By this time next month, Apple may very well have unveiled the iPhone 5, laying the rumors and speculation to rest once bed and for all.
However, until that happens, let's let the speculation continue.
Rumors of the new iPhone have been running rampant essentially since the iPhone 4 came out in June of 2010. When Apple didn't reveal a new iPhone at this year's Worldwide Developer's Conference (WWDC) in June like it usually does, the rumors heated up even further.
Every analyst, tech blog and expert on the planet seems to have an opinion or source as to when the iPhone will be released and what features it will include. Some have said the next generation iPhone will have scaled down upgrades, others have said there will be two phones introduced - a full on iPhone 5 and a scaled down mid-market phone and one site (UK blog KitGuru) has said a new phone may not come out until March of 2012.
According to Japanese tech news site Kodawarisan, (here's the English version), Apple will unveil an iCloud iPhone at an Sept. 7 event. Along with a new iPhone, Apple might also release a slate of new iPods around that date, the tech site said.
Regardless of when the new iPhone will come out, there are certain features that must be included on it. These features have to be on the new iPhone, not only for the consumer's sake but for Apple's competitive sake as well. Here are five in particular that have to be on the new iPhone 5.
Dual Core Processor: This one seems like a slam dunk. When Apple introduced the iPad 2 back in April, it came with a 1GHz A5 dual-core processor. Several of Apple's competitors from LG, Motorola and soon Samsung have already released dual core processor phones. According to a media report from 9to5 Mac back in the spring, Apple gave its developers a dual-core iPhone 4 to allow them to prep for the iPhone 5. If this one doesn't happen, we'll be shocked.
Upgraded Camera: This is another one that will likely happen. In the tech world, a 5 megapixel camera seems passé - as sad as that might sound to some - it's true. Like the dual core processor, several of iPhone's competitors in the Android world have phones with 8 megapixel cameras. A rumor back in April, from Ming-Chi Kuo of Concord Securities, said the iPhone 5 will carry the 8 megapixel rear camera. Another rumor had Sony replacing Omnivsion and making the iPhone 5's improved camera. Expect a better phone with the iPhone 5.
Weight Loss: The iPhone is due for a thinner frame, which is another rumor that has made the rounds. According to The Wall Street Journal report citing overseas manufacturing surces, the iPhone 5 will be thinner and lighter than the current version, which is 0.37 inches thick and 137 g heavy. Less clunky is definitely the trend de jour.
NFC: Every next generation of the iPhone typically comes with something sexy to appeal to the masses. Having a phone that is near-field communication, and could be used to process payments with just a tap, would do just that. The Google Nexus S is going do that with the upcoming Google Wallet service and it would cool if the iPhone 5 could do that as well.
Battery Life/Antenna: These are two things that seemingly get upgraded with every new phone that apple puts out. However, who says that is a bad thing? You could always use better service and better battery life.
What would you like to see on the new iPhone?