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.
Apple may also bring FaceTime, its video-chat software, to wireless networks. Currently, FaceTime can only be done on Wi-Fi networks, but with LTE networks, the capability for increased use of FaceTime has expanded with iOS 5.1. Besides LTE, the other major feature that may be in the new iPhone is Near-Field Communications (NFC). NFC technology lets customers pay for goods and services with their phones instead of cash or a credit card, simply by tapping their phone to a reader. The phone is linked to the person's bank account and the transfer is made. Broadcom ( BRCM) and NXP Semiconductors ( NXPI) both make NFC-based chips. Even if the new iPhone has all, some or none of these features, one thing is certain. The rumors will only increase in frequency as we get closer to the fall. Interested in more on Apple? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock. Check out our new tech blog, Tech Trends. Follow TheStreet Tech on your wireless devices. -- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/commodity_bull. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: email@example.com