Updated: 20/08/2012 12:10 | By Matt Farrington-Smith, editor, MSN Tech & Gadgets

Apple iPhone 5: what we know so far

Will the iPhone 5 be revealed (and released) in September?

Could this be the iPhone 5 front panel? Image UBREAKIFIX.com

Could this be the iPhone 5's front panel?

According to the latest leaked photos from UBREAKIFIX.com, it is - and it shows a larger 4-inch screen too.

The tech press is fairly confident that we'll see the next iteration of Apple's iPhone released on 21 September. What's more, we may also see the release of the much-touted iPad Mini too.

Apple are known to be infamously tight-lipped when it comes to speculation so there's a severe shortage of confirmed facts. We've pieced together some of the most common (and just plain interesting) rumours to bring you what we know so far.

This is a rendering of the iPhone 5 based on leaked parts - created by Bryce Haymond, Director, Blackpool Creative. (© Bryce Haymond, Director, Blackpool Creative.)

This is a rendering of the iPhone 5 based on leaked parts - created by Bryce Haymond, Director, Blackpool Creative.

September release date

Apple will hold a special keynote speech in early September to officially announce the key date. iMore (a part of the Mobile Nations website) believe Apple CEO Tim Cook may also unveil the 7-inch Apple iPad (Mini). So maybe we should mark 12 September in our calendars now if we want to be the first to know.

A tiny Nano-SIM

New photos have revealed the presence of a Nano-SIM tray in the next iPhone. The new Nano-SIM is smaller than the current micro SIM present in current GSM versions of the Apple handset (some 40 per cent smaller).

Apple's tinier take on the humble SIM card was approved by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) earlier this year, in our mind it seems they have been waiting for just such an occasion...

The ghost of Jobs

This iPhone will be the last to benefit from the wisdom of the late Steve Jobs. Before Jobs sadly lost his battle with cancer, he was believed to have been active in the development of the next iPhone proper.

It will be an iPhone 5

After the iPhone 4S we are expecting a seismic shift in what Apple delivers. The iPhone 4S was more an evolution of the iPhone 4, an upgrade if you will, rather than a revolutionary all-new device. Apple's fans (and to an extent its naysayers) will not accept anything less this time around. Whether Apple stick to their new naming convention and just call it "the new iPhone" (instead of opting for a model number) remains to be seen.

The late Steve Jobs was believed to have worked on the next iPhone. (© Martin Keene, PA)

Steve Jobs was working on the next version of the iPhone before his death.

It will run on 4G LTE technology

Think back to around the time of the 4S release and you may remember a little story that USA Today ran. Supposed 'tech insiders' stated the new iPhone would be Apple's first foray into the 4G market.

4G is just another name for the mysterious-sounding LTE (Long Term Evolution) which is mobile providers' ongoing
programme of upgrades to their network's bandwidth. As it stands we can expect the iPhone 5 to be optimised for 4G networks.

Behold! A beautiful 4-inch Retina display

Apple are expected to buck the trend and upgrade the iPhone's standard 3.5-inch screen to a larger 4-inch Retina display.

If Apple engineers were able to pack four times the number of pixels into the 3.5-inch screen found on iPhone 4S and iPhone 4, we'd be surprised if the resolution doesn't benefit from a boost too. Reuters ran a story citing a source that claimed larger screens were being produced by three suppliers based in Korea and Japan.

Stronger, faster, fitter

In terms of raw processing power - we believe the smart money is on a CPU that's already in use by Apple's biggest competitor. The Samsung Galaxy S3 runs a powerful quad-core Exynos chip and Apple have expressed interest in running a variant (it may be renamed to something like the A6 - according to Taiwanese newspaper reports).

16GB, 32GB and 64GB flavours

If we look at previous iPhone models we should look forward to welcoming a slew of different configurations and price-points. A sim-free 16GB iPhone usually retails for around the £499 mark, whereas the beefier 64GB model will set you back in the region of £699. Apple should confirm pricing at the iPhone 5 launch event.

Apple CEO Tim Cook gestures at the Apple Developers Conference in San Francisco (© Paul Sakuma, AP)

Apple CEO Tim Cook talks about iOS 6.

Front-facing HD FaceTime camera

Say cheese! There are rumours that Apple might include a front-facing HD camera for making FaceTime calls. Traditionally iPhone users have had to be in range of a WiFi network if they wanted to use this feature, but with the addition of 4G support we may see FaceTime calls being made using our cellular networks.

Smaller connector port

The internet has been awash with leaked photos showing a smaller connector on the new device. If true this means the phone will no longer be compatible with existing accessories out of the box. Instead an adaptor will be required to use legacy docking chargers, speakers and other extras.

Siri as standard

Siri was designed for iPhone 4S devices, but that didn't stop some clever-clogs from finding a way to install it on older revisions. Interestingly Apple have started to shut down rogue Siri servers (that made such a hack possible) in the days leading up to the iPhone 5 reveal. This suggests that we'll see some special iPhone 5-only features added to Siri's repertoire.

iOS 6

Apple's latest iPhone operating system was announced earlier this year at WWDC 2012. iOS 6 will deliver over 200 new features when it arrives for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. As such iOS 6's inclusion on the new iPhone is a given.

What can we expect from these new brains? For starters; Facebook integration, a bespoke Apple Maps solution, the ability to share photos with Photo Stream, Passbook, and an updated version of the Safari internet browser will all supercharge the new iPhone 5 experience.

Gallery: Apple announces iOS 6

Apple announces iOS 6 (© Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP/Press Association Images)
  • Apple announces iOS 6 (© Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP/Press Association Images)
  • Apple announces iOS 6 (© Apple)
  • Apple announces iOS 6 (© Apple)
  • Apple announces iOS 6 (© Apple)
  • Apple announces iOS 6 (© Apple)
  • Apple announces iOS 6 (© Apple)
  • Apple announces iOS 6 (© Apple)
  • Apple announces iOS 6 (© Apple)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP/Press Association ImagesShow Thumbnails
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Apple announces iOS 6
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