Tech enthusiasts and Apple fans are eagerly awaiting the iPhone 5, but Apple faces more competition than before as Android users like Samsung, Motorola and HTC are lining up their own entries.

The Android phones would make the battleground tougher for Apple as they would come with advanced features and specifications and are expected to have thinner form factor --- the same things that made Apple's iPhone 4 stand apart from its rivals.

In addition, Nokia and Microsoft are expected to release their first smartphone running on Windows Phone 7 OS this fall.

As rumors are widespread that Apple would launch the iPhone 5 in mid-October, let's take a look at the key features from the iPhone 5 that would make Apple stand out in the competition.

4G:

This seems to be the latest buzzword for the smartphone buyers due to its blazing fast Internet speeds. AT&T and Verizon are offering 4G services. Apple may be delaying the iPhone 5 to release it as a 4G device to these carriers. There were also rumors that Sprint may also carry the new iPhone on its WiMax network.

Camera:

Apple has made improvements in the camera department by fitting a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash. For iPhone 5, the technology giant may fit an 8MP camera in the iPhone 5 with lens supplied by Sony or Omnivision.

Processor

There is near unanimity in gadget circles that Apple will bring its dual-core A5 chip on to the iPhone 5. The A5 processor is the same one that Apple rolled out to power the iPad 2. Apple may boost the speed of its A5 chip in the range of 1.2 or 1.5 GHz as several Android smartphones are coming with 1.2 GHz processors. It's worth mentioning that Samsung, Motorola, and others have already released dual-core Android phones.

World Phone

Apple is expected to release the iPhone 5 as a World Phone - both GSM and CDMA compatible. Another rumor suggested 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.

Screen

Apple should boost the screen size of the iPhone 5 to compete with Android rivals, probably going for a 3.7 to 4-inch screen. The recent breed of Android phones such as Motorola Droid Bionic, Samsung Galaxy S2, HTC Holiday, HTC Thunderbolt and Motorola Photon found expression in 4-inch displays. iPhone 4 has a 3.5-inch screen featuring the LED backlit liquid crystal display with a 960×640 pixel resolution and is marketed as the Retina Display.

Battery Life

Apple is known to improve the battery life of each iPhone version. For instance, the iPhone 4 has 40 percent more talk time than the iPhone 3GS. So, going by the past, we should see a better battery life on iPhone 5 too.

Improved Graphics

For iPhone 5, Apple is expected to fit a PowerVR SGX543MP graphics chip found in iPad 2 to please the gamers. According to Apple, this graphics processor has increased the iPad 2's graphics processing speed by nine times compared to the capabilities offered by the A4 processor.

Memory

Many were disappointed when the iPhone 4 didn't come with a 64GB memory. Maybe we could see iPhone 5 coming with 64GB storage.

HDMI-Out

Apple finally announced support for full 720p HD output for the iPhone 4 and iPod Touch 4G in March. But it could be done only with an expensive $39 Digital AV adapter from Apple that would send HD video to a TV or monitor, while several Android smartphones offer a built-in Micro-HDMI port that only requires an inexpensive $5 cable to run video to your TV.

NFC

Last but not the least, Apple may fit a near-field communication chip in the iPhone 5 as some high-end Android devices are expected to sport the Near Field Communication chip. NFC allows for simplified transactions, data exchange, and connections with a touch. A smartphone or tablet with an NFC chip could make a credit card payment or serve as keycard or ID card.

Apple certainly knows how to surprise and already has a few things in place like iCloud which can steal the thunder from Android devices.

Apple has sold more than 110 million iPhones since the company first launched the smartphone in 2007. Its main challenge is that it must deliver a product that lives up to the hype.