As Apple continues to remain tight-lipped about the iPhone 5's release date and specifications, Android smartphones, mainly from Samsung, HTC and Motorola, are making greater gains in the smartphone battle.
Meanwhile, the battle between Apple and Samsung will be closely watched as they are fighting a legal battle as well.
Though the U.S. market is still waiting for the arrival of Samsung Galaxy S2, which is gaining credibility and good reviews from other parts of the world, the Korean technology giant is expected to launch Samsung Hercules.
There are rumors that T-Mobile will carry Samsung Hercules, which may make its first appearance in August or September when Apple may launch the iPhone 5.
Below are the expected features of Apple's iPhone 5 in comparison with the Samsung Hercules:
Apple is expected to increase its screen size to compete with Android smartphones, probably going for a 4-inch screen. iPhone 4 has a 3.5-inch screen.
Hercules is expected to have a 4.5-inch Super AMOLED screen with 800x480 screen resolution, thus bringing a bigger display than the iPhone 5.
There is also near unanimity in gadget circles that Apple will bring its A5 chip in to the iPhone 5. The A5 processor is the same which Apple rolled out to power its iPad 2. Apple may boost the speed of its A5 chip in the range of 1.2 or 1.5 GHz for iPhone 5.
Samsung Hercules will have blazing fast dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8060 processor, the same chip which powers the recently released HP TouchPad.
iPhone 5 will have Apple's upgraded mobile operating system iOS 5 along with iCloud service. The new iOS 5 is expected to come with 200 new features that will include Improved Notifications System, News Stand and iMessage.
Samsung Hercules is expected to run on Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS, Google's latest version of smartphone operating system. Though Gingerbread isn't quite as refined as iOS yet, it has true multitasking support and is Google's best bet yet against iOS -- until it releases Ice Cream Sandwich. It is left to see which platform will outsmart the other in the long run.
Apple's iPhone 5 is expected to sport an 8 megapixel camera with 1080p video playback and panoramic photo capture. It has been reported that OmniVision/Sony would supply 8 MP camera sensors. iPhone 4 has a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash.
On the other hand, Hercules would also come with an 8 megapixel camera with LED flash, which can record 1080p HD video, and could be paired with a front-facing 1.3 megapixel camera for video chat.
Apple may fit a near-field communication (NFC) chip in iPhone 5 as some high-end Android devices are already having NFC support.
NFC allows for simplified transactions, data exchange, and connections with a touch. A smartphone or tablet with an NFC chip could make a credit card payment or serve as keycard or ID card.
NFC devices can read NFC tags on a museum or retail display to get more information or an audio or video presentation. NFC can share a contact, photo, song, application, or video or pair Bluetooth devices.
Hercules is also expected to have NFC capabilities and support mobile high-definition video link (MHL), a fairly new standard for video cabling with mobile devices. MHL port combines microUSB and HDMI port as one single port.
The biggest of all the surprises is that the Hercules smartphone is having category 24 HSDPA capability to exceed the max speeds of 42Mbps downstream which will make the Hercules the fastest HSDPA plus for a smartphone in the market.
Today, HSDPA speeds found in most of the smartphones are 21 Mbps or 14 Mbps.
Also, Hercules is expected to feature category 6 HSUPA support for 5.76Mbps upload speeds.
On the other hand, iPhone 5 is expected to have HSDPA between 14 Mbps and 21 Mbps.
Hercules is expected to have 16 GB internal memory and a microSD card slot supporting up to 32 GB.
It is expected the iPhone 5 will have 16/32/64 GB internal storage. iPhone 4 has fixed 16/32 GB internal storage and doesn't have external storage, but that doesn't matter as 32 GB at the maximum is generally enough for the users.
Apple's iPhone 5 is expected to hit the markets in September and has been rumored to be priced at around $600. On the other hand, the Hercules is expected to be priced at $350.