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The ever-moving rumour mill surrounding the upcoming iPhone 5 continues to churn out tenuous nuggets of information, the most recent of which relates to the intended design for what will technically be Apple`s sixth smartphone handset.
According to a report from Apple Insider, the iPhone 5 will use a completely revamped unibody design which does away with the glass and metal that covers the current generation device.
Observers predict that the iPhone 5 will be launched in October 2012, although there are some rumoured suggesting that it could be in the public eye as early as June, although the late release of last year`s iPhone 4S would make this unlikely.
The unibody shell of the iPhone 5 will also incorporate a larger four inch screen, replacing the current 3.5 inch Retina Display which is looking increasingly poky when compared to the high-def 4-4.7 inch units found on rival Android handsets.
A number of mobile phones have used unibody shells in recent years, with firms like HTC championing the design. Nokia then picked it up for its Lumia 800 and 900 models, utilising polycarbon material which is coloured all the way to the core so that scratches and scrapes do not reveal any unsightly off-hue marks.
2011`s iPhone 4S was something of a disappointment for hardcore Apple fans because it remained almost identical to its predecessor from an aesthetic point of view, despite the inclusion of a faster processor and greatly improved camera.
The iPhone 5 is certain to be the most dramatic departure from the design of the original 2007 iPhone yet, particularly if a larger screen is being thrown into the mix. Users are getting more and more accustomed to bigger displays, particularly with models like the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and HTC One X entering the fray.
The One X is HTC`s flagship Android smartphone at the moment, with a 4.7 inch display that packs in a 1280x720 native resolution. Even the more mid-range One S features a 4.3 inch AMOLED display with a qHD resolution, which gives you more onscreen real estate than the current generation iPhone while also offering more processing power and better performance when it comes to contrast and colour.
Later in the year the iPhone 5 will be facing off against the Samsung Galaxy S3, which has already been pre-ordered by various mobile phone operators and retailers across the world to the tune of 10 million units.
The 30-million selling Galaxy S range has risen to be the real star of the smartphone market and for many last year`s Galaxy S2 remains the superior handset when put head to head with Apple`s best efforts.
Of course the One X is already available on HTC contracts which gives this Taiwanese manufacturer a head start over its rivals. But the stylish image of Apple`s handsets and the selling power of Samsung could leave HTC in third place when it comes to sales by the end of 2012.