iPhone 5 with 4G LTE support and 3.5 inch screen set for October 2012 release

The iPhone 5 will reportedly sport a 3.5 inch screen and come with 4G LTE support

Earlier this week, a rumor began circulating claiming that Apple's next-gen iPhone was set to feature a 4.6-inch retina display. The rumor was sketchily sourced back to an anonymous industry source quoted in the Maeli Business Newspaper, and as far as Apple rumors go, this one was particularly outlandish.

But that's not to say it's been all quiet on the western front when it comes to credible iPhone rumors.

iMore is reporting that the iPhone 5 will, in fact, be 4G LTE compatible. This of course isn't terribly surprising given that the new iPad comes with 4G LTE support. What's more, the iDownload blog recently found data strings embedded within the recent iOS 5.1 release which contain references to 4G capabilities.

But the real question looming over the iPhone 5 is whether or not it will feature a larger screen.

To date, Apple has been more than happy to stick with the 3.5-inch screen it's been using since the original iPhone first launched back in 2007. And while competitors have sought to differentiate themselves from the iPhone by churning out devices with unusually large screens (I'm looking at you Galaxy Note), Apple thus far has been unwilling to play that game of screen size one upmanship.

And it's hard to argue with Apple's logic given that they seemingly can't make enough iPhones to keep up with demand.

That said, there have been a string of rumors over the past few months suggesting that Apple is considering an iPhone with a larger 4-inch screen. Indeed, many believed that the device that would become the iPhone 4S would feature a larger edge to edge screen.

A few month back, iLounge - which has a remarkably strong track record - relayed that the next-gen iPhone will sport a 4-inch display and will be 8mm longer than the current iPhone design

That notwithstanding, iMore writes that the next iPhone will likely maintain the current 3.5-inch display, but concedes that nothing is set in stone just yet. Now should Apple go with a larger screen, expect something in the range of 4 inches, not the 4.6-inch monster screen you might find on the HTC Thunderbolt, for example.

As for a release date, it appears that Apple will stick with the October launch window. While every iPhone, sans the iPhone 4S, was released during the Summer months, technical delays famously forced Apple to push back the iPhone 4S release to October. Releasing a new iPhone model just 8 or 9 months later just wouldn't make sense from a business standpoint and might also frustrate iPhone 4S owners.

Lastly, iMore reiterates a previous report of theirs which claims that the next-gen iPhone will incorporate a smaller dock connector. One of the advantages in doing so is that it would enable Apple to incorporate a larger battery into its next-gen iPhone. A larger battery would in many ways be a necessity  with 4G in the picture, and even more so should Apple's next-gen iPhone feature a larger display.

Curiously, battery life is often overlooked as an important feature in modern day smartphones. A new phone with 4G capabilities and a 4.3 inch screen is praised even though it may only last 2-3 hours on a single charge. Apple, though takes battery life very seriously, which is why, in part, it was in no rush to release a 3G-enabled iPhone. That said, if the next-gen iPhone is in fact 4G LTE, expect it to have the best battery life in its class.

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Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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