A report from China earlier today brought back on the table, rumours about an integrated near field communications chip, a larger 4-inch display and an improved metal chassis which should resolved issues that caused the Antennagate last year.
Chinatimes's Zheng Shufang wrote that the iPhone 5 has already gone in "trial production" with a new metal chassis to improve antenna sensitivity, a 4-inch capacitive touch screen and integrated NFC technology which will allow customers to use the iPhone 5 as an e-wallet.
The Independent claimed earlier this month that Apple told mobile phone operators that it was still not sure about NFC because there wasn't a well-defined standard on the market yet.
However, nothing prevents Apple from integrating the hardware as a "sleeper" component and activating it at a later stage via a firmware upgrade, giving it a user base of several millions units overnight.
As for the metal chassis mentioned by Chinatimes, it might either refer to the current metal frame covered by a black glass back or a proper metal chassis with a metal back, a rumour that emerged only a few days ago.
As for the larger screen, Apple will have to consider increasing the resolution of the phone in order to stick to its "Retina Display" label which is pitched at 326ppi.