Apple’s iPhone 5 will be manufactured in the third quarter, hinting at a possible launch of a new version of the iconic smartphone later this year, a financial analyst firm said Tuesday.
The iPhone 5 will include an 8-megapixel camera and a single baseband chip that will work on both GSM and CDMA networks, FBR Capital Markets said in a research note, citing information from industry contacts.
The iPhone 4 has a 5-megapixel camera; GSM models use baseband chips from Intel’s Infineon wireless division, while Qualcomm chips are used in CDMA models. Having asingle baseband communications chip will reduce the need for Apple to make different iPhone models for different 3G networks.
Apple has not officially announced the iPhone 5, believed to be codenamed “N94,” and typically remains highly secretive about future products. It has shipped a new version of the iPhone every year since the first one started shipping in June 2007.
About 20 million iPhones will be produced in the third quarter, FBR said, with the iPhone 5 accounting for about 8 million of those; the rest will be iPhone 4 models.
The iPhone 5 will use an 8-megapixel CMOS sensor from OmniVision, with Sony being a possible backup sensor supplier next year, FBR said in the research note.
FBR also expects Apple to move away from Intel as a possible baseband supplier, instead buying integrated CDMA-GSM communication chips from Qualcomm, it said.
“Our contacts have confirmed to us that Qualcomm is replacing Intel as the baseband supplier, selling an integrated CDMA/WCDMA baseband,” FBR wrote in the research note.
Analysts have said that iPhone 5 could also sport Apple’s internally developed dual-core A5 processor, which first appeared in the iPad 2 earlier this year. The chip could provide a performance boost to phone apps and allow the smartphone to play back 1080p graphics. The iPhone 4 includes a single-core A4 chip, which was introduced in the iPad last year and is capable of playing 720p video.
Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment.