It's an iPhone 4 with an "S" -- meaning it has the same design as the predecessor, and "S" stands for the late Steve Jobs or software (same aesthetics but new operating system). As Apple has not released a new phone model in the past 15 months and with the outpouring of emotion for its creative genius, the iPhone 4S is expected to rake in record sales.
For fans frustrated with failure's to announce the iPhone 5 last at the "Let's Talk iPhone" event week, the 15-month wait for the fifth generation iPhone will get longer, by four to twelve months.
There have been reports that Apple will be releasing an iPhone 5 this January. Unless the iPhone 4S doesn't sell, Apple will likely unveil the iPhone 5 beyond January.
If the iPhone 5 is ready to go by January, why not put the device in the market in December holiday season when consumer spending is at its highest point? A December or January release date is just too soon.
Customers who lined up for the iPhone 4S will find their three-month phones obsolete. And for those not mad at this rip-off, who would want to pay termination fees three months after taking a two-year contract?
A March release date would also be possible although unlikely. The first and second generation iPads were released in March in the past two years, and the third one will be available in March next year. Having two new pricey devices simultaneously would cannibalize sales of one of the devices -- who would want to pay for a $649 (contract-free) iPhone 5 and a $499 iPad 3 at the same time?
A June unveiling at Apple's developers' conference would be a more plausible schedule. Prior to this year, Apple has been launching new iPhone models in June. Analyst Keith Bachman of BMO Capital Markets had said a few months ago that the all-new iPhone 5 would arrive only in 2012. "We believe the iPhone 5 will launch in mid-2012," Bachman had written in a note.
An October 2012 release date for the iPhone 5 also makes sense. Releasing a new iPhone 24 long months after the flagship iPhone 4 was made available -- and 12 months after the "interim" iPhone 4S -- would allow Android phones and Windows-based Nokia phones to gain ground.
With no iPhone 5, it's rumor-time once again.
HERE ARE THE TOP 10 RUMORED FEATURES OF THE IPHONE 5:
10. 4G LTE Connectivity. "Apple is saving the iPhone 5 brand for the LTE version, and the new model won't arrive until the 4G LTE technology is ready to be used in smartphones, which won't be out until next spring," Will Strauss, president of market research firm Forward Concepts told CNET. There have been reports that Apple was testing LTE but was unhappy with the first generation LTE chipsets from Qualcomm, which chipsets would make phones bulkier.
9. Quad-core processors and bigger RAM. The iPhone 4 has a single core A4 processor, while the iPhone 4S has a dual core A5 processor. Samsung Electronics and other Android device-makers are preparing to launch phones with quad-core processors with Nvidia's quad-core Kal-El chips.
iPhone 6 would have quad-core processors, Ars technica reported, after discovering that the Cupertino, California-based company has embedded support for quad-core chips in source code revealed in its Xcode developer tool. But Ars technica's report was based on the assumption that the iPhone 5 would be released this October.
With the iPhone 5 still due 2012, it would be more likely that the quad-core processors, which will give phones with desktop-like performance, will be in the iPhone 5. Linley Gwennap, founder and principal analyst at The Linley Group told PCWorld, told PCWorld that she expects the iPad 3 will have a quad-core A6 processor.
The iPhone 5, which will be released after the iPad 3, will likely have the same processor. As to the RAM, the iPhone 4S has the same amount of RAM as its predecessor, persisting at 512 MB. "Don't be deceived because inside it is all new", Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, said about the iPhone 4S. The iPhone 5 will be a full-version upgrade over the iPhone 4. It will have a faster processor and a bigger amount of RAM.
8. Curved screen. Digitimes, citing sources in the glass industry, Apple's design team is working on a new iOS device with a curved glass screen. There were rumors earlier that Apple has been purchasing glass-cutting machines that specialize in curve screens. The iPhone 5 will have the external design changes fans have been looking for in this year's new iPhone.
7. NCF Chips. Apple will include near field communication (NFC) in the iPhone 5. Google has just announced that it has signed deals with Visa, Mastercard and others for NCF readers at stores. More people will flock to Android devices for Google Wallet if the iPhone 5 can't be a virtual wallet.
6. Operating system. Each new iPhone launched in the market comes with new software. Aside from the radical new design, the iPhone 5 needs the 200 new features from a new OS in order to entice Apple users to upgrade or Android users to switch. By the time iPhone 5 is available, Microsoft Corp. will already have Windows 8, a new operating system designed to work not only for personal computers but also for smartphones and tablets.
The Mac OS X Lion launched together with the new MacBook Air laptops in August incorporated many developments made in Apple's iOS. This indicates that Apple could go Microsoft way and possibly merge the platforms for its mobile devices and PCs. Apple's iCloud infrastructure would function perfectly with a common platform.
5. Teardrop design and no home buttons. Boy Genius Report months before had a report that the iPhone 5 that will be released this year will have a teardrop design. Although BGR and others never predicted the release date, BGR's "iPhone 5 will have radical changes" has not been proved wrong after Apple only unveiled the iPhone 4S this month.
The iPhone 5 is expected to come with an aluminum plate casing rather than the current glass backing. As to the home-button, Jobs removed the keyboard, so it's not surprising that the iPhone 5 won't have the home-button.
4. Display at 4 inches. It is expected that iPhone 5 will have a larger edge-to-edge display possibly with 3.7-inch to 4.3-inch screen. Samsung, HTC, and Motorola have launched new smartphones with 4.3-inch screens. If CEO Tim Cook keeps the iPhone's 3.5-inch screen, he'll be hearing "too small" criticisms everyday. Apple knows how to challenge boundaries, so a massive display on an iPhone is not impossible.
3. AMOLED screen technology. Apple is Samsung's number one customer. Samsung already manufactures the processor, the RAM and screens for Apple devices. It will make more money if it manufactures and provides the AMOLED screen technology for the iPhone 5. But the two have been at odds this year.
Apple has sought a ban of the Galaxy S2 and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in its lawsuits against Samsung in three continents. Samsung has responded with a lawsuit seeking a ban of the iPhone 4S on account of Apple's infringement of Samsung's wireless technology.
2. Dual-LED flash camera. People were expecting an iPhone 5 that would have an advanced 8-megapixel this year. Apple only launched iPhone 4S and it came with an 8-megapixel LED flash camera and a secondary VGA one for video chat.
The iPhone 5 should have an upgraded camera, possibly at least a 12-megapixel. The iPhone 5 is expected to have a dual-LED flash and the flash unit will be separated from the camera sensor. The front-facing camera should At least have 2-megapixels rather than the archaic VGA.
1. 3D Experience. Toshiba has already unveiled the world's first glasses-free 3D laptop, which uses a lenticular screen and integrated webcam. And LG Electronics has already released the LG Optimus 3D, which claims to offer "the world's first 3D experience on a smartphone. Steve Jobs doesn't like to incorporate half-baked features on Apple devices.
3D technology on mobile devices is certainly in its infancy, making it unlikely that Apple engineers will add 3D features on the iPhone 5. But Apple filed a patent application related to 3D picture taking to the US Patent and Trademark Office later in March, according to an AppleInsider report.
The filing described a system that would be capable of capturing, processing and rendering 3D images with the additional dual-camera hardware. Apple will continue to lead the industry in innovation if its 3D feature works better than rivals.
The iPhone 5 will be awesome if the new virtual assistant, Siri, will be available in 3D. The sky's the limit for Apple if it has apps and cameras that provide 3D experience.
Must Read: iPhone 5: Top 10 Things We Wanted and Where We Can Still Get Them (PHOTOS)
Must Read: No iPhone 5: Why Apple is Waiting for 2012
To contact the editor, e-mail: