A thinner, more powerful, and much more flexible iPhone 5 could be released as early as the third quarter of this year, according to investment bank Morgan Stanley.
Analyst Katy Huberty wrote a note to investors speaking on the basics of her trip to Asia, where many of Apple’s suppliers are stationed. The note, obtained by AppleInsider.com, details some of the new, exciting features we could see in the iPhone 5 and the iPad 3.
“Apple will also launch iPad 3 in H1 and a slimmer iPhone later this year,” wrote Huberty.
The lighter, thinner design for the phone will be made possible by new touch-panel technology, according to the researcher. Although the famously secretive Apple has made sure specifics are “sparse,” the overwhelming success of the iPhone 4S- especially in China, recently- make it a good bet on an early third quarter release.
"What is clear about iPhone 5 is that Apple and its supply chain are positively surprised by the demand for iPhone 4S, which increases confidence in strong sales for iPhone 5 later this year,” said the Morgan Stanley researcher.
That is, “unless competition heats up,” she added.
Because the Cupertino-based company has witnessed a rise in competition from Android-based phones and Windows’ Lumia 900 phone could be released as early as March, Apple has begun exploring bringing the next iPhone to other networks.
There are indications that the iPhone 5 will have a quad-mode, LTE chip. This, in addition to the adoption of AWS technology, could mean an iPhone 5 on T-Mobile.
“The next chipset will support AWS,” said T-Mobile’s chief technology officer Neville Ray to CNET. “The challenge that existed in the past will go away.”
Huberty confirmed this to investors, saying that the new chips would “run on all 3G and LTE network flavors.” She did add, however, that it was “too early to know for sure.”
Huberty also commented briefly on the iPad 3, stating that Apple’s newest tablet should have a higher-resolution display. Due to “better than seasonal” performance of the wildly popular iPad 2, it is also likely that it will still be sold at a reduced price when the iPad 3 is released.