After the release of iPhone 4S instead of the anticipated iPhone 5, Apple is really going to have to 'pull out all the stops' with the next model to come up with a smartphone worthy of the name.
The iPhone 4S features some significant improvements, such as the A5 dual-core processor, enhanced camera, and Siri voice recognition technology. However, a number of people feel it hasn't quite met their high expectations - with a larger screen, 4G connectivity and NFC being high on the wish list - lacking features that are already being offered by the competition.
Apple will have to take serious steps to protect its position on the market as the competition isn't sitting still.
With regards to connectivity, Apple is already behind, as Samsung's Galaxy S2 (among others) already offers true 4G data on Sprint and '4G-like' speeds on T-Mobile, with AT&T and Verizon gearing up for 4G LTE technology.
The iPhone 4S display is also perceived as a shortcoming in comparison with other smartphones on the market, although the Retina Display provides the sharpest images and still tops various customer satisfaction surveys.
Apple should also look to introduce Near Field Communications technology which enables mobile payments, though the infrastructure required won't really be widespread until the middle of next year.
Analysts are already trying to perceive Apple's next move, but it's certainly going to be hard to 'wow' the tech world when the iPhone 5 appears. With the competition tending to be at least six months ahead in terms of hardware, Apple will increasingly be relying on its design and software and services (iOS 5 and iCloud) to keep it ahead of the pack.
You can win an iPhone 4S by entering our competition - which ends on the 21st of October - here