Apple’s next generation iPhone is in the news again, and this time, the rumor is all about the release date. According to Macotakara, a Japanese blog, the next generation iPhone, which is likely to be called the iPhone 5, is expected to be released sometime in October 2012, which is not in line with Apple’s traditional release date of the iPhone.

The rumored October 2012 release date could be real, however, if one takes the release of the iPhone 4S into consideration. The device was released in October 2011, months away from Apple’s usual time for releasing a new iPhone. The question is, could Apple be changing its iPhone release schedule to October, or does the company plan on a regular release date shift to throw off competitors? We would definitely go with the latter, with the increase in competition from Android and Windows Phone, as Apple cannot afford to predictable.

Apart from the iPhone 5’s release date rumors, there have been others, mainly about what features to expect in a device that was once dubbed as the “Jesus phone.”

Whenever Apple officially announces its next generation iPhone device, keep an eye out for a thinner form factor and a design that is much different when compared to the iPhone 4S. A bigger display should come into play as well (we have heard rumors about a 4-inch display) and this should put the iPhone 5 in the same league as the majority of Android smartphones in the market.

To be competitive, we expect Apple to add LTE (Long Term Evolution) to the iPhone 5. Verizon Wireless is one of the few networks in the US that is heavily demanding manufacturers to adopt LTE, and since the iPhone is now on Verizon’s network, there is a high chance Apple might come gunning with a LTE-supported iPhone 5.

The next big thing we expect Apple to bring to the table is a quad-core processor in its next iPhone. No doubt, the smartphone market is leaning towards the adoption of quad core processors, and if Apple fails to see this, then the iPhone 5 would be in for a rude awakening. Its closest competitor will be the Samsung Galaxy S3, and although we have nothing concrete on the specifications on that device, we are certain that Samsung will set out to release a powerful Android smartphone to rival anything that comes before and after.

Finally, NFC. NFC (Near Field Communication) is the next big thing in wireless transfer since Bluetooth, and with the fast adoption of the service, we are almost certain that Apple is in the process of adding this to the next iPhone.

We cannot wait to see what Apple has in store for us with the iPhone 5. Our patience is wearing thin, but I guess, we can wait a little bit longer for the new “Jesus phone” to grace us with its presence.

(Reported by Vamien McKalin, edited by Wendy Li)

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