Here’s what you could have won

Steve Dinneen
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Apple has said the feverish rumour mill surrounding the impending launch of its next iPhone has dented the growth in sales of its current product, with customers holding off for the next generation. So what exactly has got consumers in such a spin? We take a look at some of the gossip surrounding Apple’s next big thing, and some excellent unofficial concept designs.

This is a racing certainty. The iPhone 4S was criticised for not being compatible with the superfast mobile broadband network and Apple isn’t going to keep its fans waiting any longer. Of course, this won’t make much difference in the UK, where the 4G auction has once again been delayed. At least it will be there when we finally catch up.

This change is almost certain. The 30 pin connector that has come with all previous iterations of the phone will be ditched in favour of something much smaller, in order to free-up space inside for the new hardware. This is bad news for anyone with a speaker dock, as they will probably have to buy an adaptor.

As part of an expected design overhaul, the new iPhone 5 is heavily rumoured to come with a “liquidmetal” case – the same ultra-durable, ultra-light material used to make golf clubs. It is very resistant to corrosion and is also very flexible. Apple already uses the material for its SIM ejector tools and a larger adoption is within the realms of possibility.

The iPhone 5 is expected to break ranks and deliver a bigger screen: something Apple has resisted. The screen is now expected to be between 4 and 4.5 inches, a considerable increase on the current 3.5 inches. This will move the iPhone 5 closer to rivals like the Samsung Galaxy S3, with its 4.8 inch screen.

As Apple scours the innards of the iPhone to try and find more space, it looks like its sim cards could once again be getting the chop. The iPhone 4 already shrunk the sim size by half to create the “micro sim”. Now we are expecting the first “nano sim”. Switching sim sizes is fairly painless so don’t worry about the change over.

Another likely addition to the iPhone arsenal is Near Field Communication. This essentially means you’ll be able to pay for stuff by swiping your phone at the till instead of putting your card and PIN into the reader. Apple was believed to be waiting for the technology to grow in popularity before backing it.

Apple won’t sacrifice functionality in the quest for thinness – its latest iPad is actually thicker than the one before it. But every rumour points to a reduction in the depth of the device. The battle will be finding space for a bigger battery to support all the extra hardware. The smaller sim and connector will go some way to achieve this.