Excitement over the expected launch of the iPhone 5 has reached a fever pitch, and it's not just with Apple customers. According to an independent study by mobile ad network InMobi, 41 percent of mobile consumers in North America plan to buy an iPhone 5, including 52 percent of BlackBerry users, and as many as 27 percent of Android device owners.

InMobi sampled mobile phone users in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico for this study. While nothing is truly known about the iPhone 5, participants said their most desired features for the new iPhone were improved battery life, increased processing speed, higher-quality screen resolution, and stronger phone service.

Participants were also asked if they would buy the iPhone if it were only a minor update, like when the iPhone 3G upgraded to 3GS. If the next iPhone is an upgraded iPhone 4, InMobi's study indicates that less than 15 percent of mobile customers are likely to buy the new iPhone. Yet, 28 percent of BlackBerry users said they would still switch to the iPhone, which leads one to believe that RIM customers are not entirely satisfied with their BlackBerrys.

RIM has been fighting to stay relevant in recent years. While other companies have moved on to bigger and better technologies, such as touchscreen and gesture-based navigation, RIM hasn't budged. Additionally, Apple, Google, and now Amazon integrate many of their hardware and software offerings to create one big family of products, while RIM can only hang its hat on the BlackBerry.

RIM tried its hand at tablets, launching the PlayBook in mid-April, but the company's quarterly earnings call this month said it only sold about 200,000 PlayBooks through August. Comparatively, Apple has sold almost 29 million iPads from April 2010 to June 2011.

RIM is even losing out to the newcomers in the mobile device market. Amazon unveiled its own tablet on Wednesday, the Kindle Fire, which undercut its tablet rivals with a slick $199 price tag. The cheapest model of Apple's dominant iPad sells for $499.

Most expect Apple to unveil the iPhone 5 at its Oct. 4 media event, which will be held for the first time at Apple HQ in Cupertino, Calif. Apple CEO Tim Cook will curate the product announcement for the first time since founder Steve Jobs stepped down as CEO in August.

Interestingly enough, despite the volume of news swirling around the iPhone 5, Apple has never actually confirmed the existence of a new iPhone. Analysts predict that the phone will feature a larger screen, a thinner back, a faster processor, an 8-megapixel camera, and a voice-activated virtual assistant.