With all the rumours and hubbub around the next iPhone, the question we constantly get asked here at Pocket-lint is when is the iPhone 5 coming out and should I wait?

According to rumours circulating the web, the next Apple iPhone is expected to be announced and launched in September 2012 after the launch of Apple's next version of iOS - iOS 6 - in June this year.

The current iPhone, the iPhone 4S, was announced on the 4 October 2011, going on pre-order just 3 days later on 7 October. It eventually went on sale in the UK, America, Japan, France and Germany on the 14 October - seven days later and in plenty of time to put it on your Christmas list.

Based on previous iPhone release dates, that have so far come annually, we can expect the new iPhone as we expect it to be called - note not the iPhone 5 - to be launched around the same time.

The company used to release the iPhone in June at its WWDC event in San Francisco but switched to October for the iPhone 4S, the latest iPhone in the range.

In previous years Apple used the "Fall" timeframe to update its iPod range of devices, while the iPad has enjoyed a Spring launch schedule.

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Rumours suggest the iPhone 5 will have a 4-inch windscreen display

Now that you've got a rough idea of when the iPhone 5 could be coming out, the next question you have to ask, is should you wait? Current rumours suggest that the iPhone 5 will feature a bigger widescreen ratio screen, meaning it could fit in the same size form factor as the iPhone 4S. It is also likely to feature a faster processor and NFC technology to let you pay for things with your mobile, although it is worth emphasising nothing has been confirmed.

If you signed up for a two-year contract with the iPhone 4 the moment it came out in the UK,your contract will be up for renewal in June 2012. If you are happy with the phone, for the sake of an additional four months you would probably be better to wait for the new iPhone 5 if you want to make sure you have the latest and greatest Apple iPhone smartphone.

If you have an iPhone 3GS that can be upgraded now and want to stay Apple, you might be better off opting for the iPhone 4S. Doing so on an 18-month contract would mean you would be in the perfect position to upgrade to an iPhone 6, if Apple sticks with the 12-month release cycle, in 2013.

That might seem like a long way off, but if you want to maximise your Apple iPhone enjoyment it is always better to plan ahead. 

Check out all the latest iPhone 5 news and rumours via our dedicated iPhone 5 homepage.