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Although the rear-facing camera of Apple’s iPhone has improved significantly over the past few years, the front camera has remained pretty basic. Ideal for FaceTime and other third-party video calling apps, it has taken a firm backseat as the main snapper has evolved to the super-sharp, 8-megapixel offering it is today.

Apparently though, the next-gen iPhone – often unofficially dubbed the "iPhone 5" – could pack an HD-compliant front camera at last, according to a report by KGI analyst Mingchi Kuo.

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In a note to investors, Kuo believes among "quite a few essential adjustments" to be expected with the next iPhone, the front-facing shooter will likely offer HD, while the fruit company may also include a flip-chip (FC) solution for the improved camera. Additionally, the camera, Kuo reckons, will move toward a central position, as opposed to its current location to the left of the ear speaker.

Unlike many analyst reports, which are often unfounded assumptions, Kuo points to the 4-inch display all-but confirmed to be present with the new device – expected to be released around October. Apple has stuck firmly by the 3.5-inch LCD since the very first iPhone, but with Android devices now dwarfing the Cupertino company’s smartphone, leaks and solid reports suggest the screen will be stretched. With more pixels on the screen, it makes logical sense for Apple to bump up the quality of the front camera.

The higher quality, rear-facing camera will likely still be 8-megapixel, according to Kuo, with some incremental improvements including improved aperture range up to f/2.2, compared with the maximum aperture of f/2.4 with the iPhone 4S.

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The camera, says Kuo, will be noticeably thinner than ever before, giving Jony Ive and the rest of the design team plenty of challenges in creating the finished article. He believes Apple’s suppliers will be met with "unprecedented challenges" in manufacturing rear camera components because of the meticulous changes to the iPhone’s design as a whole.

As stated, it will likely drop in October, giving the iPhone 4S a 12-month shelf life. With the third-gen iPad packing LTE connectivity, the improved cellular radio is another almost-certain feature.

With the larger screen, LTE and improved cameras, the next iPhone is certain to generate the usual wave of iPhone Fever among frantic consumers.

(via AppleInsider)

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