We’re entering a pretty exciting period of new smartphone launches, prompted by the imminent launch of Apple’s new iPhone5 on 12 September.

This week alone we’ve seen the launch of a series of new RAZR handsets from Motorola, the announcement of a new Samsung Galaxy Note 2 ‘phablet’ (that’s a big smartphone to you and me – this model with a 5.5” display!) and Nokia’s latest attempt to woo back some customers, the Lumia 920.

But it’s the iPhone 5 which is still grabbing all the attention despite not having been officially confirmed yet. Rumours abound about its size (longer and thinner), its battery (more powerful) and even its name – apparently, it may just be called ‘the new iPhone.’ We’ve summed up all the iPhone 5 speculation here.

And it’s not just the smartphone market that’s been deluged with new launches. Tablet fans will be interested to learn that the next generation of Kindle Fires have been announced by Amazon, and there’s plenty of choice. For fans of the existing device, they’ll be a faster (44% to be precise) and longer lasting (between re-charges) version. But they’ll also be 2 HD versions with Dolby Digital sound – a familiar 7” version and a new 8.9” version too.

But of course, it you want to get the most of your smartphone or tablet, you need a decent 3G signal – and it would be fair to say that as smartphones and tablets have grown in popularity, so the mobile operators existing networks have struggled to cope.  So Chitter Chatter customers will be pleased to learn that Everything Everywhere (Orange and T-Mobile) have been given permission by Ofcom to launch their 4G network (EE4G) a year ahead of their competitors. That means browsing and downloading at the speed you’ve come to expect from landline broadband service rather than the speeds you’ve come to tolerate from your mobile operator.  The rollout will be phased but some customers will see the benefits as early as this year.

However, a decent connection is no longer necessary to enjoy the programmes from BBC iPlayer on the move.  A new service has just been announced which allows smartphone and tablet users to download their chosen programmes to their device, store them for up to 30 days and watch them at their leisure without needing an internet connection.  Now, catching up with your TV viewing on the Tube becomes a possibility. Or you could download some viewing for your hols abroad.  At present, the service is just available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, but an Android version is going to be launched later this year.

Finally, GaGa fans might be tempted to add an iPad to their portfolio as it’s just been announced that her latest album, ‘Artpop’ is going to be released in app version. Although you’ll still be able to download it to your MP3 player or pick up a CD, the app version promises much more content including chat, films, extra tracks, games, fashion, updates, magazines and more.