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What the iPad 2 can tell us about the iPhone 5

The iPad 2's features offer a glimpse at what's in store for the next iPhone, which we're confidently predicting will be called the iPhone 5.

The iPad 2 is here, ushering in a new version of Apple's software, iOS 4.3. It's not a huge departure from the first iPad, but in our early hands-on, we did like its thinner, lighter case and faster processor and Web browser.

Rumours flew around the iPad 2 like flies around honey, but the ones that settled into actual, real-life features offer an insight into what we can expect to see on the iPhone 5.

iOS software update

It's a no-brainer that iOS 4.3 will bring all its bells and whistles to the iPhone 5, since this new version is already on its way to the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS

Read our preview of the changes in store in iOS 4.3 for all the gory details. It's not a huge update, with Wi-Fi tethering getting our vote as the marquee feature. By the time the iPhone 5 arrives, we'll probably be pining for the next version of iOS -- iOS 5, perhaps.

Wafer-thin mint

The iPad 2 is only 8.8mm thick, even thinner than the iPhone 4. Keeping in mind that the iPhone 4 is the slimmest phone currently on shelves -- although thinner ones are imminent -- that's spectacular. The iPad 2 also promises to hold on to its 10-hour battery life. 

We think the iPhone 4 is certain to take advantage of the lessons learned in building the iPad 2's slender case. Expect a wafer-thin phone from Apple this year.

Double your fun

The iPad 2 joins the Motorola Xoom and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, among others, on the dual-core processor bandwagon. Apple calls its CPU the A5, and at 1GHz, we're told that it's the same as the processor in the original iPad but with two cores.

But dual-core processors aren't limited to tablets. The Samsung Galaxy S 2 and LG Optimus 2X are just a couple of example of mobiles with the two-headed CPUs inside. 

We've tried a beta version of the new iOS 4.3 on the iPhone 4, and it already makes the phone faster at browsing the Web. But two cores should speed up processor-intensive tasks such as graphics, making games better looking.

Out fingers and toes are crossed that the A5 will come to the iPhone 5, and that it won't sap the battery. 

What would you like to see in the upcoming iPhone, besides a working antenna? Let us know in the comments.