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iPhone 5 rumour round up – September 12 launch?

The iPhone 5 looks certain to be released this year. AMEinfo looks at the rumours surrounding the new edition of the much-coveted Apple device.

The iPhone 5 release date

The iPhone 5 was initially expected to be released in 2011, but instead Apple unveiled the iPhone 4S, meaning fans of the phones are hoping for significant changes and improvements on the model launched this year.

The industry has been expecting an October launch, which would put it on a similar schedule to last year’s big launches from the San Francisco-based firm. Rumours are constantly flying about the launch date, with one website reporting that August will be the month the device is unveiled. This, however, seems unlikely as it is known that manufacturing is yet to begin, meaning August may come around too soon.

The latest rumour suggests that the iPhone will be revealed at an Apple event on September 12. The Apple-focused website iMore reported the date, saying the information came from ‘sources who have proven accurate in the past’. The website suggests that the phone will be made available nine days after the event, on September 21. It is also rumoured that a new mini-iPad will be launched at the same time.

The iPhone 5 features

Possibly the most widely expected new feature on the iPhone 5 will be 4G support. After the new iPad was launched earlier in the year with 4G capabilities, it would be a big shock if the new phone did not have 4G.

Another expected change is the dimensions of the phone. There is general consensus is that the phone will be bigger than its predecessors. This has been backed up by leaked pictures of the front case of the phone, revealed by KitGuru.

A Chinese website has also reported that the headphone jack on the phone will be moved and the forward facing camera will be centralised.

The phone is rumoured to feature the latest and smallest SIM technology. A report by the Financial Times suggests that mobile operators are stockpiling nanoSIMs, as they expect the iPhone 5 to feature the technology.

The screen size looks set to change. Many reports have suggested that the phone will feature a bigger 4 inch screen. Other rumours from last year, reported by Tech Radar, stated the possibility of a curved glass screen. Sharp recently revealed that shipping of the iPhone 5 screen began in August.

Much speculation has revolved around the phone’s dock connector. Previously all dock connectors on Apple phones have been 30-pin. However, a number of different rumours have suggested that the dock connector on the new device will be 18-pin, 16-pin or even 8-pin. Sources have suggested that the device may feature an 8mgp camera.

What consumers want from the iPhone 5

The iPhone 5 is one of the most anticipated launches of the year and as ever, Apple fans in the Middle East will be paying close attention. Retailers in the UAE are hoping to see a new look for the phone.

“The guts and software features will always be innovative with the iPhone but the aesthetic design is something I would look forward to. A refresh on the design of the device would be welcome,” says Ashish Panjabi, COO of Jacky’s Electronics.

For electronic stores in the region, Apple products can provide a surge in income. However, some issues have held back the device in the region, such as the lack of local availability of some of the key attractions of an iPhone.

“Many of the features Apple advertises like Siri, location based services, cloud storage for music, FaceTime and the iTunes store don’t exist in this region yet. Many of us would like to take advantage of what exactly the iPhone is capable of,” Panjabi explains.

Another issue is the LTE or 4G services which cause issues in many countries outside of the region as well. The UK does not currently have a 4G network, meaning the new iPad’s 4G features were not met with too much enthusiasm. In the UAE, however, Panjabi does not believe there is a problem with network speeds.

“Most phones don’t operate on the LTE bands that the UAE operates on but generally speaking, network speeds even in conventional 3G are often times quicker than what you get in the UK or US from my own personal experience,” he states.

The iPhone 5 announcement will be met with much intrigue from Apple fans. The iPhone 4S offered a number of exciting software updates, including Siri, but this latest launch may well focus on a design overhaul. Should September 12th be the launch date, the Middle East’s huge Apple following will be watching and waiting to see what the new device has to offer.