Even though the next-generation iPhone will be the sixth smartphone released by Apple, it's still being called the "iPhone 5" by most Apple fans. It's almost like Apple users have already forgotten about the disappointing iPhone 4S and its even bigger disappointment Siri. This is probably why the iPhone 5 is expected to enjoy record sales this holiday season. Many longtime Apple users skipped the iPhone 4S in anticipation of a 2012 iPhone 5 release. This means a lot of iPhone owners will be coming off two-year carrier contracts when the iPhone 5 becomes available in the fall. And there are also the iPhone 4S owners who have already dumped their devices for the iPhone 5. That adds up to a lot of people waiting for a new iPhone.
The hoopla surrounding the iPhone 5 is carryover from last year's next generation rumors. Dreams of a tear-dropped shaped iPhone may be gone, but the new iPhone is still expected to receive a complete body makeover. Part leaks have shown that the new iPhone could feature a chrome-plated metal frame and 8-pin dock connector. The iPhone 5 is also rumored to be 2mm thinner than the iPhone 4S, and to feature a 4-inch, 16:9 screen. The current models feature a 3.5-inch display.
Like the "new iPad" (or iPad 3) did this year, the new iPhone is expected to receive an upgrade to 4G LTE. Apple fans have their fingers crossed that it will also be "world-phone" compatible and not feature limited support for LTE frequency bands. This is also why Apple may be going with a larger screen and smaller dock connector. LTE requires a lot of battery power. Increasing the screen size will give Apple more room for a new battery. Leaked parts have shown a thinner, longer 3.8V 5.4WHr battery with 1440 mAh capacity.
Analysts, tech bloggers, unnamed Apple insiders aka the Rumor Mill all seem to agree that the iPhone 5 will feature all the hardware and tech changes I mentioned above, what they don't agree on is a processor, NFC technology or nano-SIMs.- It's certain that the iPhone 5 will be powered by a new processor, but it's unclear if Apple will introduce a new A6 chip, or stick with the A5X chip found in the iPad 3.
- Near Field Communications (NFC) is also a possibility. NFC technology allows smartphone users to share photos, music or make payments just by being near another device. Android devices like HTC Droid Incredible 4G and the Samsung Galaxy S III already feature NFC functionality.
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- It's been reported that carriers have been testing nano-SIMs for a thinner iPhone 5. nano-SIMs are 40% smaller than the micro-SIM, and will leave more room for other iPhone hardware.
Who will carry the iPhone?
AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint are all expected to offer the iPhone 5. T-Mobile is not expected to carry the device.
iPhone 5 release date?
Apple is expected to announce and open pre-orders for the iPhone 5 at a special event to be held on September 12. If true, the iPhone 5 will then be released 9 days later on Friday, September 21.
What will it be called?
Since the iPad 3 is not actually being called the iPad 3 by Apple, I would assume the iPhone 5/6 will be simply known as the "new iPhone."
Remember, we were all burned by the Apple rumor mill last year. This means you should take every rumor, especially the September 12 release date, with a grain of salt. With that said, Apple is also expected to announce the rumored iPad mini at the same event... But that's an entirely different ball of wax.