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iPhone 5 to Launch in Coming Weeks – NYT

Images of iPhone 5 cases from manufacturer Case-Mate briefly posted on their site but since removed.

The New York Time’s Nick Bilton is reporting that the iPhone 5 launch is “just weeks away,” according to a source within Apple who asked to remain anonymous because he’s not authorized to speak publicly for the company.

The report also claims the new iPhone will be “fairly different from the iPhone 4,” both inside and out, according to an Apple engineer speaking to Bilton. Two of the changes, claims the engineer, will be the addition of an 8-megapixel camera supplied by Sony and an A5 dual-core processor.

The inclusion of the dual-core A5 chip, which powers the iPad 2, had previously been in doubt due to rumors that overheating problems with the A5 were part of the reason the iPhone 5 was delayed. The chip was reportedly having conflicts with the new phone’s slimmer design. Apple was considering using a dual-core A4 in the new phone (the iPhone 4 uses a single-core) and skipping the A5 altogether in favor of a new A6 chip, built with a new 28-nanometer manufacturing process, for the iPhone 6. Apparently that is no longer (or never was) the case.

Bilton also claims that recent images of iPhone 5 cases posted by case manufacturer Case-Mate match descriptions of the new phone as told to him by Apple employees. Case-Mate has since removed the images and replaced it with following message:

The wait is almost over as the next generation iPhone 5 / iPhone 4S will be released in the coming weeks. The new iPhone promises more technology than ever, all in the palm of your hand. The guessing game continues whether Apple will unveil the iPhone 5 or the iPhone 4S. Case-Mate will be ready with a collection of iPhone 5 cases / iPhone 4S cases to protect your new iPhone in your own personal style.

Bilton also claims that Apple is working on aN NFC payment system for a future iPhone, but he is unsure if an NFC chip will be included in the iPhone 5. The iPhone is seen as an ideal vehicle for wireless payments as each device is already tied to an iTunes account.

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