should include a file to file your fingers down to a fine point to use. But Apple is now making a 7" tablet.
    All this is the result of replacing a brilliant marketer/product expert with a bean counter. For me, Apple has become boring. Move along, nothing to see here......
  • Basically. I know too many people that are sticking with Apple, because of the familiarity. It's pretty common amongtst the technoligcally challenged. They do not like having to learn new devices.
  • But I though 4" screen will be invented tomorrow and get a patent on it! It borders in corruption; 'iPhone' name; copied from 1998 Infogear/Linksys/Cisco IP Phone. iPhone form factor copied from 2006 LG Prada. iPad form factor copied from 2006 Samsung's photo-frame. Mac Book Air form factor copied from 1998 HP Soujurn. Even the Apple logo for 'Christ' sake; Adam and Eve 'Bit' the apple. So all their patents are just bought out to aquire them, quite simple.
  • There is definitely a percentage of people that have the iPhone precisely because everyone else does; the loyalty is not borne out of any particular love for Apple but out of the classic "Keepin' up with the Jones."  I'm not knocking their product I was among the first to evangelize it even before I ever owned one... it is just that the iPhone in its recent "re-births" are simply getting tired. If something more fresh comes along and the hipsters and cool people or rich people flock to it, so too will many others.  I can say this is for certain in circles I know as well as work place circles.  Even the true Apple fanatics at work know about Windows Phone.  They talk about how it is lagging, etc, but they are following it... they know what it could mean. Of course we're a SaaS company providing software on web and mobile devices, so they have an interest in following mobile platforms! It could be that they don't want to learn a mobile API that is easier to use than Apple and Android simply because it is Microsoft.
  • Very true. The iPhone/Apple consumer is not like any other consumer except for maybe Coca-Cola. :-P
  • Good for you to look outside the window
  • Haha, I see what you did there.
  • People will buy any shiny new product from the Apple, even they suck as much as the rest of there products ;)
  • Welcome in advance to Windows Phone, VagrantWade! Most iPhone users will say "I don't care" to Nokia's innovations. Their loss.
  • The 920 could print money and transform into a jet and iPhone sheep still would stick with apple.
  • I don't expect a big upgrade from iPhone 4S to iPhone 5. Probably a bigger screen , A5X processor, and an exclusive iOS6 feature.
  • The iSheep are the same people who used to put hurt on geeks before tech was cool. I doubt they ever new what a mini-disc player was. Now 'they think' they know technology. Lets give them credit for coming this far, its a big step on the whole for the technology movement. Unfortunately The mac 'geniuses' haven't taught them how to 'iThink' and 'iChoose' yet. The time will come.
  • I still have a mini disc player. That thing was the must have before my Zune. I agree that iPhone users are sheep and will flock to whatever apple puts out even if it's a piece of scrap metal with an Apple logo on it.
  • I'm fairly certain Nokia will come out of this one on top. Maybe not in sales, but the foot will be in the door for the slow upward market share grab that WP will gain... hopefully
  • Props for Nokia setting a bench mark now the iPhone has true competition when it comes to mobile innovation.
  • Nokia (or any company, for that matter) can have all the innovative features they want. But what they don't have and will never have is the mind share and the marketing dollars of Apple.
  • That's correct. I was watching the news today and they were talking about tomorrow's expected iPhone 5 and how it will boost the economy a little bit in the 4th quarter. More free marketing for Apple.
  • I also read an article stating how it could boost the US GDP. I thought to myself that is actually sad news. A noticeable change in the US GDP hanging on the sucess of a single gaget is not a good way to measure our sucess as a society. A strong economy is based upon the goods and services that are essential to human life (food, water, energy, etc). Every electronic device can go away tomorrow and we will prevail. Take away one of the three I mentioned and its gonna hit the fan real quick. 
  • Completely agree. When I saw/heard that report I thought that was a pretty sad situation.
  • I am thinking that the wp8 launch may not be what Microsoft is counting on getting WP off the ground. Remember, they said they are in it for the long haul. I think the things that will get people to try WP is when they finally get things together where WP raises the bar on every level. Full 3 screen integration, DirectX games being games the likes which have never been seen before on a phone, unparalleled business capabilities, more services and features integrated in the OS than you can shake a stick at and so on. They need to actually take this to a level where in every way, WP does amazing things that Android and ios could only dream about. They have the means, the money and the opportunity. But, it will be difficult at every turn if they don't get everything organized and marketed right. Be interesting to see where we are 1-2 years from now.
  • I think that the new Lumia line will beat Apple in every single category except for marketing and release.  Unfortunately those two areas are big enough to make up for every advantage the Lumia has to many people.
  • The new iPhone will also probably have at least a 64GB model (which I wish Lumia 920 had) and bluetooth 4.0 (not a big deal, but iPhone 4S has had it for a year). Still, I haven't bought an iPhone yet, and tomorrow's announcement won't change that.
  • 64GB Lumia 920 I'll take. If I can't have a microSD slot then I'll take 64GB.
  • +1
  • +1. As a Zune pass user with many videos for my daughter when we are out 32gb on my Arrive was not enough. Not looking forward to 32 again but I will not get and HTC or Ativ
  • or buy two 32GB Lumia 920.
  • +1
  • I'm sure tomorrow will be better or have some extra things that may seem nicer than what Nokia has announced so far. But remember Apple is the manufacturer and the creator of the OS so a lot of the features will probably be software based. Microsoft still hasn't revealed all of wp8 features (Joe Belfiore mentioned that at the Nokia event) so whatever apple introduces although good we still have more to hear that all wp8 devices will have that I'm sure will be awesome.
  • The real issue is Apple is able to generate excitement. People WANT to use the product and features that were displayed. Without this excitement, even the best features will fail because of poor adoption. Nokia and Microsoft need to figure out how to generate this excitement because last week's Nokia event lacked energy and enthusiasm.
  • Co sign!
    Nokia & MS need a better marketing team!!!!
  • Yep. Marketing sucks
  • I don't know why they don't do apple style add. Let me guess Apple had a patent on that lol
  • I agree with you there, I'm still trying to figure out why Microsoft hired the gentleman that was the head of Disney's marketing. I haven't seen anything creative from him yet and I'm sure he's being paid 250k +......why a waste of money so far. MS need to just start releasing new features of WP8 tomorrow as well with hands-on video of them in action. I think they should have head-on device introduction on a shared stage!!! Like a political debate, leave it all on the floor.
  • Apple could shit on a stick and people would get excited.
  • I'm sure there are enough FoxConn workers to produce the required volume of ****. I mean, we've been buying **** from China for years and the supply doesn't seem to be slowing down.
  • +1
  • They just have to call it iCrap and put it in a box and the iSheep will come in droves to buy it.
  • Agreed, features like PureVideo+ don't mean much unless you can get all the 20-something year old cinema students talking about and buying them.
    MS and Nokia have to ignore my generation (Im 46yo) and get the youth excited and craving these new advanced features.
    I grew up on Microsoft and will buy it no matter what.
  • I don't think it's as much about the age group, but rather the perceived persona Apple gives off. They're seen by general society as a company that makes cool products. It doesn't matter the age you are, if you are a person who isn't very technologically smart then you will probably go with an iPhone (as made evident by the large number of iPhone users). I'm 19 and since I follow technology news daily, I feel like I am able to look at new products more objectively than most people I know. I've tried pretty much every OS (except BB and Symbian) before choosing WP. I feel like if everyone used everything first, then they'd make better decisions for themselves rather than blind brand loyalty (though there are some people who would still go with blind brand loyalty, and I don't care about them for missing out on some awesome tech because of it).
  • +500
  • +1 people are dumb. You clearly aren't!
  • Jfreiman's comment made me feel old. Since I'm no longer in my 20's anymore Hit 30 this year. Then Agent-P made me feel young. It's good to have a choice and not just follow the crowd.
  • one think i can guarantee is that apple will put on a much better presentation/show than nokia did the other day. no uncertain presenters, specific release dates, pricing, carrier availablility.
     
    i love windows phone and the 800/900 from nokia, but microsoft and nokia need to work on their marketing/presentation skills.
     
    i'm going to pick up an iphone5, something new to play with until november when i can get the 920, plus those damn things hold their value really well.
  • Yep, im thinking of doing the same thing. I managed to save up $700. Im ready for something new. I will pick up an iPhone 5, then sell it come November/December for a Lumia 920. Thanks to the sheep, those iPhones never lose value... Til couple yrs later.
  • You are right about the sheep. LOL!
  • That's a good idea. iPhones are a great way to get cash to buy the unlocked phone you want.
  • 60MHz refresh rate, HOLY SMOKES!!!  And I thought HDTVs were getting silly. :)
  • Hmm... 60MHz? So that's 6,000Hz??? Yeah good TV's are at around 120Hz. Damn that's impressive.
  • Lol, although 60MHz equals 60,000,000Hz.
  • Lol
  • +1 please fix
  • Nothing that has been speculated and/or leaked seems revolutionary or drool worthy to me. If it's just a little bigger, has LTE, and a tweak of the body, why bother upgrading? Of course I thought the same thing when the 4s came out...
  • Dude, people will buy anything with an Apple logo on it.
    Plus, the media hypes the people up for the next [Apple] thing.
  • yep, but no mention of the ATIV S or Nokia 820/920 in televised media, only forums and tech sites. I've been hearing about the iphone 5 release on tech sites, radio,and news station for the past 4 mos or so; the bias is rediculous, because everyone knows about the iphone and they should simpy advertise platforms equally; kinda make you wonder who's being paid off at these bid networks??? Hell microsoft own website is bias toward Apple (which is ridiculous).....don't believe me, go to msn.com
  • +100000000
  • No doubt Nokia will gain in specs, but in these sad times, Apple dominates with its branding. People happy with their iPhones will be excited with the little improvements.
  • I believe that yes, Nokia will outshine them in all, innovation, looks and style.
  • The Lumia 920 seems to have sweeter specs than the iPhone 5, but iPhone 5 will probably outshie the 920 due to the blinders of an established product.
     
  • My biggest problem tomorrow will be all the praises the iPhone will get in the media, even if it only comes with another row of icons. It will obviously be a godsent device.
    Im usually not that bothered but the ignorant shit Nokia got here in Sweden just makes me furious.
  • What do you mean? What happened in Sweden.
  • Apple will definitely outshine Nokia in presentation and marketing - arguably the two most important areas as far as grabbing the audience is concerned. Due to this, even while Nokia's phones could be at par (or better), the iPhone will be more memorable. I think Nokia really messed up because of their uninspired presentation last week.
  • That is all it will boil down to. Showmanship. Apple is the PT Barnum of tech. What was Barnum's favorite quote?
  • The greatest show of shit! ;-)
  • "There's a sucker born every minute."
  • The mistake that Nokia/Microsoft made was that they just announced the hardware. There was no preview of the Windows Phone 8 OS, no release date, no carrier mentioned. I have to hand to apple for what and how they annouce their products. They have all their ducks in a row first and BAM here you go, you get this, this and this and guess what you can start ordering from tomorrow. No long waits, no just giving hopes, no teases. People who are waiting for upgrades will jump ship before next gen windows phone comes out. Specially here in US you are tied to a contract i.e. wait 2 more years. So there isn't very much window of opportunity here. I love Windows Phone and I want MS/Nokia to succeed, so come on and get your act together. My first gen Focus is dying!!!
  • Wow exactly what I was going to write... down to the part about my dying Focus!  :D
    I don't know what Microsoft is trying to achieve by holding back the other features of Windows Phone 8 for another few weeks. There's nothing to lose at this point by showing them off.
  • Exactly, people don't want to wait, not all of them appreciate polycarbonate body, not all of them will like the glossy finish, not all of them still think of nokia the way it used to be. So alot of credits will eventually go to apple, unless the next phone will be a disappointment. And not to forget how Nokia screwed themselves and their new technology with a simply, stupid, mistake.
  • "not all of them appreciate polycarbonate body"
     
    You do realize that polycarbonate is the type of plastic that pretty much all smartphone makers use (well, those who make plastic phones), right?
  • I know what polycarbonate is and there are people that prefere glass and aluminum over plastic and the majority that bought iphone for this reason will eventually buy it again, because it feels different.
  • Well here you can see how clever Nokia actually is. You have no idea how many people have no idea that it's a standard techincal polymere. Instead of saying plastic, you say polycarbonate and the same people that dismiss "plastic" as a cheap material will want it.
     
  • My 1st Gen focus died a few weeks ago. I was trying to wait, but with no date, I had to go 7.5 again.
  • Same, my focus died a few weeks ago as well and I didn't know any dates or prices so I had to get a 900, good phone though.
  • They wanted to show off something before Apple did.  Pre-orders will most likely start tomorrow for the iPhone.  If Nokia and Samsung waited until Microsoft was ready with the WP8 OS, then many of the on-the-fence Apple buyers might just pre-order tomorrow.  Now, they have something to compare the next iPhone to. The thing is... Microsoft really shouldn't go after iPhone people and instead go after new Smartphone buyers.  There are still plenty to go after.
    If Microsoft sold WP8 only on their own hardware, things might be different...
  • I get it that they wanted to show something, but what I *think* is wrong in this scenario is that they should have just done the whole shebang like apple. Why? They NEED to penetrate mobile market sooner rather than later and they are aware of that so why diddle daddle?? Yes if Microsoft sold their own hardware it would have been different, but Nokia is practically waiting on MS. They have invested their entire future on Windows Phone. And why not go after apple fanboys *thats where the market share is at and those are the people who influence the non smart phone crowd to choose smartphone*. People can compare Nokia phone with iPhone as much as they want but if you can get instant gratification with established iPhone what do you think the mass crow will choose? MS knows they are behind.. speed up the development process.
  • Not like this will be read, nobody comes back to their comments anyway. I think they're waiting BECAUSE of Apple to show people oh we also have that or wow that's what they have, we have this and that.
  • If you measure Apple's new phone in terms of media coverage, compared to Nokia, sure it will be received better. The key lies in the hands of carriers worldwide, they sell the devices. If those carriers believe they can cash with Nokia hardware and MS software, whatever Apple comes up with is less relevant.
  • carrier push is very important in establishing the brand, but apple's products don't need this, they essentially sell themselves.
     
    virtually no one that walks out of a store with an iphone was sold on the idea of buying it.
     
    i really hope that the wp8 launch goes very smooth, if it does, late october and all of november is going to be a killer month for msft.
  • Honestly, I think the carriers and manufacturers are impeding MS/Nokia as well. I read today  on the verge, that Samsung and HTC specifically were having issue running WP8 on their hardware and the MS and Nokia were working basically around the clock to ensure WP8 & W8 stay on schedule. But the verge also want things to look bleek for WP8 so people will go out and buy the iphone 5. although I don't agree with a lot of things on the verge, because their biased, you can occassionally find useful information.
  • The verge work for Apple!
  • The Lumina 920 will probably beat the iPhone 5 feature-wise, but as others have said, Apple's presentation will blow Nokia's out of the water.   Nokia and Microsoft DESPERATELY need to invest in presentation training. While I loved watching the new phones, watching the people doing the demos was painful. I felt uncomfortable watching, because the presenters appeared very uncomfortable. I expect better from the next presentation.
  • For calling yourself wpguy, you'd think you'd know that it's Lumia, not Lumina.
  • Thanks, Clippy, but neither the site nor the app would let me correct the error. Maybe you can take care of it for me.
  • Everyone I know who isn't interested in tech and looking at such websites has no idea about the Nokia conference and devices last week so sadly I have to say Apple are already on top and will be furher ahead tomorrow regardless of what they announce!!
    I love WP and want it and Nokia to do well but the marketing / unveiling is just not working and getting through the masses
  • Unless apple was crafty and it's a new design this new iPhone won't matter to me. But I have an open mind unlike most apple users so this is going to be a huge deal. Almost all other phones will get lost in its wake. I have doubts if there will be customers left when WindowsPhone 8 comes out. Which no one knows the date an apple will have a date tomorrow. Which is usually 2 weeks after reveal. USAToday says the iPhone 5 in its current leaked form is a radical redesign with innovative features. They also say most iPhone 4 users skipped the 4s in anticipation for the 5. That's just 1 example of what we are up against.
  • I went to your sister site, iMore, and went to the first article I found, their iPhone 5 preview. The second comment posted to the article says, "I'm buying one no matter what. Hell, I'll even pre-order it right now." This is kind of typical with Apple fans. I don't expect them to even care about anything else, even if it shines the way Nokia did with all their brand-spanking-new features. All they need to know is it's made by Apple and they'll buy it.  Nokia's phones will shine compared to other smartphone competition, but unfortunately, despite its awesomeness, people just won't care because it's Windows. I hope WP8 will standout this time around, but I remain doubtful.
  • This could go some years good. But you can not stand in one point of innovation and sell it in masses if the competitor is far away from you. Apple has to do something or they a re gonne in a few years. Thats the fact with every brand. The same happend with nokia some years ago, they showed up and selled devices, people saw android and iphone and nokia went down. The same i say will happen with apple but just because their ignorance.
  • Windows fans will do the same thing thats the beauty of it.
  • Established ecosystem will be prevalent also. My niece has 3 kids/ ipads and 2 iPhones. And has to have apps. If people realized WP does not need apps for everything, it might be better.
  • +999
  • Even Samsung and HTC along with Nokia will have apple beat on this one.
  • It sucks but apple wins by default. Its just the branding. "We" know who really wins but the ignorance of the everyday consumer will give their money to apple.
  • You said it yourself. If apple came out with any of those features, the tech world would go wild. Apple doesn't have to do much to outshine Nokia. All they really have to do is show up, that's the sad truth about this generations tech media. If apple builds it, the tech media will tell us to come.
  • Whatever they have, im sure they'll make up a few things to try to upstage Nokia's pureview tech. Most likely the iPhone 5 will look the same. AGAIN
  • anyone knows why Apple is getting so much praise about their hardware design? Seriously, every person that I know who owns an iPhone had a case protection cause it's so fragile. What is the point of having a nice design than you have to cover it up? Style over substance.
    btw...drop shadow & bevel are so yesterday. ;-)
  • +1...everyone I know with an iPhone keeps it in a case, and has asked me to replace the screen/back because it shattered, even with the case. One person has shattered the screen twice. I drop my 900 all the time, and its still looking good. :-) 
  • My next phone will be a 920. (or whatever Verizon has to offer) Only time will tell. Got another 6 month wait..
  • Nokia has seen the dark side of the market and know they must do everything to come back on their own legs. Out of the ashes rises the phoenix. Nokia is now the phoenix. And if we look at apple they had only good stories last couple years, sometimes comes the endpoint for every succes! ;)
  • I don't think so.. But apple fans are always apple fans... Now the new generation is where msft and Nokia has to focus
  • +1