If you don't mind a little duct tape or can deal with shelling out $30 for a rubber bumper or case, you're probably doing just fine with your new $300 iPhone 4. But if you're amongst the ranks of cracked screen-wielding iPhone 3 owners, you're probably biding your time to see if Apple will recall or, better yet, re-release its new smart phone.

Today rumors started flying about a brand new 5th-generation iPhone to be released as soon as January, so many will be forced to decide if it's worth the wait.

After attempting to save face from the humorous yet incredibly annoying "death grip" issue, Apple initially placed the blame on faulty software that incorrectly reported high signal strength bars on the 4 phone. But Consumer Reports confirmed a few weeks ago what most users quickly figured out — the phone did not suffer from a software flaw.

The phone casing has an electromagnetic break which means a single poorly positioned finger can impede the phone's antenna, resulting in high numbers of dropped calls, a problem which the iPhone (at least on the AT&T carrier) has become famous.

iLounge broke a leak, along with "requisite grains of salt," that Apple is pushing for a new generation of iPhone that will help the brand distance itself from the vexed iPhone 4 release.

It may just be an iPhone 4 with a better case, or Apple may throw in some software goodies to make the upgrade more appealing. Some theorize the new case will also better protect the glass, which in the current version of the device has exposed edges.

Whether or not you believe the announcement, your decision-making process may be further complicated by another rumor that a mini 7" iPad will also also be released in early 2011. Upon those rumors, I may stick with my trusty little Palm Pre for now, leave the cracked iPhone in the drawer, and hold out for mini iPad. But that's just me. 

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