Apple iPhone 5 Could Break New Ground With 10 Key Features

News Analysis: Apple's iPhone 5 could be available as soon as September, according to some reports. As the anticipation builds among iPhone 5 fans, here are 10 features that would break new ground.

When Apple didn't announce the iPhone 5 at its Worldwide Developers Conference, some were surprised. The company has, in the past, used its keynote at the conference to discuss its future software ambitions in addition to a new iPhone.

Since the iPhone 5 was a no show at this year's WWDC, many have speculated on when Apple will finally unveil new hardware. Though some rumors have claimed it won't happen until 2012, the most recent reports suggestApple will unveil a new iPhone in September.

For its part, Apple hasn't commented on whether it willlaunch the iPhone 5 this year, next year or if at all. But based on its history, it shouldn't surprise anyone if the company offered up a new smartphone later this year.

The only question now is what new goodies will the device offer? Perhaps more importantly, what new features will help the iPhone 5 break new ground?

Read on to find out:

1. GSM and CDMA support

Apple currently sells a version of the iPhone 4 for AT&T customers and another version for Verizon customers. If the company really wants to do something special with the iPhone 5, it should offer a single device that would allow users to either bring their smartphone to Verizon or AT&T for a service contract. If the top smartphone on the market offered that, and by doing sotook some power away from carriers, it could drastically change the mobile market.

2. 4G connectivity

Although there are some devices on store shelves already that connect to 4G networks, widespread adoption in that market won't occur until Apple doubles down on the ultra-high-speed technology. Considering 4G is steadily becoming ubiquitous across the country, it would seem that the iPhone 5 would be the perfect device for Apple to support the new technology.

3. NFC compatibility

Last month, Google announced the launch of Google Wallet, a mobile-payments service that utilizes NFC (near-field communications). However, NFC technology is available on just a few smartphones right now, and payment processors have yet to roll out support for it in enough places to make it a mainstream success. If Apple brings NFC capabilities and a Google Wallet competitor to the iPhone 5, look for that all to change. Apple's products have a way of causing dramatic changes in the marketplace, and NFC in the iPhone 5 could do just that.

4. A vastly improved camera

According to photo-sharing site Flickr, the iPhone 4 is now the most popular camera. It's besting the Nikon D90, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and other popular cameras. However, the iPhone 4's camera isn't stellar in any way, and it's in desperate need of improvement. In the iPhone 5 it would be nice to see Apple offer a vastly improved camera that capitalizes on the smartphone's popularity as a point-and-shoot device. It would put the entire camera industry on notice that Apple is getting more serious about photos.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...