Space shuttle Atlantis’ STS-135 mission, a flight notable for its lasts, is taking the first iPhone into space to help with experiments aboard the International Space Station. Reuters

While rumors swirl around iPhone 5, details around the sixth generation of iPhones has also been unveiled little by little. The iPhone 6 is said to be launching in 2012, featuring a new way of charging the phone, claimed a Wall Street Journal report on Thursday.

Tech website CNET U.K. has since speculated that this new tech could mean that Apple is planning to have the iPhone 6 capable of inductive charging.

Inductive charging does away with traditional power leads and cables, instead charging the device wirelessly. The process works by sending power from a charging station to the device using inductive coupling.

The Journal's report went on to claim that the iPhone 6 will be a significant improvement even over its as yet unreleased iPhone 5 predecessor.

Apple is readying its buzz-exhausting iPhone 5 for the third quarter launch, and plans to ship 25 million units by the end of 2011.

The report hinted at features including an edge-to-edge display and the inclusion of NFC technology -- meaning users would be able to pay for items simply but placing their phone on the card reader.

Wall Street's projections for a new iPhone are relatively conservative, because analysts don't expect the device to have the kind of major improvements and design changes that will persuade current iPhone owners to upgrade their devices early, said the Journal. However, the iPhone business is expected to hit a bigger boast next year, said investors.

It has also been suggested that Apple will transition its iOS devices to connecting over the Thunderbolt port, instead of USB, said AppleInsider.

As for the iPhone 5, here are the latest and most reliable features the upcoming smartphone is likely to sport:

- The new iPhone will be strikingly similar to the iPhone 4, but it will be thinner and lighter. It will also have an improved eight-megapixel camera.

- The iPhone 5 will operate on Qualcomm wireless chips, like its current version for U.S. wireless carrier Verizon. Other current iPhone models use chips from a company now owned by Intel.

- Key components of the iPhone have been ordered to start production and Apple has placed a manufacturing order for the phone's from a maker in China but further delays are not out of the question. The current target release date is mid to late September, or less than 90 days away.

- Apple's biggest redo of the iPhone will come with its next generation model, one year from now. The iPhone 5 will be a freshened and improved update, similar to what automakers do year to year before radically restyling vehicles. The next version of the iPhone, expected to be released in the company's traditional summer launch schedule in June in coordination with its annual developers conference, will be the radical change speculators have been looking for.