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Apple Investors Eye iPhone 5 Upside

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Ernie Varitimos, who runs the Apple Investor Web site, does not expect a scaled down phone based on the iPhone 4, but agrees that slim form factor and a bigger screen are likely amongst the new features.

"The iPhone will likely include multiple transceivers in it to accommodate more than one carrier and a new interface that extends iOS to include voice control," he told TheStreet. "Voice control has been one of the lagging features in the new iPhone - there will probably be emphasis on accessibility with the new interface, and [it] will eventually find its way into all iOS devices."

The rumor mill, inevitably, has been churning full speed about the iPhone 5. The sexier chatter has focused on Sprint (S) joining AT&T and Verizon (VZ - Get Report) as iPhone partners, as well as talk of a "world phone" running on U.S. and European networks.

"The thing that has me most excited about the new iPhone is that it appears to be a global phone that uses a Qualcomm (QCOM - Get Report) Gobi chip that allows the phone to work with any cellular service anywhere," explained Grannis of Calafia Beach Pundit. "This is going to greatly expand the market for iPhones, and it makes any new iPhone much more versatile."

Any investors hoping to see a 4G LTE iPhone, however, may need to be patient and wait until next year.

Investors will also be monitoring the iPhone 5 launch to see how Cook measures up to his illustrious predecessor. Whereas Steve Jobs was a flashy, high-octane, front man, Cook is much quieter, less flamboyant presence.

"I think what you're probably going to see is Cook be more of a moderator -- I think that he will bring other people out to talk about the devices," said Yoshikami of YCMNET Advisors. "I don't think that he's going to try to replace Steve Jobs -- the launch will be more of a team effort with him as the leader."

Executives such as design guru Jony Ive could thus play a much bigger role in the iPhone 5 launch, highlighting Apple's deep bench strength.

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SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AAPL $126.60 0.94%
GOOG $521.84 0.26%
QCOM $62.90 0.43%
S $4.52 -0.88%
T $35.57 0.14%

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