The iPhone 5 is beginning to look a little long in the tooth against the rest of the best phones around, so it's no wonder we're hearing a lot of information about a successor. In keeping with Apple's naming convention we've no doubt this will predictably, and rather boringly, be called the iPhone 5S.
The early arrival of the iPad 4 and the iPad mini - just eight months after the release of the iPad 3 in March - has meant that Apple still has the ability to surprise so the mooted release date for the next iPhone is still up for debate.
Nevertheless it's most likely that the iPhone 5S will hit stores in the latter part of 2013, following the trend set by the iPhone 5 and 4S. It's even possible that Apple will skip the iPhone 5S and hop right on to the iPhone 6, though there is little suggestion that this would be the case.
Apple's past 'S' models have featured the same shell as the core model, though with different features and slightly different tech specs. Once again, it seems that will be the case for the 5S.
The iPhone 5S isn't expected to differentiate itself from the iPhone 5 too drastically, though a better camera and slightly faster processor will surely be part of the package.
One analyst has claimed Apple could use the iPhone 5S to increase its margin for iPhones as a result of falling profitability.
One thing is for sure, with the release of such super handsets as theSamsung Galaxy S4, Sony Xperia Z and HTC One, the next iPhone will have to seriously up its game.
Apple will no doubt be feeling the pressure to get its next phone out on the market as soon as possible. Interestingly, it's likely that initial designs of the iPhone 5S will have begun under the watchful eye of Steve Jobs. But is it really as important a product as some suggest?
iPhone 5S release date
Any new phone from Apple will almost certainly be the 5S rather than an iPhone 6. Many analysts believe we won't see an iPhone 6 or cheap iPhone until 2014 (although, of course, not everybody agrees with this!).
The iPhone 5S release date could be as early as June. However, we believe it's still likely that we'll see another iPhone later in 2013, probably around the September/October timeframe. That will pit it up against rival Samsung, who will surely introduce the third generation of the Samsung Note, the Samsung Note 3, at IFA 2013.
But that's not what everybody thinks: many sources claim that full commercial production of the rumored iPhone 5S has begun already. That's borne out by further rumours suggesting that manufacturing began in March, followed by a late-year release.
A discount on the iPhone 5 by US network Verizon also added fuel to the 5S rumours on May 7.
iMore reports in early March pointed to the 5S being out in August 2013, something Digitimes then agreed with in late March 2013. It then came up with the startling revelation that the new handset would appear in Q3 2013 (probably September).
As our own Kate Solomon puts it, "in other news, night to follow day, Tuesday to follow Monday and bears to continue using largely wooded areas to take care of business".
The International Business Times also said in March that production had been delayed to make up ground on the progress made by other handset manufacturers. That wouldn't be at all surprising considering how far behind its rivals the iPhone 5 has fallen - in terms of raw specification, at least.
Reports in April suggested that Foxconn has added as many as 10,000 assembly line workers per week to its Zhengzhou plant as it readies the new iPhone.
The iPhone 5S will have iOS 7
We're expecting a September or October release date for the accompanying iOS 7 in line with previous releases following its release in June - in line with last year (and confirmations from Apple that the new software will launch around September) the iPhone 5S is surely going to be the poster-boy for the new operating system.
It's got an all new design, with flatter and redesigned icons, along with new features like the Control Center that lives throughout the phone and an improved browser. It's all fancy. You should check it out when it lands.
iPhone 5S display
iPhone 5S or iPhone 6 will include a Super HD screen display and cameraaccording to new reports in December 2012. The China Times says a 'Touch On Display' panel is being developed by Taiwanese supplier Innolux with 10 point multi-touch and a 0.5mm thickness. Apparently the site spoke to sources inside Apple's supply chain.
It's been reported that the handset would have a Retina+ Sharp IGZO display, which would have a 1080p Full HD resolution. It's also been widely reported that Apple could introduce two handset sizes as it seeks to compete with the plethora of Android devices now on the market.
Rumours in late May 2013 pointed to the iPhone 5S having double the screen resolution of the iPhone 5 - raising the pixel count to 1.5 million and making the bezel extremely thin.
This would be a vast improvement over the 727,040 pixels found in the current iPhone 5 Retina display, which stands at 640 x 1,136 resolution and 326 pixels per inch.
iPhone 5S casing
According to further rumours, the iPhone 5S might not be the only Apple handset we see this year - rumours abound about cheaper, plastic iPhones, while Apple could be readying an even bigger smartphone to launch in June, apparently called the iPhone Math. Some analysts believe that the new iPhone will come in multiple sizes, though we're not so sure.
It seems highly possible that different iPhone 5S colours will be announced - not least because of this shot from BGR that shows different coloured SIM trays.
Reports suggest that a cheap iPhone 5S would mean Apple diversifying manufacturers from Foxconn, perhaps leading it to turn to Pegatron. An analyst estimates Pegatron could be responsible for 75 percent of low-cost iPhones.
According to the hit-and-miss China Times the iPhone Math will carry a sizable 4.8-inch display and an 8MP camera.
The new, larger, lower-cost handset could be aimed at emerging markets such as China.
However, we're now in no doubt that the iPhone 5S will simply use the iPhone 5 shell, especially given Apple's penchant for doing this with theiPhone 3GS and iPhone 4S.
The casing has been leaked multiple times, with each showing the new phone coming with the same case with only minor changes to the buttons to improve stability.
The internal components have also been upgraded to make things a little more efficient when it comes to space within the casing, meaning that Apple is certainly looking at beefing up the specs of some of the internals - a better battery and uprated camera seem nailed on.
iPhone 5S camera
In January 2013 iLounge received information that indicated the handset would sport the same design as the iPhone 5 with the key difference being a beefier camera and larger flash on the back.
That's hardly ground breaking from Apple, with the touted 13MP camera on the 5S hardly bucking the trend considering the Sony Xperia Z already has this and we'd expect the Samsung Galaxy S4 to offer up something similar.
New rumours from January 2013 pointed towards the iPhone 5S having a 13MP camera as well.
More importantly, there are now multiple 'shots' (read: possibly made up) of the iPhone 5S coming with a dual LED flash. Adding credence to these rumours is the fact that the larger flash has been spotted both inside and out of the iPhone 5S, and does make a lot of sense given the need for better illumination.
Have we already seen the iPhone 5S?
It was reported on 6 December that images of a purported next-generation iPhone have surfaced on French website Nowhereelse.fr, revealing an exterior virtually identical to the current iPhone 5 but with slightly different internals.
Phones Review suggests that a dual-SIM iPhone 5S could be released, hot on the heels of a rumoured Samsung Galaxy S4.
More parts appeared in photos shown by BGR towards the end of January 2013.
iPhone 5S NFC
Rumours have abounded for years that the iPhone will incorporate NFC at some stage, but this has proved unfounded. Indeed, Apple decided to incorporate Passbook into the iPhone 5 and iOS 6 as a way to provide a similar, if different, feature.
Now, according to the often-wrong China Times, Apple is rumoured to be equipping the 5S with NFC in addition to a fingerprint scanner for added security. We're really not sure about this one, though rumours of fingerprint scanners and NFC support in Apple's devices trace back to last July when Apple bought mobile security firm AuthenTec for $356 million (UK£238 million, UA$346 million).
PayPal's chief information security officer, Michael Barrett, may have further dropped a bit hint during a recent keynote speech. "There is going to be a fingerprint enabled phone on the market later this year," he said. "Not just one, multiple."
Could this be in the new iPhone?
iPhone 5S battery
We all expect things to get a little better with every new iteration of the iPhone, and it seems the battery is one of those going to get a little spec bump.
In a 'leaked photo', which is apparently from October of last year, the new iPhone prototype showed a 5.92Whr battery, up from the 5.45Whr option in the 5.
Big jump, exciting times...well, not so much.
iPhone 5S wireless charging
According to CP Tech, Apple filed a patent application last month for Wireless Power Utilization, a wireless charging system with near-field magnetic resonance (NFMR). That means we'll get wireless charging at last.
Needless to say, TechRadar will be keeping a close eye on all the iPhone 5S rumors and will bring you the latest developments as they emerge - on this very page.
Other iPhone 5S technology
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster believes the 5S will also have a featureoriginally destined for iPhone 6: a fingerprint reader.
This could be baked right into the home button, although it seems like Apple wouldn't want to cram so much tech into a tiny space. If you look at the possible suspects for the new iPhone 5S home button, you wouldn't think so either.
It would be cool though, if a little annoying after a while.
Meanwhile, a further Apple patent seems to imply that future iPhones will be able to adjust volume as you move them away from your ear.