Apple could ship 24 million next-generation iPhones in 2010, according to a new report in Digitimes, which quoted unnamed sources in Taiwan's manufacturing channel. That number will supposedly include 4.5 million units shipped in the first half of 2010. While Apple has been officially tight-lipped about a new iPhone, two leaks of alleged prototype devices in California and Vietnam seem to back Digitimes' assertions about a next-generation smartphone featuring a larger battery and high-resolution screen.
Apple could ship as many as 24 million next-generation iPhones in 2010,
according to a May 17 report in Taiwan-based Digitimes, with the publication's
analysts citing unnamed sources within that country's component manufacturers.
"Foxconn will ship 4.5 million units in the first half and 19.5 million
units for the rest of 2010," reads
. "Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 4G on June 7, 2010 during Apple's
Worldwide Developers Conference."
Those shipment numbers for the first half of the year, if accurate, suggest
that Apple is anticipating truly massive demand for the device. The Digitimes
report also suggested that the new iPhones would incorporate FFS
technology, which would offer the screen a wider viewing angle and clearer
visibility in sunlight: "Apple is aiming to improve the handset's ebook reader
features and promote its iBooks Store. HTC's
Hero smartphone has already adopted this technology."
In addition, a thinner iPhone panel supposedly allows space for a larger
battery, according to Digitimes analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Despite Apple's much-vaunted corporate security, devices that could be the
next iPhone have leaked into the public sphere at least twice over the past two
months. In April, tech blog Gizmodo dissected what it claimed was a prototype
iPhone supposedly lost in a California
bar by an Apple engineer; a few weeks later, around May 12, another
device with similar features appeared in Vietnam
In the latter instance, Vietnamese online forum Taoviet posted images and
video of the device's outer shell and inner processor, which subsequently found
their way onto Apple-centric Websites and blogs such as Apple Insider. While
the Taoviet iPhone prototype featured fewer visible screws along the chassis
than the Gizmodo model, it appeared otherwise virtually identical; however, the
Vietnamese device appeared somewhat more refined and finished in its build. A
dissection of the device supposedly revealed an A4 processor.
According to a search warrant affidavit unsealed on May 14 in San
Mateo, Calif., Apple engineer
Gray Powell lost the iPhone 4G prototype in the Gourmet Haus Straudt restaurant
in Redwood City. According to
Detective Matthew Broad, Powell's last memory of the prototype was "placing it
in his bag, which he then put on the floor by his feet." At some point during
the evening, "his bag was knocked over ... and it was possible the prototype
iPhone fell out of the bag and onto the floor."
According to the affidavit, the roommate of a man named Brian Hogan told
Broad that Hogan had found the device on the floor of the bar and sold it to
Gizmodo. In an April 19 posting, Gizmodo broke down the device, describing a
front-facing video chat camera, higher-resolution display, larger battery and
secondary mic for noise cancellation.
Apple subsequently complained to the police that the device had been stolen,
which eventually led to a REACT (Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team) Task
Force raid on the California residence of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen.
In addition to a possible new iPhone device, Apple plans on introducing the
iPhone OS 4, which will include features such as iAd, a mobile-applications
advertising platform, and multitasking, which previous versions of the
smartphone's operating system have lacked.