iPhone 5 Quad-Core Processor Is a Latest, and Likely, Rumor

The iPhone 5 is expected to catch up to competitors like the Samsung Galaxy S III by offering LTE, NFC and—the latest rumor—a quad-core processor. Unique to the iPhone, however, is Steve Jobs' approval.

The iPhone 5 will run a quad-core processor, Apple's A6€”according to the latest rumors. As always, despite rumors, Apple is keeping quiet about its upcoming smartphone.

Apple followed the release of its A5 chip with an A5X in its third-generation iPad, so an upcoming A6 isn't unthinkable. Apple could very well continue on with the A5X, though with the Samsung Galaxy S III, among other iPhone competitors, boasting quad-core processors, the time might be right for the upgrade.

The not-always-right Taipei-based Digitimes, citing industry sources, reported July 5 that competition for quad-core smartphones "will heat up in the fourth quarter of 2012 [triggered] by the rollout of the much speculated new iPhone and models built based on Qualcomm's quad-core chips."

Apple, the Website added, "is also expected to release its next-generation iPhone built on Samsung's Exynos 4 quad-core processor in the second half, heating up competition in the segment..."

As Apple releases just one new phone each year, the confetti has only to fall around a new model for speculation about the next iPhone to begin.

The iPhone 5 is expected to be "completely redesigned," with an aesthetic more closely mimicking that of the iPad, Piper Jaffray analysts predicted in May, adding that it is also likely to have a larger display than its predecessors.

"We believe there is a 50 percent chance the new phone has a slightly larger, 4-plus-inch screen," according to the Piper research note. €œWe believe large screen size is one of the few areas in which Android devices have been able to compete."

The smartphone may also offer the ability for users to upgrade the camera lens. AppleInsider reported June 15 that Apple had filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office a patent titled, "Back Panel for a Portable Electronic Device with Different Camera Lens Options."

The patent background information explained, "It would be desirable to provide a structure for a compact device that allows the end user to reconfigure the optical arrangement of the device while retaining the benefits of assembling the device using a preassembled digital imaging subsystem."

It was suggested that the iPhone 4S would include near-field communication (NFC) technology€”and be called the iPhone 5€”but neither turned out to be the case. This time around, NFC seems a surer thing. While mobile purchase applications, such as Google Wallet, have found little traction in the United States, manufacturers including Samsung and Sony are encouraging users to use the technology in other ways. Both phone makers have introduced NFC-enabled tags that users can program to initiate actions€”such as the phone sending a particular text message or dimming its display€”when phones are swiped against the tag.

One sure bet is that the next iPhone will run iOS 6 and feature an improved Siri. At Apple's Worldwide Developers' Conference, the company showed off both.

Also certain: Long-Term Evolution (LTE) technology will be on board. This is a feature in which the current iPhone no doubt lags behind competitors, and Apple will want to change that. Moving to LTE will also enable more carriers€”hello, T-Mobile€”to sell the iPhone, which sends more money Apple's way.

Finally€”and uniquely€”the next iPhone will also have Steve Jobs' stamp of approval. In May, Bloomberg, citing unnamed sources, reported that Jobs, who passed away October 5, 2011, worked closely with the Apple team to develop the upcoming iPhone.