8 'iPhone 5' Rumors To Keep An Eye On

What All The iPhone Fuss Is About

The tech world’s attention is almost always turned toward the next best thing. And for Apple’s fan base, which tends to wait with bated breath for every new gadget in the Cupertino, Calif-based giant’s pipeline, this theory rings especially true.

It turns out its next-gen iPhone -- presumably called the iPhone 5 (although it’s hard to say after the launch of "the new iPad" threw us all for a loop) -- has been no exception. The new phone, which will reportedly come out this fall, is already a topic of conversation for Apple lovers everywhere, as rumors regarding its shape, specs and software continue to spread like a wildfire across the Web.

Here's a look at 8 of the most talked about iPhone 5 projections to surface from the rumor mill so far.

It's Bigger

In the smartphone world, there seems to be a growing consensus that bigger is better. And, according to reports from Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and Forbes, Apple may be following suit.

The Journal reported on May 17 that "people familiar with the matter" said the new iPhone is likely to have a larger display than its predecessors, and that Apple has already placed orders for bigger screens from its suppliers in Asia.

The new screen is projected to measure "at least 4 inches diagonally," compared to prior generations' 3.5 inches. It’s not yet clear whether it's the size of the phone itself, or just its screen, that will account for the extra half-inch.

It's Jobs' Brainchild

Even Apple rivals pay homage to Steve Jobs (left) as one of the most iconic tech visionaries of our time.

And, according to sources including Bloomberg and SlashGear, the legacy of the former Apple CEO may live on in the next iPhone. Jobs supposedly had a very heavy hand in the design of the iPhone 5 before passing away in October.

It Has A New, 'Unibody' Design

Given Apple’s track record, it seems there's little to no chance that the new iPhone will come out looking like a carbon copy of its older siblings. According to an Apple inside source, it won't.

Business Insider quoted Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White, who reportedly toured the facilities of Apple tech suppliers in China, saying that the new iPhone will tout a "sleek look that we believe will require a Unibody case."

If White’s right, this wouldn’t be a first for the folks over in Cupertino; Apple’s MacBook Pro and MackBook Air (left) line of notebooks come with a Unibody-like aluminum casing today.

"We believe the iPhone 5 ramp for the December quarter could be extraordinary, dwarfing previous launches and driving the stock closer to our $1,001 price target," White continued.

It Uses Liquidmetal

Apple's use of Liquidmetal technology for its next iPhone was first hinted at in April by Korean news site ETNews. Now, it’s one of the most widely speculated and talked about design prospects for Apple fans to feast on.

Liquidmetal, a mix of metal alloys said to combine twice the strength of titanium with the processing efficiency of plastics, is used today in a range of medical, consumer, industrial and sporting goods products. According to Liquidmetal Technologies -- the Calif.-based company that pioneered and produces the substance -- this unique mix of metal alloys enhances both the performance and durability of a product.

There's a pretty good chance this rumor will actually pan out; Apple quietly acquired an IP license to use Liquidmetal Technologies' designs in 2010.

It Packs The Processing Punch Of The iPad

Apple-specific news outlets including 9to5Mac have pegged the new iPhone to tout specs similar to those of the new iPad. Specifically, it’s believed the new phone will run a variation of Apple’s homegrown A5X chip, which is faster than the lower-end A5 found in the iPad 4S and acts as the powerhouse behind the new iPad’s Retina display.

It's also believed the new iPhone will feature 1GB of RAM, compared to the iPhone 4S' 512 MB.

It's 4G-Ready

A noteworthy rumor, but perhaps not the most shocking, the new iPhone will reportedly ship with the latest 4G or long-term evolution (LTE) wireless technology.

The prior-generation iPhone 4S (left) launched with only the 3G option, but Apple’s latest mobile gadget, the new iPad, is LTE-enabled, which seems to make this prospect a shoe-in.

It Includes Near Field Communication

Near Field Communication, the wireless technology that allows mobile devices to transfer information by placing them in close proximity to one another, was largely expected to be included in the iPhone 4S. But when the phone was released in October without NFC, Apple followers set their sights on the iPhone 5.

NFC can be found today in smartphones including the Nokia Lumia 610 and Samsung’s Galaxy line-up. It also fuels Google Wallet, the mobile app that lets Google customers pay for things by tapping their mobile devices onto credit card machines in NFC-enabled retail locations.

It Runs iOS 6

With its annual Worldwide Developer Conference scheduled for June, Apple is projected by several news outlets to take the wraps off its latest mobile OS, iOS 6. And, since the iPhone 5 isn’t expected to launch until fall, there’s a pretty good chance it would play host to the new platform.

There aren’t many rumors out there pointing to what new features, specifically, iOS 6 may bring to the table. But if Cupertino history repeats itself, there could be a lot of them. The introduction of iOS 5 unleashed 200 new tools for the iPhone, including the Notification Center and iMessage.

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