iPhone 5 Will Be 'Completely Redesigned,' Resemble iPad: Analysts

 
 
By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2012-05-21
 
 
 

A €œcompletely redesigned€ Apple iPhone 5 will arrive in October, according to analysts with Piper Jaffray. There have been a lot of conflicting reports about when the new iPhone would arrive but the analysts are €œconfident,€ in their time frame, according to the May 21 research note.

Jefferies analysts also released an Apple-related note May 21, and together the two reports offer a picture of what€™s to come from Apple and what€™s likely to be phased out.

The launch of the iPhone 5€”as the newest model is expected to be called€”will represent the biggest product launch of the year, as well as the biggest device upgrade cycle €œin smartphone history,€ wrote Piper Jaffray analysts Gene Munster and Douglas J. Clinton.

More specifically, Munster and Clinton added:

We believe the iPhone 5 will have a completely redesigned body style, which may more closely resemble the metallic rear panel of the current iPad. We believe there is a 50 percent chance the new phone has a slightly larger 4-plus-inch screen. We believe larger screen size is one of the few areas in which Android devices have been able to compete.

The iPhone 5 will also, they added, include 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) technology, an upgraded processor and memory, and a higher-megapixel camera.

While inventories of 28-nanometer chips are limited, Munster and Clinton expect Apple will receive €œfavorable treatment€ and receive access to what€™s available, likely selling 49 million units in the December quarter. However, should parts supplies delay the smartphone, the analysts expect Apple fans, unswayed, will wait out the delay.

€œWe believe it would be unlikely that a consumer would choose to buy another phone if they are unable to get an iPhone 5 due to short-term supply constraints, given past launches with limited supply,€ according to the Piper Jaffray report.

The iPhone 3GS, meanwhile, will be discounted and pitched to a new fan base.

€œWe believe Apple has signed an agreement with a leading distribution and logistics company [that has been] tasked with penetrating the prepaid markets around the world as well as expanding channels for the iPhone 3GS in the developing world,€ wrote analysts with investment firm Jefferies.

This would help to plug a revenue hole while consumers twiddle their thumbs into October or possibly beyond.

Presumably for the U.S. market, they add that Apple is in the process of repricing the 3GS so that it can be purchased with no subsidy for around the $200 price that the iPhone 4 sells for with a contract.

Apple is additionally expected to soon debut its new Apple TV. Speaking at a Fast Company event this month, Apple board member and J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler said Apple will €œdeal with the living room in the near future.€

Likely unendearing himself to the Apple core team further, Drexler added that he didn€™t envy Apple CEO Tim Cook.

€œThe best job to have is to take over a company that€™s doing poorly,€ he said candidly. €œNever take over a company that€™s doing great!€

Complicating Cook€™s job, however, is the growing success of Samsung€™s Android-based smartphone line. During the fourth quarter, Samsung smartphones accounted for 40 percent of all Android phones sold, helping to make Samsung the world€™s top seller of both smartphones and the overall mobile phone category. In total, Samsung shipped 86.6 million phones to Nokia€™s 83.2 million and Apple€™s 33.1 million.

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