Not very much is known for a fact about the iPhone 5--not its release date, not the new features it will have, not how much it will cost, nor, indeed, whether or not it even exists (there are rumors Apple's next iPhone will be the "iPhone 4S").
And yet one thing is set in stone: Americans want one.
According to a survey of about 3,000 U.S. consumers conducted by online retail store PriceGrabber.com, 35 percent of shoppers say they plan on buying an iPhone 5 whenever it is released. Of that 35 percent, half of the respondents say they will buy the new iPhone within a year of its release, while about 30 percent want to be using it by New Year's 2012, responding that they would purchase the phone by the end of the year. Though Android is America's top smartphone platform by volume as per a recent Nielsen survey, 48 percent of the PriceGrabber survey respondents indicated that iOS was their desired platform of choice. Nielsen's numbers tell a slightly different story, one that suggests Android's popularity is on the rise: according to research conducted between July and September 2010, 25.5 percent of consumers said their next desired smartphone platform was Android, while a greater share, 32.7 percent, said they preferred to buy an iPhone for their next phone. Those ratios have since evened out. Nielsen found in a survey conducted between January and March 2011 that 31.1 percent of users planned on getting an Android phone, whereas 30 percent planned on getting an iPhone.
The PriceGrabber survey also gave Apple some free market research: The features that consumers would most like to see on this hypothetical iPhone 5 are a longer battery life (59 percent) and a lower price (55 percent), the latter of which has at least been floated in previous iPhone rumors. (Not that iPhone users are known for total knowledge of the devices they do have: a recent survey by Retrevo showed that one-third of iPhone users thought that they were operating on the 4G network).
Though the latest solid rumors have a new iPhone coming out in "early-to-mid-September," Apple still has not officially announced a release date, nor have they confirmed that an iPhone update is in the works. For a comprehensive look at what the most trustworthy sources have said the best time to buy an iPhone is and what upgrades they expect it to contain, check out our guide here.