Technophiles are waiting with bated breath for the iPhone 5, which Apple is expected to launch in October.
The October release date looks probable as the California-based Apple said its iOS 5, the latest version of its operating system, will be released in the fall. Fall officially begins in the last week of September -- and for the iPhone 5 to have the iOS 5 pre-installed in it, the launch should be in October.
There is an array of possible iPhone 5 features that have been revealed through several sources, image leaks and estimates by analysts and industry experts.
Here's a detailed look at the rumored hot features of iPhone 5:
World Phone with a SIM-less Design:
iPhone 5 is rumored to feature a new SIM-less design with two to three internal antennae for CDMA and GSM compatibility, making it a World Phone. Another rumor suggested is that the iPhone 5 will feature a SIM card slot for other countries except the U.S, allowing users to insert any SIM card when traveling abroad.
Curved Glass Display:
Apple may unveil iPhone 5 with a slightly bigger screen size ranging from 3.7 to 4-inch to counter Android rivals. Rumors of a curved glass display on iPhone 5 have been doing the rounds ever since DigiTimes reported in May that Apple had placed an order for glass cutting machines which are capable of making curved glass covers.
Apple products are known for their beautiful design. iPhone 5 is expected to adopt a teardrop design that is supposed to be slimmer and lighter than past iPhone models.
The new smartphone, which may have an edge-to-edge display, would come with an aluminum plate casing rather than the current glass backing. Rumors suggest a more uniform design across all of Apple's mobile devices as aluminum may be the consistent material used in the upcoming iPad 3 and iPod lineups as well.
Meanwhile, an analyst with Rodman & Renshaw said the form factor of iPhone 5 could be a slightly smaller version of the iPad 2.
Powerful A5 Chip
Apple may fit an A5 chip in iPhone 5 with a clocking speed in the range of 1.2 or 1.5 GHz with 1GB RAM. A5 is the same chip that powers iPad 2. Processors of several Android smartphones are powered by a minimum of 1 GHz processors.
Another rumor is that the next iPhone will be a fire-proof phone. Apple has filed a patent application for an advanced halogen-free flame retardant material which could be used in future Apple products. Patently Apple, an Apple Inc. centric blog, has reported that the new material will be integrated into the manufacturing of Apple products such as keyboards, mice, iPods, the iPad, cabling and more.
A revolutionary way of charging mobile devices may see the iPhone 5 gain mass appeal. The inductive wireless charging technology for the iPhone could juice up its battery without the use of cables or plugs. By utilizing a charging dock, the iPhone can charge its battery as well as share, sync or back up data at the same time.
One rumor that gets repeatedly mentioned is that Steve Jobs didn't want any physical buttons on the iPhone from the start. However, reported prototypes suggest that the iPhone 5 may have a rectangular button compared to the circular one found in the iPhone 4.
Apple has made improvements in the camera department of the iPhone 4 by fitting a 5-megapixel camera with an LED flash. For the iPhone 5, the technology giant may fit an 8MP camera with lens supplied by either Sony or Omnivision.
The iPhone 5 will also reportedly have panoramic photo capabilities and 1080p Full HD videos. An iOS code section revealed recently that the next iPhone will let users take panoramic photos with the photo app.
Strong Gaming Capabilities:
The iPhone 5 is rumored to have stronger gaming capabilities, supported by multi-core A5 processor and Imagination Technologies' PowerVR Series6 mobile graphics processing architecture.
AT&T documents, leaked by the hacking group LulzSec, suggest that the Apple iPhone 5 will offer 4G and will be LTE network compatible. LTE, or Long Term Evolution, is the latest standard in the mobile network technology and is a project of the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).
Most mobile carriers in the world have plans to convert their networks into LTE, or 4G as it is often called. The current generation of mobile telecommunication networks is known as 3G or third generation.
However, the consensus from analysts and tech experts seems to be that the iPhone 5 will not have 4G support. Peter Misek, an analyst at Jefferies & Co., stated that Apple will not release a 4G LTE capability in the iPhone 5 this year because Qualcomm's LTE chipsets, which Apple would have used, were not reaching the yields that Apple expects for its iPhone 5.
Meanwhile, 4G capability of the iPhone 5 will be a crucial factor in the building of the fourth generation network infrastructure in the US.
Mobile-payment services using Near Field Communication (NFC) will be a hot segment in the future. There have been reports since early this year that Apple is testing an iPhone that incorporates NFC technology. Users can simply pay for goods by waving their iPhone in front of a contactless payment scanner.
It is also said that Apple had disclosed in some of its meetings that it won't feature NFC on the next iPhone. The Independent said that Apple will sacrifice NFC in its next iPhone due to lack of industry standards about the technology.
But analysts at Jefferies expect Apple to come out with another iPhone, likely to be named the iPhone 5S, in 2012, which will have an NFC payment feature.
If Apple equips the next iPhone with NFC, which is considered to be the next wave that revolutionizes mobile and contactless payment technology, it will instantly come on top of the competition.
A smartphone's battery life is crucial to juice its advanced features and Apple has always scored over competitors in this area by improving battery life with each release of the iPhone. For instance, the iPhone 4 has 40 percent more talk time than the iPhone 3GS. The iPhone 4 offers 14 hours of talk time on 2G and up to 7 hours on 3G with a standby time of up to 300 hours. So, going by the past, we should see a better battery life on the iPhone 5 too.
An operating system is the most significant factor considered in the purchase of a smartphone. Apple's iOS is the leading smartphone operating system competing with Google's Android.
The iPhone 5 is expected to run on the latest iOS 5, which comes with 200 new features including improved notifications system, news stand and iMessage. It will also feature new applications, such as the Reminders app and Newsstand, an application resembling Folders, and iBooks.
Apple's iPhone 5 is expected to feature the new iCloud service in operating iTunes for wireless remote access of music from all computers and mobile devices.
iCloud will also store photos, apps, calendars and documents without storing them onto the phone's memory storage. Apple also placed itself in top position of the cloud war by inking deals with top music label companies to license songs for the iCloud service.
There are also rumors that Apple is stepping into the movie scene by attempting to license deals for films with movie studios.
Last but not the least, Apple has built a strong ecosystem around its products that makes a consumer loyal to Apple products. For instance, Apple's App Store has more than 425,000 apps that would make the iPhone 5 even better.