There's no stopping the endless speculation regarding the upcoming iPhone 5. Will it be faster? Yes, probably. Will it cure cancer, read minds or help you unhook your girlfriend's bra? Probably not. It's hard to know for sure until Apple makes it official, but here are some of the major rumors circulating, many of which are highly plausible.
Complete Body Redesign
The biggest discussion you'll hear about the new iPhone is its appearance, and from the looks of it, iPhones are about to get a complete overhaul. Some of the images floating around the web (like this one to the left) feature a rounder, mouse-like body. An iPhone with some curves might fit nicely into the hands that pay hundreds of dollars for the device. Other sites are sending out signals of a taller body, which might make handling the device more awkward than it already is, especially when attempting to text while taking a leak.
One of the most consistent rumors, however, is the larger home screen, spanning a full 4.6 inches compared to the regular 3.5 inches (Apple iPhone 5 News). So get ready for bigger and brighter on-the-go Internet porn and massive Twitpics in your life.
Piggybacking off the new look, the iPhone 5 model is expected to, like most new Apple products, be thinner and lighter than its predecessor. At this point, the iPhone 5 is borderline anorexic, with a rumored 7.9 mm thickness compared to the iPhone 4's 9.3 mm. The phone's weight is said to match up to the iPhone 3, since the weight of the iPhone 4 was an unexpected, noticeable increase. With the increased size of the home screen rumored, Apple would really have to gut this baby in order to lighten its load.
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Unlike people, Apple seems to get smarter and faster with age, and with each new mobile device comes a newly designed, revolutionary chip inside. The latest chip, the new iPad's A5x, is an upgrade from the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 chips with faster processing by more than twice the speed.
The rumored chip this time around is the A6. We won't know what it's capable of until the release, but the possibility of making our heads spin off our necks when we see how fast and smart it really is with our own eyes just increased. Which brings us to the 4G rumors.
4G LTE Capable
Like Bill Murray reprising his role in "Ghostbusters," we have waited long enough to receive good news on a 4G-capable iPhone, only to be disappointed time and time again. Rumor mills are spinning wildly with the notion that the long-awaited time has come with this redesign, a perfect time to upgrade our service to 4G, speed up our progress and hopefully end the madness that is the dropped call, which is every current iPhone's Achilles' heel. Don't be disappointed if Christmas doesn't come early, but with more than 300 cities in the U.S. with 4G cell towers and a great amount of testing going on, its becoming more apparent that Apple is pointing us in the 4G direction.
HD Front-Face Camera
You think you're vain now? Just wait until a possible HD front-face camera is unveiled. The original back camera, which is already HD, may soon have a twin sister on its opposite side with HD capabilities of up to eight megapixels. Your bathroom-mirror photos and Twitter sexting will never look more appetizing.
New Charger Size
Throw out the four chargers you've had to purchase for all your Apple products because the new iPhone model will likely be incompatible. The old 30-port channel will be replaced with a likely 19-port channel, smaller and more conventional but not universal to the old-style chargers. Start budgeting now for four more of these chargers over the next two years.
It sounds like a bad nickname you'd get on the playground during your less appealing, orthodontic years, but for better or worse, Apple is rumored to be backing (literally) their iPhones with a metal case instead of glass. This could mean better protection, sustainability and a stainless-steel look to the phones, along with the chance it won't all go to hell when you drop it in the toilet. A change towards metal might not make the phones any lighter, but then again, it's not likely that every rumor will play out as we expect.
There has been a lot of short mention of an increase in RAM size in the new model, including speculations of 1 gigabyte up from the last model's 512 megabytes. Along with the iOS 6 software that is announced for a fall release, Apple's focus on mechanics is starting to sound like it's even outdoing itself this time around.
Chameleon Defense Mechanism
With the high number of iPhone thefts in past years, Apple has cleverly designed a special edition model that allows the iPhone to blend in with its surroundings to ward off sticky fingers and protect you from losing your life. OK, this isn't actually a current rumor, but it is one we are starting right now. Because truthfully, with Apple nothing is ever out of arm's reach.
The only question bigger than the what is the when, and people are already wrapping their old phones as hand-me-downs for Christmas with the expectation of having the new model in their greasy mitts by fall. The original release date was slated for September 2012, but it's now rumored for October. It's hard to say with Apple, considering people expected the iPhone 5 last year, but instead the company released a half-ass, prepubescent iPhone 5 in the iPhone 4S and its tech mistress, Siri.
It's smart to expect the phone for fall release since Apple is rolling out its latest and greatest operating system, iOS 6, around the same time, but with rumors of iTV on its way, you never know what's up Apple's silicon sleeves.