BUSINESS

Here's What the New iPhone May Feature

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Now that Apple(AAPL) has reported record second-quarter earnings , speculation has ramped up about the company's most important product: the new iPhone.

Apple followed up its most successful quarter in history with its second-most successful, selling 35.1 million iPhones during the March quarter.

Channing Smith, portfolio manager at Capital Advisors Growth Fund , says Apple will continue to raise the bar with a 4G-enabled iPhone, which he expects in the fall.

"We expect it to have Near Field Communications (NFC), a larger screen and a better camera -- and it will be done without conceding battery life," Smith said in a recent interview. "Apple needs to continue to improve the competitive advantages it already has -- the way Apple has built its ecosystem is brilliant. They've locked so many users into their ecosystem -- that gives them an enormous advantage."

Intriguingly, Apple has filed a patent application for an iPhone made entirely of glass. This could be for the new iPhone, or a future version of the product.

It's not clear, though, what Apple will even call its new iPhone, especially after naming its third-generation iPad "the new iPad" instead of iPad 3.

Still, as we get closer (many are expecting an October launch given Apple's third-quarter guidance), the rumor mill continues to heat up. Here's what might be in the phone, expected to be released in the fall of 2012.

What the New iPhone Could Look Like

Apple's past two releases, the iPhone 4S and the new iPad, were seen as more of the same, with no radical redesigns from the previous versions. The new iPhone could allow Jony Ive and his product design team to push the envelope in terms of innovation.

Even though Apple has kept the design of the iPhone fairly stable, tech blog iLounge claims the new iPhone will have a 4-inch screen, larger than the 3.5-inch screen size it's had since it was introduced.

The new phone will also be thinner iLounge notes, as Apple slightly alters the dimensions of the phone.

Apple has never caved to public pressure and wants to keep things simple, but rumor of a 4-inch iPhone screen has been going on forever, so it's something to keep in mind.

There has been plenty of talk about the next version of the iPhone using Liquidmetal Technology for the casing of the iPhone, but Liquidmetal creator Dr. Atakan Peker may have recently put the kibosh on that in a recent interview. This will be something to keep an eye on, no doubt.

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Who Benefits From the iPhone?

It's almost certain that the new iPhone will run on Long Term Evolution (LTE) high-speed networks from AT&T(T) and Verizon(VZ) . The new iPad is LTE-capable, so many expect this trend to continue for the new iPhone. Apple blog 9to5Mac.com , for example, shows that the new version of Apple's mobile operating system has code for a potential LTE-enabled iPhone.