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iPhone 5 features and rumours: What to expect at Apple’s October 4th event

Kindle Fire aside, there’s only been one story in tech these past couple of weeks, and that’s the imminent arrival of Apple’s new wonderphone, the iPhone 5 (or should that be iPhone 4S?). The grand unveiling is now tantalisingly close, with Apple dishing out invites to the Cupertino headquarters on October 4th emblazoned with the slogan “Let’s talk about iPhone”. So, what can we look forward to in Apple’s latest iPhone? We rounded up the errant cattle of rumour and herded them baying into our pen of iPhone 5 predictions. Take a look at what we’re predicting for October 4th below.

 

iPhone 5 design

There have been some seriously conflicting rumours swirling around the question of the iPhone 5 design. On the one hand, we’re hearing we could be in for a teardrop display and a curved iPhone 5 screen. On the other end of the scale, we’ve heard that their might be very few changes at all, with the iPhone 5 actually launching as the iPhone 4S and keeping the same form factor as its predecessor, the iPhone 4. This we believe thanks to some leaked shots of iPhone 5 protective cases. Disappointing, but not unprecedented; Apple changed very little on the outside from the iPhone 3G when it released its iPhone 3GS.

That said, there must have been something responsible for the delayed launch of the iPhone 5 (it was scheduled to make its appearance at Apple’s regular annual iPhone launch slot, the World Wide Developer Conference in June). Smartphone delays are usually caused by shortages of key components, so with our detective hats pulled on firmly, we’re postulating that the iPhone 5 can’t be all that similar to the iPhone 4 if it’s been facing a shortage of components.

One thing we are fairly sure of, however, is that the next iPhone will drop with both black and white models available at launch, avoiding the white iPhone 4 debacle that only finally resolved itself a few months ago.

 

iPhone 5 processor

Whether your glass is half full of iPhone 5 or a half empty tumbler of iPhone 4S, one thing that both camps agree on is that the iPhone 5 processor will get a bump to bring it inline with the current stable of top-end Android phones. Currently, the iPhone 4 shares the same A4 chip as Apple’s original iPad. Since then, Apple has released its latest chip, the A5, which powers the iPad 2. With the technology already out in the wild, we’d be shocked, appalled, dumbfounded if the A5 didn’t also make its way into the iPhone 5.

 

iPhone 5 camera

Also expected to receive a spec bump is the iPhone 5 camera. For whatever reason, Apple’s always had a bit of a dodgy relationship with its cameras (those on the iPad 2, for instance, are just awful), and the iPhone 4’s current 5MP snapper is now severely under-par. We’re not expecting anything mind-blowing, just a modest increase from 5MP to 8MP, and maybe a spot of full HD video recording.

 

iPhone 5 screen

We’re also hanging on for a bigger iPhone 5 screen. We don’t see Apple having a lot of wiggle room on this; literally every one of its Android competitors is abandoning the three-and-a-bit-inch screen of yesteryear and going jumbo, from the 4.3-inch Sensation and Galaxy S2, all the way up to the Samsung Galaxy Note, with a screen just slightly bigger than the moon. Bigger screens mean better web browsing, better video and better gameplay – there’s no getting away from it, the people have spoken and they cry for size.

 

iPhone 5 launch date

So, Apple has now confirmed that the iPhone 5 launch date will be October 4th at its Cupertino campus, but when can we actually get our mitts on an iPhone 5 for ourselves? Apple is usually pretty nippy about getting their iPhones out after they’re announced (the iPhone 4 was in the shops just two and a half weeks after being announced at WWDC last year).

But this year could see the iPhone 5 out in even shorter order, with Orange CEO Stephane Richard letting slip that the iPhone 5 would arrive en France on the 15th of October. We’d expect the iPhone 5 to make it across the channel at about the same time.

 

iPhone 5 or iPhone 4S?

Spy shots out of Brazil snaffled up by Gizmodo showed what purported to be the iPhone 4S, with the same casing as the iPhone 4 but a different model number. On the same day, keen-eyed Apple fans in Germany spotted that the iPhone 4S had appeared on Vodafone Germany’s website, listed as a compatible handset for a TV tuner accessory. Finally, the beta release of the latest iTunes contains code references to the iPhone 4S (but not any iPhone 5). We’d been hoping for a dual-release, but in all the most recent leaks all we’re hearing talk of is the iPhone 4S. Can Apple be really about announce a mere upgrade to its current iPhone 4? Hit us with your thoughts in the comments.

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