iPhone 5 Release Date: Will the Next iPhone See a 2013 Release?

While Apple enthusiasts are now enamored by the iPhone 4S, which released on Oct. 14 and has already sold over 4 million handsets, many continue to set their sights toward the next generation of Apple smartphone.

Commentators speculate that the next iPhone will be released by summer 2013.

Research firm IHS agrees with estimation and has suggested in a report that an LTE-capable iPhone could debut in late 2012 or mid-2013.

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IHS was the first source to project that Apple would not release a 4G device in 2011.

"Apple declined to offer an LTE-enabled iPhone that would have been more expensive, larger and more power-hungry, and instead opted to introduce a device that delivers nearly the same wireless data speed, but with a superior user experience," said IHS senior principal analyst of wireless communications, Francis Sideco.

Rumors prior to the iPhone 4S unveiling indicated that the next iPhone, then proposed to be the iPhone 5, would be thinner and rounder than its predecessor.

Sources suggest that Apple is still developing technology that will allow for LTE speeds in a thinner frame, as each generation of iPhone has been notably slimmer than the last.

Commentators feel that a summer 2013 release for the next iPhone is the most plausible estimate.

Many have noted that Apple usually releases new iPhones during the summer.

The iPhone 4 debuted on June 24, 2010; the iPhone 3GS on June 19, 2009; the iPhone 3G on July 11, 2008; and the original iPhone on June 29, 2007.

The fall has been known as the release season for iPods.

This has led commentators to believe that Apple released the iPhone 4S instead of a completely revamped iPhone because the 4S has received only software updates. Its chassis remains the same as that of the iPhone 4.

While enthusiasts were initially disappointed at this, many have grown fond of the fifth-generation iPhone due to its exclusive new feature, the virtual assistant, Siri, among other internal updates.

There is debate over whether the next iPhone will be called iPhone 5 or iPhone 6.

Many suggest it should be called iPhone 6 in order to match up with its now sixth-generation place in the iPhone line.

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