Apple is hitching its smartphone wagon to gaming big time, finally! Tech websites that have been musing about iPhone 5's gaming strengths are now saying loud and clear the next generation iPhone will leverage on the fast growing gaming market.

There is near unanimity in gadget circles that Apple will bring its A5 chip on to the iPhone 5, which could hit stores in September this year. The buzz is that Apple will unleash the gaming performance and speed of A5 chip in the upcoming iPhone model.

It has also been reported that Apple is letting select developers play around with an iPhone 4 which is implanted with an A5 chip rather than the A4 in order that they can bring out the full gaming prowess on the upcoming iPhone 5. These developers, seemingly from high-level gaming outfits, have been given what is essentially an iPhone 4 but with an A5 processor instead of an A4. The device itself is virtually identical to the iPhone 4, and there is no way anyone can tell it’s not an iPhone 4 based on the phone’s exterior, 9to5Mac has reported.

According to the report, the source who leaked this information called the device ‘iPhone 4S’. According to the source, the prototype iPhone 4S is not necessarily what consumers will get in September when Apple is likely launching the next generation iPhone. But developers from gaming bigwigs will get a pre-taste of the gaming prowess of the iPhone 5, and work on the gaming software accordingly.

A Reuters snap report from Hong Kong late on Wednesday said Apple will begin production of the much-awaited device in July and that the product could hit stores in September. The agency cited three people familiar with the situation as saying that iPhone 5 will have a faster processor but will look largely similar to the current iPhone 4.

Apart from a multi-core A5 CPU powered with a dual-core graphics core, the device could also sport Near Field Communication (NFC) technology and a new integrated SIM card that would be easily configurable on any supported carrier.

If the gaming slant of the iPhone materializes it would go to prove rumors that Apple was delaying the launch for the iPhone 5 for strategic reasons and not so much because of logistical constraints.

There has been talk that Apple was readying a smash hit device that deals a sucker punch to potent rivals. Who could blame Apple if it was eying a lasting coup in the handset segment similar to the launch of iPhone in 2007? Apple would certainly set much store by its iOS 5 and stack it up with all the might and variety it can conjure so that the new software is miles ahead of the competition. Google wouldn’t like to see Android zooming up in the rear view mirror. Not when Google's smartphone operating system is already closing in on Apple's market share leads. The bottom-line is clearly a delay in releasing iPhone 5.

Analysts have said the new operating system could include cloud-based features, a larger advertising platform for iAds, a digital locker in the cloud to synchronize content between users' Apple devices, a music streaming service on a subscription basis and an aggressively priced video subscription service.