iPhone 5
Apple iPhone 5 with 4G LTE to Launch Later in 2012; Other Features You Can Bet On Reuters

With the releases of the new 4G-enabled iPad, the refurbished Apple TV unit and the updated iOS 5.1, Apple was able to grab headlines last week. And now after almost a week, the attention of the user seems to have fallen back onto Apple once again - the next iteration of iPhone aka iPhone 5.

Prior to the release of the new iPad, multiple reports surfaced speculating on whether or not the device would feature 4G LTE connectivity. Well, rumors suggesting much faster download speeds in the new iPad were spot on with Apple offering both the Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi + 4G models of the iPad.

After the Cupertino-based tech giant confirmed the 4G LTE inclusion in its device, a number of unnamed sources have stated that the upcoming model of the Apple iPhone will be launched later this year, featuring the same technology.

A report in DigiTimes on Monday cited unnamed sources within Taiwan-based smartphone manufacturers, who claimed that the next generation iPhone will very likely contain an embedded 4G LTE radio. The much-awaited Apple smartphone will be launched in the second half of 2012, the report added.

If the DigiTimes report does turn out to be true, then it is expected that the growing popularity of the new iPhone will lead to other smartphone manufacturers equipping their new devices with LTE functionality, which is likely to boost up global sales of LTE-enabled smartphones in 2012.

According to the DigiTimes report, world-wide sales of LTE-enabled smartphones are expected to increase from the originally projected 25-30 million units to 45-50 million units.

The unnamed sources, cited by DigiTimes, also said that the new iPad can only support LTE networks in North America as networks in other regions adopt different frequency bands.

Currently, 700MHz and 2,100MHz are used in North America, 800MHz and 2,600MHz in Western Europe, the Middle East and Africa, 800MHz, 1,800MHz, 2,300MHz and 2,600MHz in Eastern Europe, and 1,800MHz and 2,100MHz in Asia Pacific, the report said.

The frequency bands adopted for LTE networks around the world in 2015 will have 38 combinations, with 700MHz to have the largest proportion at 16 percent, 2,100MHz to have 13 percent, 2,600MHz 11percent and 2,500MHz 10percent, the sources cited Wireless Intelligence under the GSMA as indicating.

Though there was no clear reason for the delayed release of iPhone 4S, many analysts believe that it was Apple's failed attempt at implementing LTE into the phone that held back the much-awaited launch. Since the new iPad got 4G LTE support, there is an even higher chance that LTE may be incorporated in Apple's next iPhone as well.

What Are the Other Features That Look Certain in iPhone 5?

The Internet is full of speculations about what the new iPhone will possibly bring. Various reports have listed out a number of features, which they believe would give Apple's brand new gadget a significant edge over its rivals.

Given that the new iPad sports Retina Display with a ground breaking 2048 x 1536 resolution, the upcoming iPhone is highly rumored to feature something higher in terms of its display. If the existing rumors turn out to be true, the next generation iPhone will boast a 3.7- to 4-inch Quantum Dot LED curved glass edge-to-edge display. Some of the recent reports even suggested that a high resolution (1280x720) HD screen with a pixel density of 367ppi is also on the cards.

Denying all the rumors of an A6 processor, the new iPad finally got powered by an A5X dual-core CPU with quad-core GPU. That said, rumors are rife that an A6 processor will eventually power the next iPhone. It will be a superfast 1.2 to 1.5 GHz processor with 1GB or more of RAM to offer amazing processing capabilities to the smartphone.

What about the camera? Well, considering Android smartphones are increasingly coming with 8 megapixel camera, iPhone 5 is also expected to feature something similar or even higher. Another rumor indicated that iPhone 5 will even have a 3D camera.

Many reports have also been betting on the Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to be included in the upcoming Apple phone. The New York Times reported even before the launch of iPhone 4S that a forthcoming iPhone would feature NFC. Since it did not turn out to be iPhone 4S, it could well be the one on the cards.

After upgrading to the new iOS 5.1, many users have reported a much-improved battery life on their devices.

Currently at Usage 7 Hours, 46 minutes, Standby 3 Days, 20 Hours.. with 17% left in the battery.. Was at 100% when I did the 5.1 update, said a user, who shared his experience via a thread on reddit.

Considering this, the next iPhone is also likely to offer a much-improved battery life. It's expected that the iPhone 5 will have better battery life than the Li-Po 1420 mAh battery in the iPhone 4S that gives up to 8 hours of talk time on 3G and up to 14 hours on 2G (GSM).

If the latest rumors are to be believed, the iPhone maker may abandon mid-year launches and consider a 12-month iPhone upgrade cycle starting in the fall.

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