Apple's iPhone 5 may be called the iPhone 4S, and be carried by Sprint and T-Mobile, according to a new analyst report.
iPhone could feature only incremental upgrades, but appear on a broader set of
carriers, according to a new research note from Jefferies & Co.
the likelihood of the iPhone 5 launch in September including LTE [Long-Term
Evolution] is now remote," Peter Misek wrote in the co-authored research note,
issued May 13. "According to our industry checks, the device should be called
iPhone 4S and include minor cosmetic changes, better cameras, A5 dual-core
processor, and HSPA+ [Evolved High-Speed Packet Access] support."
The note also
claims, based on "industry checks," that Sprint, T-Mobile and China Mobile will
be announced as new iPhone carriers in time for the holiday season: "On Apple's
last earnings call, management responded to a question about launching the CDMA
[Code Division Multiple Access] iPhone at other carriers as -we are constantly
looking and adding where it makes sense, and you can keep confidence that we'll
continue to do that.'"
Verizon currently offer the iPhone in the United States. Despite AT&T's
plans to acquire T-Mobile for $39 billion in cash and stock, however, the
smaller carrier has been denying imminent support for the iPhone.
remains an independent company," read a note posted on T-Mobile's corporate Website
in March. "The acquisition is
expected to be completed in approximately 12 months. We do not offer the
iPhone. We offer cutting-edge devices like the Samsung Galaxy S 4G and, coming
soon, our new Sidekick 4G."
made it seem as if T-Mobile customers hungry for an iPhone would need to wait
at least a year, until AT&T finishes digesting their carrier. AT&T's
deal is a positive for Apple, at least according to a March 21 research note
from Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White: "The company would gain access
to T-Mobile's 34 million subscriber base, versus the 96 million subscribers at
AT&T in 4Q10."
Sprint remains close-lipped about any potential iPhone deal. When asked about
that possibility during the carrier's most recent earnings call, CEO Dan Hesse
suggested he was unable to comment on "potential discussions" with any
suppliers, before joking: "What is it, like the fifty-fifth time I've been
the presence of the iPhone on Verizon and some combination of T-Mobile and
AT&T would make Sprint the odd person out in the domestic smartphone
market. Although Sprint offers a line of 4G smartphones with some unique
aesthetics and features, the iPhone has proven a massive bestseller-something
that no carrier could easily pass up, even if it's devoted substantial
marketing resources and political capital to establishing its own line of
sources speaking to Reuters April 20 suggested that Apple will ship the iPhone
5 (or iPhone 4S) in September, meaning that production for the device will ramp
up sometime in either July or August. Sources have also hinted to other
publications that the smartphone will hit store shelves sometime closer to the
end of 2011.
suggest the next iPhone will include the A5 processor, more powerful cameras
and, perhaps, NFC (near-field communication) technology, which would allow the
smartphone to act as an electronic wallet. All those features would give Apple
the capability to compete more heartily against the higher-end Android
smartphones, whose hardware and software are becoming increasingly robust. As
with all Apple rumors, however, multiple grains of salt should be taken until
the company makes an actual announcement.