The Same Basic Design

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The Same Basic Design

This year is going to be an "S" year for Apple. In other words, instead of launching the iPhone 6, it'll offer up the iPhone 5S. It launches new designs every other year, and the "S" years typically include devices with the same basic design as the prior handset, but with some enhancements tossed in. Expect that to happen this time around.

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The Same 4-Inch Display

Because the iPhone 5S will come with the same design as the iPhone 5, the device will obviously deliver the same screen size as its predecessor. So rather than get the long-awaited 4.3-inch Retina display, customers will need to be content with the 4-inch option in the iPhone 5.

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Near-Field Communication

This might be the biggest gamble of all of the features in this roundup, but there seems to be a good chance that the iPhone 5S will come with near-field communication support. In fact, there have been several rumors suggesting the feature is coming. Whether Apple's sources in the supply chain can be trusted, however, remains to be seen.

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The A7 Processor

When Apple last year released the A6 and A6X processors, the company all but indicated that this time around, it'll offer up an A7 this year. The A7 will probably be a full quad-core system-on-a-chip (SoC), though some have intimated that Apple could offer an eight-core model. If it wants to compete with the Samsung Galaxy S4, it should choose the latter.

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More Storage Options

Now that Apple has finally offered an iPad with 128GB of on-board storage, there's no reason to suggest it won't do the same with the iPhone. Today's customers, especially enterprise users, need more storage. And finally, Apple is willing to answer their call. Expect the same from the iPhone 5S.

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A Catch-Up Camera

The problem with Apple's iPhone 5 camera is that, while nice, it'll be far behind the competition in 2013. The Samsung Galaxy S IV, in fact, is expected to ship with a 13-megapixel camera. Expect Apple to come close to matching the lens in the Samsung device. Apple's alternative might not be that big, but it could come close.

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iOS 7, Of Course

If history were to be the guide, it would suggest that the iPhone 5S would launch in tandem with iOS 7. Apple is currently working on the operating system and will soon seed it to developers, meaning it should be ready for a late-summer launch.

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The Same Old Price

Apple hasn't changed the price of its iPhone in several years. So the company shouldn't be expected to do the same this time around. Chances are that the iPhone 5S will launch with a starting price of $199 and go up to $399 for the highest-end model. Whether that high-end model will have 64GB or 128GB of storage, however, remains to be seen.

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Better Touch Sensitivity

Apple has been silently delivering better touch sensitivity and accuracy in its iPhones for several years. And there's a good chance that it'll do the same with the iPhone 5. Part of that will be ensuring that the sensors on the screen are more precise and can more effectively track movement. Expect Apple to make strides in touch sensitivity.

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An Enhanced Antenna

Over the last couple of years, Apple has caught the ire of some customers who say that its antenna isn't as good as it could be. The company even acknowledged that with the launch of the iPhone 4. With the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5, some of those troubles were addressed, but many reviews still found trouble. Expect an even better antenna in the iPhone 5S.

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