iPhone 5
iPhone 5 Mockup Image

As the most awaited day nears, several customers and industry players alike, have their own predictions on what Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is likely to unleash come September 12th. A key focus will be on the hardware, given that over the last couple of years, the last two iPhone launches have failed to overshadow their predecessors. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has, most of the time, retained almost the same design, and this begs the question, how much change will be done to the existing hardware?

The IT hardware industry has improved over the last eight months, with the respective stocks recording enormous growth rates that have outperformed the S&P500, and the TMT Group index.

IT hardware Universe stocks have achieved an average of 14.6% growth year to date, as compared to S&P500’s, 14.3%, while the TMT group Index stands at 11.9% YTD.

Last week the IT hardware Universe industry also outperformed the S&P500 Index (SPX), by recording an average growth of 2.6%, as compared to S&P500’s 2.2%. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) also outperformed the S&P500 after recording 2.3% growth.

Nonetheless, a majority of investors are definitely expecting more growth by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock, going forward with the expected launch of  iPhone 5 set for tomorrow. But what exactly should you expect from the new Apple devices?

According to Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) research, there are some changes expected on the New iPhone 5 device hardware, the research report claims that iPhone 5 will definitely be the star of the show, and doubts whether there will be any announcements made about the rumored iPad mini.

Additionally, the report claims that despite the likelihood of the launch of the device (iPad Mini), which could take place early next month, the only other likely hardware update is expected to come from the iPods unit. The report also expects sales of the new iPhone 5 to be constrained in the first month after the launch, but nonetheless, it expects unit sales surpass last year’s 4 million.

In terms of features, Goldman Sachs Research expects the new iPhone to have a larger, thinner screen of about 4″ as compared to the current 3.5″. However, the company does not expect any changes in storage capacity, which currently stands at 16GB, with a capability of adding t0 32GB. Nonetheless, the firm believes that the new iPhone will be able to support 4G  functionality.

Furthermore, the new iPhone is expected to have a smaller dock connector, thereby replacing the current 30-pin dock connector. This is likely to come with an adapter of its own (separately), which should be useful in transformation from the current 30-pin dock to the new model, as many users already have multiple 30-pin accessories.

iPhone 5 is also expected to have an improved processor, just like the previous refreshes realized over the years, and this time around, iOS 6 should be a key item for the new iPhone. This in turn, will help the iPhone support more advanced graphics and SIRI functionality, notes the report.

Additionally, iOS 6 is expected to bring in over 200 new features for the new iPhone, some of which, include significant advancements to Siri and the addition of a new Maps app, social networking integration, Shared Photo Streams via iCloud, and a new app called Passbook.

Meanwhile, Apple’s announcement comes just days after a majority of its peers walked their talk, by launching their expected items. Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) and Motorola Solutions Inc. (NYSE:MSI) launched their’s last week, and were later followed by Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN). The internet based company launched low priced tablets, which analysts perceived to be a likely competitor for some products of Apple and Android run devices.

Other news indicates that Apple is on the verge of entering into another line of business, by creating a Pandora like radio, which would run on the iOS and Windows run devices; the reports claim that Apple does not intend to run its new app based program in Android devices. Nonetheless, the impact is likely to be immaterial on the overall Apple revenues.

It is also rumored that Apple will launch an amended complaint over Samsung Electronics products, which would allegedly be targeting the new Samsung Galaxy S III, which recently helped outperform Apple in its U.S. sales units.

Yesterday, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was down $17.70, to close the day at $662.74, as compared to last week’s close of $680.44, representing 2.6% decline. However, during the pre-market session today, the stock was trading at $664.65 per share, up $1.91, or 0.29%, as at the time of this writing.