Apple Inc.'s next generation iPhone, dubbed iPhone 5, will be unveiled in hours in the United States, and is expected to break Apple's all previous launch-day sales records.

If you have owned an iPhone 3GS for more than a year, there are chances you were biding your time till iPhone 5 is launched, giving a skip, half-heartedly, to the iPhone 4. And you will hurry to take a take a place in the serpentine queue in front of an Apple Store when the device hits the shelf.

Now, this is called the pent-up demand, which is also the result of a sixteen-month gap in the iPhone cycle. The iPhone 5 release date frenzy has reached a crescendo with just hours left for the unveiling of the most sought after consumer gadget this year.

The demand is so huge that Apple could sell as many as 1.7 million units on the first day when the device is made available in stores, according to Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White. For the record, as many as 1.5 million units of Apple iPhone 4 had been sold on the first day of launch.

For Apple, this huge sales windfall will make up for the sales momentum it may have lost when it allowed a longer-than-usual gap between the iPhones. Also, there have been reports in the past that the iPhone 5 waiting game was part of Apple's strategy.

In a straightforward way, observers considered that Apple wanted to prep its iPhone with the iCloud and the iOS so that it can trump competition. The cynics said Apple had run out of steam and was depending rather on building up hype ahead of the launch. It was also said Apple wanted to release an iPhone closer to the onset of the holiday season to cash in on the year-end sales spurt.

However, where is all this surging demand coming from? According to a study by mobile ad network InMobi, as many as 41 percent of mobile users in the United States, Canada, and Mexico are eager to buy the iPhone5. The recent survey had also found that iPhone 5 launch will trigger an exodus from users of smartphones of the rival companies.

It said while 52 percent of BlackBerry users would love to switch to the iPhone5, 27 percent of Android users would dump their loyalty and flock to Apple.
It can also be figured out that iPhone 5 being offered on at least two national carriers will throttle up the sales. Apart from AT&T and Verizon, Sprint is also rumored to be offering iPhone 5 soon, making it an interesting three-way race. There have been unconfirmed reports that Sprint has inked a $20-billion deal with Apple to buy as many as 30.5 million next generation iPhones.

For the record, Apple had sold a staggering 20.34 million iPhones in the third quarter. The company sold 18.65 million iPhones in the second quarter of this year while the sales number for the first quarter was 16.24 million. According to Tim Cook, the total sales of iOS devices in the third quarter was 33 million.

Consummate User Experience

Throwing light into the possible features and specifications of iPhone, White wrote the following: We expect the iPhone 5 to get a makeover with a sleek, aluminum unibody enclosure that more closely resembles the MacBook Air than the iPhone 4, which will not only prove more aesthetically pleasing but also stronger, lighter and avoid the back-side glass breaks of last year.

He also says there could be a dual core 1.2GHz to match the Samsung Galaxy S II, while upgrading to a 8 megapixel 1080p camera that is now also on the Galaxy S II was possible as well.

When it comes to consummate consumer satisfaction and cutting design innovations, there is none like Apple. The various Android phones, which have been touted from time to time as iPhone killers, may have similar features as the upcoming iPhone 5, but Apple has managed to retain the aura of being the master class. It remains to be seen if iPhone 5 launch will cement this image.

Apple has conceivably equipped its next smartphone with hardware and software features that will help it roll over the competition. Whichever way you look at it, the rumored specifications of iPhone5 make it a compelling device, and rivals will find the soil being washed away from under their feet.

Critics can say Apple is playing catch-up with Android and that many of the 200 new features in iOS 5 are already there in Android phones, but enthusiasts can say Apple has plugged holes to offer an even better user experience with its iPhone5.

iPhone 5 will probably have features like: Edge-to-edge 3.7-inch or 4-inch display, speech-recognition capabilities, an improved flash unit for the camera and strong gaming capabilities with an A5 processor. It is rumored that iPhone will have Imagination Technologies' PowerVR Series6 mobile graphics processing architecture, 8-megapixel camera, 1080p full high-definition videos, panoramic photo capabilities, Qualcomm chips to support GSM/CDMA technologies for AT&T/Sprint/Verizon, and wireless charging. iPhone 5 could also have a high-capacity battery, near-field communications support, and increased random access memory, along with 4G support.

On the software front, there could be features such as a notification center, background updates, cloud sync, wireless sync, reminders with a geolocation feature, OTA updates, Twitter integration and voice control. There could be additional features like a camera shortcut when the phone is locked, a simplified reader view in Safari, widgets, rich-text formatting, LED flash for calls and alerts, custom vibration, alternate routes in maps, and HD streaming in YouTube over 3G.

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