Wireless technology seems to become doubly effective every 18 months. It's cheaper, faster, smaller microchips, as fast as companies can make the devices. It's helpful to keep this in mind when considering which device to purchase. The early adopters might switch smartphones every year while the luddites hold off until the same device is less than half the original price.

iPhone 5 could launch next summer, but many around the Web were dismayed that iPhone 4S was announced Oct. 4 instead of the highly awaited iPhone 5. iPhone 4S will have Siri, the digital assistant and iOS 5, but what could Apple have in store for us next? iPad 3 is thought to be coming out in 2012, so perhaps iPhone 5 will look more like iPad 3, at least on the inside. This is what we know about iPhone 4S alongside what iPhone 5 could be.

Specs

iPhone 4S

iPhone 5

Display Size

3.5 inches

4 to 4.3 inchs

Case Design

Glass

Metal

4G

No*

Yes

CPU

1.2 GHz dual-core A5

1.2-to-1.5 GHz quad-core A6

Camera

8 megapixel rear + front-facing for video chat

12 megapixel rear + 2 megapixel front-facing

NFC

No

Yes

Battery

8 hours of talk time @ 3G speeds

8 hours of talk time @ 4G speeds

Wireless Charging

No

Yes

The rumored iPhone 5 specs come from various analysts in the smarphone industry and from vendors who are thought to be working with Apple on the various components. iphone 4S sold a million devices in just 24 hours, so perhaps iPhone 5 won't need to come out in less than a year. It's just that in that year, so many component parts of iPhone 4S could get cheaper, faster and smaller (like batteries). Furthermore, the hardware takes time to develop becase the physical processes needed to manufacture the parts has to catch up to design ideas. That isn't the case with software. Siri, for example, is an innovative upgrade over iPhone 4 that didn't require a ton of new investment on hardware. That means there could easily be other applications Apple is designing that could overshadow things like Near Field Communications or replace them altogether. Apple is known for releasing products that work well, so some specs might have to wait a bit longer to be refined. 

*iPhone 4S technically has a fourth generation broadband standard designation, hence the name 4G. It's just that AT&T doesn't have a network in place (same with Sprint) that can deliver those lightning fast speeds that Verizon's LTE network can. They are working on it, though.

Tell us in the comments if iPhone 5 could wait another year without getting overtaken by Android devices.

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