**Editor's Note: Click here for our list of October's hottest selling smartphones to see how the iPhone fared against the competition, or here for our top 10 list of best smartphones in 2013 (so far).**
With Apple's newest iPhones two months old (in some tech circles, that might be considered ancient), it might be fun to turn our attention to what the next version of Apple's iconic device might bring.
Since the Silicon Valley giant didn't increase the screen size on its latest releases – the iPhone 5s and 5c – much of the attention to this point has been on the size of the display. Analysts have been predicting anywhere between 4.5 and 5.5 inches. Our best is that Apple settles on something less than five inches. While big-screen "phablets" have started to catch on – notably those from archrival Samsung – we bet that the iPhone maker will make sure its handsets truly do remain small enough to fit in your hand, but big enough to satisfy those salivating for something larger than the current four-inch display.
Now that Isis – the mobile-payments venture launched by AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile – has made its nationwide debut, it's high time that Apple included near-field communications (NFC) technology in its handsets. It's been available on many big-name Android phones for a couple of years now. While we've been predicting this in the last couple of models, it's now overdue, and we expect the iPhone 6 to have it.
It's probably a 50-50 shot that the iPhone 6 will come with 3-D sensing technology. Apple just bought Israel-based PrimeSense, whose 3-D technology has been a big part of the Microsoft Kinect gaming system. Whether it's too late to integrate a real 3-D experience into the next iPhone remains to be seen, but if not a part of the 2014 launch, look for it in 2015.
Of course, we would also expect another upgrade to the iPhone's camera, as well as a faster processor, which typically comes in new models. And in addition to a larger screen, next year could be the year that we see additional design changes. Just don't expect Apple to get too radical. Despite increase competition, it still delivers the world's best-selling smartphone. Don't fix what ain't broke.
When will we see the new phone(s)? Don't get too invested in those summer predictions. We think Apple will maintain its new fall tradition.
Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.