Apple's highly-anticipated iPhone 5 release date is summer 2012, according to an analyst.
The iPhone 5 will be a major redesign with new features, he suggests.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, known for reliable insight on Apple, said in a note to investors this week with predictions for Apple in 2012 that the company will release a redesigned version of the iPhone 5 in mid-summer 2012.
Munster said he expects the iPhone to be a major redesign. Munster's reasoning is that Apple did not redesign its leading hardware products in 2011, setting the stage for a radically different iPhone 5. Munster thinks the iPhone 5, said to be the last big project company's founder and longtime CEO the late Steve Jobs worked on, will be a mass success as a result.
In a best case scenario, Munster thinks Apple will experience a 35 percent increase in revenue through 2013, selling as many as 162 million iPhones.
Apple launched the first iPhone in 2007, and it is the bestselling smartphone in the world.
And while its latest version, the iPhone 4S, has experienced record sales success with its Apple's new Siri voice assistant, many consumers expected a more radical redesign. Reports suggest that will be coming with the iPhone 5, however, as the product will have a bigger 4-inch touchscreen, a new, improved Siri voice assistant, higher screen resolution, and a quad-core processor, according to reports.
The iPhone 5 may also come with 4G LTE compatibility, something many consumers have been waiting patiently for from Apple.
in related news, Munster said he expects Apple to release only one new version of its popular iPad tablet in 2012. Rumors have suggested Apple will release a new iPad 3 and its first iPad Mini, or iPad 2S. Yet CNET's Joe Aimonetti wrote that he agrees with Munster, expecting just one new iPad from Apple in 2012.
I think it is much more likely to remain on its current trajectory of a single model upgrade. It seems as though the Retina Display will certainly make its debut on the iPad this spring, but I doubt Apple is looking to have multiple models or sizes to choose from, Aimonetti wrote.