While Apple Inc. is tight-lipped towards its iPhone 5 release date, analysts at Jefferies believe 2012 will see an LTE iPhone, LTE iPad, and a focus on video.
As we now believe the new iPhone in October will most likely be called the iPhone 5, we believe the LTE iPhone will likely be named the iPhone 5S and launched in Summer 2012 (though it could come earlier), said Peter Misek, an analyst at Jefferies.
Misek also expects an iPad refresh in calendar first quarter with a new screen, quad-core A6, and LTE. Finally, he believes video will be a focus which will see an iTV possibly in the second half.
Apple is rumored to increase the screen size of iPhone 5 to compete with Android smartphones, probably going for a 4-inch screen, compared to the current iPhone 4 screen of 3.5-inch.
Recently, Best Buy employees have been informed that pre-orders for the iPhone 5 will begin this week in time for a release in the first week of October. A Best Buy source released a document to BGR.com, which shows that the store is anticipating the pre-sales and also that Sprint will be carrying the iPhone 5 at the launch of the new device.
Deutsche Telekom AG (DTE) is now taking customer reservations for the next-generation of Apple's iPhone 5 starting Sept. 5, as new evidence supports rumors that the next iteration is expected to be revealed in October.
Meanwhile, the iPhone 5 is expected to boast of significant hardware and software upgrades, along with an 8-megapixel dual-LED flash camera and A5 dual-core processor found in the iPad 2 to give stiff competition to other dual-core smartphones found in the market today.
Apple may boost the speed of its A5 chip in the range of 1.2 or 1.5 GHz with 1GB RAM. The iPhone 5 would feature iCloud that will store photos, apps, calendars and documents instead of the phone's memory storage.
Apple is expected to release the iPhone 5 as a World Phone - both GSM and CDMA compatible. Another rumor suggested that the iPhone 5 will feature a SIM card slot for other countries, allowing users to insert any SIM card when traveling abroad.
Misek expects a strong calendar fourth quarter and 2012 driven by three iPhone stock-keeping units (SKUs) and three new carriers. He expects the calendar fourth quarter phone lineup to be the iPhone 5, iPhone 4, and a revamped 3GS (new low-cost SKU).
He expects the iPhone 5 to be available on all four major U.S. carriers in October (Sprint: about 50 million subscribers, T-Mobile about 34 million) and that China Telecom (about 108 million subscribers) will get the iPhone in calendar first quarter. Availability at China Mobile (about 600 million subscribers) is still likely a 2013/2014 event.
Despite the macro environment and the upcoming product launches, iPhone sales appear to be resilient, based on our checks. We raise our calendar third quarter iPhone estimate from 18.4 million to 18.9 million, said Misek.