The iPhone 4 is now over a year old, and we're yet to catch a glimpse of Apple's follow-up smartphone. With no words as to when we'll be seeing the iPhone 5 - and with some rumours claiming it could be landing as late as November - is Apple's next-gen smartphone worth holding-out for?
Given Apple's usual tight-lipped nature, nothing concrete has been revealed about the iPhone 5. However, there's been month's worth of rumours and speculation, so we have a vague idea of what to expect.
First up is the rumour that the Apple iPhone 5 will sport a larger 4-inch 'edge-to-edge' display, bringing it up to speed with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S2 and HTC Sensation. This comes amidst the claims that it'll be thinner and lighter than the iPhone 4, suggesting it'll boast the same compact frame as Cupertino's current flagship. While the iPhone 4's screen is one of the most slick and responsive available, a 4-inch screen would be a welcome addition to the next-gen handset, making it much-more suited to gaming and watching movies.
Powering its 'larger screen' will be Apple's dual-core A5 processor which made its debut on the iPad 2, if online speculation is in fact accurate. Once again, this would bring the iPhone 5 up to speed with its Android competitors, although its not such a big request amongst the iPhone faithful. Given the fact that iPhone applications are designed solely to work on the iPhone, users are unlikely to experience slowing down or 'lag'. However, a dual-core processor would give way for more impressive features - including enhanced graphics and ability to shoot 1080p HD video.
Speaking of video, the next-generation iPhone is also rumoured to sport a bumped-up camera. According to gossip, the iPhone 5 will sport an 8 megapixel Sony-manufactured camera, which would bring-it up to par with the Xperia Arc and Xperia Neo. This was all but confirms by Sony CEO, Howard Stringer, who revealed that his company is gearing up to deliver Apple a heap-load of 8 megapixel cameras.
Still, the iPhone 4's 5 megapixel camera is by no means poor, so it's not a big ask amongst iPhone users. We can also expect to see an improved front-facing camera - a much more welcomed change - which would allow for clearer FaceTime calls.
Although less likely than the previous rumours, Near Field Communication (NFC) technology is another mooted feature of the Apple iPhone 5. If accurate, this would enable users to make mobile-payments straight from their smartphone - and the iPhone could eventually replace your wallet.
Besides the aformentioned features, the handset's expected to be largely similar to its older sibling. For example, it'll come equipped with Apple's iOS 5 software (which will also be available on the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS), and it's rumoured to be launching in both black and white variants. We can also expect to see all the usual connectivity options (HSDPA, WiFi), alongside the 16GB and 32GB models.
So, is the iPhone 5 worth waiting for? Certainly, if you're in the market for a larger screen and higher-spec camera. Besides that, however, the handset's expected to be largely similar to the Apple iPhone 4, which as it reigns as the UK's best-selling smartphone, is unlikely to become 'dated' anytime soon.