Appile iPhone 5Even though Apple isn’t going to officially confirm anything until they’re ready to roll, we can pretty safely assume that the iPhone 5 is going to be released some time this year. While we can’t say for sure that it’s going to be called the iPhone 5, since the iPhone 4S is technically the 5th-generation iPhone, we have heard all sorts of rumors and leaks about what we can expect from this next-generation smartphone.

When the original iPhone was released way back in 2007, it was met with a lot of skepticism. Apple never made a cell phone before and here was one with a new OS and no access to apps. Needless to say, a lot has changed and Apple has become the dominant force. And so, just as we previewed the iPad 3 earlier this year, we are now taking a look at what we know (or think we know) about the upcoming Apple iPhone 5.

Bigger, Taller Display

While the resolution changed with the Retina Display, the Apple iPhone family has always had a 3.5-inch screen with a 3:2 aspect ratio. That could be changing, possibly in response to the recent surge of Android “superphones” with 4+ inch displays and, in the case of the Galaxy Note, even a 5.3-inch screen.

Most analysts agree that the next iPhone will have a bigger display, but the exact dimensions remain up to debate. Some are saying that it’ll be a 3.9-inch display with a 640 x 1136 pixel resolution. That makes the phone quite a bit taller, with an aspect ratio of 16:9. The leaked photo of the casing seems to confirm these kinds of dimensions.

Apple A6 Quad Core Processor

It’s pretty safe to assume that the new iPhone will be faster and more powerful. We’re hearing that the Apple A6 processor will be a quad core chip based on the Samsung Exynos platform. No matter where Apple turns for manufacturing, going quad core is extremely likely.

Near Field Communication (NFC)

Many Android phones are equipped with NFC, making it easy to simply “tap” to exchange photos, documents and other data. The iPhone 5 will likely have NFC capabilities too, working in tandem with something called “Passbook.” This allows you to store information about a bunch of loyalty cards, credit cards, and even plane tickets on your phone, tapping with NFC to make them work at compatible terminals.

Smaller Dock Connector with MagSafe

Smaller Dock Connector for iPhone 5

New iPhone Dock Connector? (Gizmodo.com)

The dock connector on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod has remained unchanged for many years and it’s certainly due for an update. Most people agree that it will be smaller, likely a 19-pin connector compared to the current 30-pin connector. It may also have MagSafe magnetic clasping like the power adapter on MacBooks. On the flip side, some people are saying that the new iPhone 5 dock connector will be a modified microUSB port, but I find that less likely. Apple likes to keep things proprietary.

A True World Phone

With Apple rapidly extending its mobile grasp in international markets, it needs more than ever to have a true world phone. The new iPhone 5 will reportedly support a wide range of 3G and 4G bands, including support for 4G LTE. They’re also working on support for TD-SCDMA 3G for China Mobile.

Liquidmetal “Metallic Glass” Body

Apple has toyed around with different materials for a while and the iPhone 5 may see the first time they make use of the Liquidmetal exclusive commercial license it acquired in 2010. Liquidmetal, which is like a “metallic glass,” has already been used for the SIM ejector tool, but now more of the body could be made from the material. This would represent a shift away from reinforced glass chassis and back toward the use of metal.

iPhone 5 Launching in September

It’s pretty safe to assume that pricing for the iPhone 5 will be largely in line with what we’ve experienced with previous iPhone generations, the launch window isn’t quite as clear. Most reports are pointing toward this September; others are saying August, to respond to the rising popularity of the Samsung Galaxy S III. Others still are saying October, because of supply chain shortages. We can’t say for sure, but September seems to be the safest bet.

Image credit: ibnlive.in.com

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