On September 12th, Apple will take to the stage in Cupertino, CA, to announce a host of updates to its flagship iPhone. It’s widely anticipated that an announcement will include the debut of the new iPhone 5.

In the weeks leading up to Apple’s special event invitation, a host of leaked product images and insider information was revealed, making the release of a new and radically different iPhone all but a certainty. While there is no way to know for sure until Apple makes its official announcement, we’re taking a look at some of the new features you may see very soon on a new iPhone 5 device.

1. Thinner, Taller, Lighter Design

5 Business and Social Features for iPhone 5

With each upcoming release, there is almost always a report that claims the new iPhone will be the thinnest, lightest smartphone available. Usually this turns out to be an exaggeration but many of the rumors and leaked photos are showing just that. The new iPhone is expected to feature a taller body, thanks mostly to a larger display. This new display is expected to be 4″ (as opposed to the current iPhone’s 3.5″ screen) and boast a higher resolution.

The Wall Street Journal is also thinking this new display will be much thinner, dramatically reducing the weight of the device. These new displays integrate touch sensors directly on the glass, eliminating the need for another separate layer. This should make the device more responsive and dramatically increase the quality of the display itself. While a .5″ increase in screen size might not see like a huge difference, it does open up the possibility of extra screen real estate to display more applications on each page.

2. Better Battery Life

Adding a slightly larger screen will definitely stretch out the iPhone 5. This is good news for power users as Apple is expected to also include a larger battery within the new device. The benefit here is pretty simple: A larger battery means more power to keep your apps (and your device) running.

As Apple continues to add hardware and software features, having a battery that can support the demands of the device is extremely important. While there won’t be much room for a battery boost, even just a little extra capacity could translate to an increase in talk time, web browsing, tweeting and more.

3. Near Field Communications

Near Field Communications

Better Battery Life

One of the longest running rumors related to the new iPhone has to do with the inclusion of NFC (Near Field Communication) technology. Building on the buzz surrounding product launches like Google Wallet, many speculated that the next move for Apple would be to integrate a hardware-based solution to a digital wallet. While Passbook is a good first step to going paperless, the ability to use your iPhone as an actual mobile payment device could be a game changer. Millions of iPhone owners, and thousands of businesses, would likely capitalize on this feature when it becomes available.

According to The Washington Post, Apple is under pressure to catch up to the competition. Google Wallet and NFC devices are already available on the market, built-in to many of the new Android offerings. While disparity between leaked images have made it difficult to pinpoint exactly what components will make their way into the newest iPhone, many reports are now saying that there simply isn’t enough room for the technology.

4. New Connection, New Accessories

Many images of the new iPhone feature a smaller dock connector that looks completely different from what anyone is currently used to. The new 9-pin connector is most likely being introduced to reduce the space requirements within the phone itself; it could also open the door for new accessories.

The capabilities of the new port remain to be seen but this wouldn’t be the first time Apple introduced a new standard that was considered to be far superior to other options. If Apple decides to introduce to a new way to sync and charge your device, it’s almost certain that accessory makers will jump at the chance to leverage these improvements and make new tools and toys to integrate with it.

5. 4G LTE


New Connection

Another leaked image of the potential logic board of the iPhone 5 revealed a higher number of cellular antennas than previous models. Experts believe that this could signal Apple’s move into 4G LTE territory, a faster data network that many Android users are already using. While the iPhone 4 supports some 4G signal types, LTE is considered to be the new standard and is significantly faster than previous offerings. In a related move, many cell phone carriers have started using Micro-SIM cards to replace the larger existing SIM cards found in the current iPhone models.

Apple is already making preparations for next week’s special event. In the coming days, we expect even more rumors and leaked photos to surface that might give us more clues about its announcements. Even Apple’s building decorations are under scrutiny, rumored to indicate the new “stretched” iPhone. The event kicks off at 10:00 AM Pacific (12:00PM Central) on Wednesday, September 12th.

What new features are you most excited about? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

[Image credits: methodshop.com, methodshop.com (2), Brett L., Sergio Uceda, iphoneshopusa, Eugene]