Apple's silence over the release of iPhone 5 has resulted in a barrage of rumors related to the specifications which the next rendition of iPhone 5 will entail.

While the industry muses over the hardware specifications, Apple has confirmed details about the software which will grace iPhone 5 by launching the iOS 5 at WWDC.

In the midst of Apple's legendary silence over the hardware details, the best way to infer the specifications which will make their way into the iPhone 5 is to look at the competition. The Android breed of superphones reveals the critical minimum that iPhone 5 needs in order to stay in the smartphone race.

When Apple arrives in September at the iPod refresh event, or as some tech websites surmise that September 7 could be the day, Apple will meet a band of five stellar Android smartphones - Samsung Galaxy S 2, HTC Sensation, EVO 3D, Motorola Photon and Atrix.

However, another rumor from BGR which states that Google's pure Android 4.0 version-based Nexus 4G is due to arrive during Thanksgiving does not bode well for Apple iPhone 5 release. The phone is touted to be an absolute beast of a phone.

Until the beast arrives, Apple has got a lot to contend with. There is Samsung Galaxy S II and HTC Sensation, Android Gingerbread-based phones which pack 1.2GHz dual-core chips. When Motorola Atrix arrived in January at the CES 2011 event, it flaunted a 1GHz NVIDIA dual-core chip, which was then considered a milestone. However, Galaxy S 2 and HTC Sensation have changed the benchmark and now Apple has to contend with 1.2GHz dual-core chips. It is rumored that iPhone 5 will be powered by the A5 dual-core chip which currently powers the iPad 2.

The Android superphones sport an average screen-size of 4-inch. Samsung Galaxy S 2. HTC Sensation, HTC EVO 3D and Motorola Photon sport a 4.3-inch screen while the Motorola Atrix sports a 4-inch screen. Courtesy Nuance Technologies screenshots coupled with its SpeechTrans app available on iTunes, it is reported that Apple is planting an edge-to-edge screen on the iPhone 5. It is also rumored that iPhone 5 could sport a 3.7-inch curved glass screen.

Apple is also packing its iPhone 5 with an 8MP camera with an improved flash as revealed by the reduction in order for Philips LED flash which is currently found in iPhone 4. Galaxy S 2, HTC Sensation and Motorola Photon sport 8MP cameras. However, it not just the camera pixel that Apple has to deal with but also HTC EVO 3D that comes with 3D camera which captures pictures and videos in 3D. It also allows users to watch 3D content sans 3D glasses. EVO 3D uses a camera which can capture stereoscopic photos (2-megapixel only) and videos. And it can also capture videos at 1080p (2D) and 720p (3D).

Another facet that Apple has to deal with is the worldphone concept. Recently Apple released its unlocked version of iPhone 4 which allows users to run the phone on GSM networks. The phone comes without a micro-SIM thus allowing it to be used on GSM networks internationally. It is rumored that the iPhone 5 will feature a SIM-less design with 2-3 internal antennas which will be GSM and CDMA compatible. However, Motorola has already launched a worldphone in Photon. The phone which has been launched on Sprint Network offers both 4G and 3G support. It can be used on CDMA and WiiMAX in US and on GSM network internationally. Also MobileFun reported that Motorola is launching an unlocked version of Motorola Atrix in Europe from Aug. 2.

Another feature which Apple has to counter is the docking facility that Motorola Atrix and Photon offer. With the docking accessory, the phone's content can be accessed through a PC or a TV. The Atrix comes with an 11.6-inch laptop dock which runs on Linux OS. Both the Atrix and Photon use the Webtop software which allows them to be docked with other devices.

Apple is gearing to meet this competition though in November it will have to deal with Nexus 4G which is touted to have a monster screen and will be powered by a 1.2GHz or 1.5GHz chip. The phone will feature Google's next version of Android, the Ice Cream Sandwich, which is unified version of Gingerbread and Honeycomb.

Apple is also due to add NFC-capable mobile payment feature to counter Google Wallet, voice recognition feature and a digital locker service through its iCloud. The iCloud is better than Google's music locker Music Beta as it eliminates the need to upload music to the cloud. It uses a feature called scan and match. It matches the music stored on a user's device with its own catalogue of music and then allows users to download the music on to any iOS 5 device.

Here is a slideshow which lines up the top 5 Android phones which iPhone 5 will have to compete with: