Forbes points us to a new research note from Jeffries & Co. analyst Peter Misek relays that the next-gen iPhone will feature some modest spec upgrades – i.e the A5 chip – but won’t be a huge leap forward akin to the one we saw from the iPhone 3GS to the iPhone 4. What we can expect, though is more carrier choice.
Misek writes that the next-gen iPhone, poised for a Fall 2011 release, will for the first time be available on all carriers here in the US. That means that Sprint and T-Mobile users will finally be able to get in on the action. Up until recently, the iPhone was an AT&T exclusive before Apple released a CDMA version of the iPhone in February.
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+ support,” he writes in a research note.
But he also says that “industry checks indicate Apple will likely announce Sprint, T-Mobile, and China Mobile as new carriers.”
Echoing similar reports, Misek writes that the next-gen iPhone won’t take advantage of faster LTE 4G networks, though indicating that was initially Apple’s plan.
As for LTE, he says the Qualcomm LTE chipset Apple would have used “is currently not achieving yields sufficient for inclusion in the iPhone 5.” He says Apple had hoped to have the LTE chipsets ready, but was planning a version without LTE called iPhone 4S.
During Apple’s most recent earnings conference call, COO Tim Cook explained that the current selection of LTE chipsets would have forced Apple to make design compromises it wasn’t comfortable with.
In any event, with Android still making a lot of headway in the smartphone space, and with a new iPhone not in the pipeline for a Summer release, the addition of two more carriers may prove crucial to Apple’s efforts to build up as much of a user base as possible and keep folks off of Android. While it remains unclear when/if the iPhone will hit Sprint and T-Mobile, Misek notes that Apple is taking steps to ensure it’s a done deal in time for the holiday shopping season.