The iPhone 5, or iPhone 4S, as it has at times been rumored to be named, is expected to debut sometime in October. If the latest rumor about its release date is to be believed, Oct. 4 will witness the much-awaited product launch of the iPhone 5 this year. Here are the top features that iPhone 5 can't afford to lose. 

There are huge expectations for the iPhone 5's features, which will boast significant hardware and software upgrades. Given the increasing rivalry in the smartphone industry, with Android smartphones catching up to Apple's iPhone, the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant can't compromise with the growing demand of high-end specs that are expected in the fifth generation iPhone.

Here are the top features that an iPhone 5 can't afford to lose.

High-quality camera: In the tech world, a 5-megapixel camera seems passé, and several of the iPhone's competitors in the Android world have phones with an 8-megapixel camera.

Therefore, at this point, an 8-megapixel camera on the iPhone 5 looks like a foregone conclusion. It is expected to include a dual LED flash, with rumors that the flash unit will be separated from the camera sensor. Apart from the rear-facing camera, Apple's smartphone is also expected to have a front-facing one for video chat.

Hardware upgrades: Several of Apple's rivals, mainly LG, Motorola and Samsung, have already released dual-core processor phones. Hence, it is expected that the iPhone 5 will integrate a faster 1.2-to-1.5 GHz dual-core A5 processor chip, which powers the iPad 2, with probably 1GB of RAM. This hardware upgrade will give the iPhone 5 better speed in processing information and apps.

New OS: Since each new model of the iPhone has been accompanied by an upgraded operating system, the imminent iPhone 5 is also expected to feature Apple's newest mobile operating system version: iOS 5. The new OS comes with 200 new features that will include an improved notifications system and iMessage, along with new applications, such as the Reminders app and Newsstand, an application resembling Folders and iBooks.

Improved display: The iPhone 5 is anticipated to have an edge-to-edge 4-inch retina display. A curved glass display screen is also rumored, which may offer more privacy while viewing in public areas. The Samsung Galaxy S2 features a Super AMOLED Plus capacitive touch screen display. With the RGB matrix making the display sharper, the Super AMOLED Plus is considered the best available technology for mobile displays.

Considering this, the Quantum Dot LED technology could be a possible delivery system for the iPhone 5. The new technology needs less power consumption while delivering the same quality as an OLED screen.

Near Field Communication: Samsung Galaxy S2 supports the NFC chip that allows data exchange, simplified transactions and connections with a touch. Given this, the iPhone 5 without NFC can turn out to be a setback.

There have been reports since early this year that Apple is testing an iPhone that incorporates Near Field Communication technology. Citing a source with knowledge of the inner workings of the iPhone 5, The New York Times recently reported that a chip made by Qualcomm with NFC capability is expected to come with a future iPhone. The report, however, left open the possibility that this functionality could accompany the iPhone 6.

Enhanced battery life: If the Galaxy S2 was used all the time, then a user will be lucky to get 10 hours of battery, and that's with the enhanced 1650 mAh battery widget on board, according to a review. In comparison, the iPhone 4 lasts up to seven hours on a 3G network. Since each successive iPhone has had a better battery life than the prior, why not iPhone 5?

More memory: The constantly growing app store and new features surfacing every other day have increased the demand for more space. The Apple iPhone 4 comes in 16GB and 32GB versions. However, it is expected that the iPhone 5 will have 16/32/64 GB internal storage.

4G: There have been a lot of rumors regarding the possibility of the iPhone 5 being available on 4G networks for AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. The consensus from analysts and tech experts seems to be that the iPhone 5 will not have 4G support.

Peter Misek, an analyst at Jefferies & Co., stated that Apple will not release a 4G LTE capability in the iPhone 5 this year because Qualcomm's LTE chipsets, which Apple would have used, were not reaching the yields that Apple expects for its iPhone 5.

Meanwhile, along with the Samsung Galaxy Epic Touch 4G, Motorola Droid Bionic also features a powerful 4G LTE network.

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