In the race for smartphone supremacy between the Apple iPhone and Android handsets, the burning question that seems to dominate the conversation is: "Is bigger really better?"
With as much as another four months to go before Apple releases the next iteration of its mega-popular iPhone, rumors have already started to percolate on the Internet over what the new iPhone 5 will look like and do.
Mostly, everyone wants to know if the new version will finally sport a bigger screen to compete against the ever-growing screen sizes that are now the trademark of Android phones.
After just a marginal upgrade to the iPhone 4S last fall, the iPhone 5 will likely be a big step up in design and features. Here's a list of what's being talked about for the new phone and the likelihood each rumor might come true. We'll know for certain sometime between June and October, when Apple actually announces it.
Bigger screen (likelihood it's true: 95 percent) • There's been too much evidence from reports among suppliers who produce the screens to supposed pictures of the phone's new case that the new iPhone 5 will have a larger LCD screen. There's also been a lot of pressure from Android handset manufacturers such as HTC and Samsung to go bigger. Android phones now have screens that average 4.3 inches in diagonal length. That makes the current iPhone's 3.5-inch screen look downright puny.
The only questions that remain are how big will Apple go and will the new screen size mess with the phone's overall form factor. Some believe Apple will only go to a 4-inch screen. No matter what happens, expect the screen's resolution (the number of pixels on the screen) to go up as well with the new size so Apple can still call it a "retina display."
The late Steve Jobs insisted that the phone's current form factor is just the right size for the hand, which is why the company always resisted going to a bigger size while he was alive. But Android's increasing sales of phones with big screens may say otherwise.
Change the screen shape (50 percent) • If the screen is to get larger without tinkering with the phone's width, then the screen could get longer while keeping the same width. That would mean the screen's aspect ratio (the width to its length) would change.
But if the screen's shape changes, that would upset a lot of app developers. Currently, the iPhone's apps are made to fit the phone's specific aspect ratio. If the screen gets longer, those developers would have to change their apps to fit the new ratio, something that would cause a lot of headaches, especially for game makers. Game play might have to be redesigned in some cases to accommodate a different-shaped screen.
4G (90 percent) • Here's another near-certainty, especially after the latest generation of the iPad was outfitted with LTE 4G connectivity.
Now's the time Apple will finally adopt the faster LTE data network for its iPhone. New Android phones have been including 4G connectivity, and the iPhone can't be left behind here. And if the screen and therefore, the overall size of the phone gets larger, the battery can be bigger. That would help take care of the fact that 4G is a battery sucker.
New dock connector (60 percent) • The famous Apple 30-pin connector has been a part of all portable iDevices for nearly 10 years, and it's due for a redesign to a smaller connector. That sounds great in terms of design, but here's a big downside: You will have to re-purchase new accessories like a car plug or video-out plugs.
Upgraded iOS (100 percent) • Not only is it certain that the new phone will come with iOS 6, but also expect Apple to introduce the new operating system's list of features during its keynote at the Worldwide Developers Conference on June 11.
No solid word yet on what those features might be, but there is talk that one of them will be a new Maps app that no longer relies on Google Maps but will include 3D graphics.
Google+: +Vincent Horiuchi