Piper Jaffray analyst believes Apple is on target for an October launch of the new iPhone, despite the shortage of Qualcomm chips. The iPhone 5’s body style could resemble the rear panel of the iPad, and could have a 4in screen.
Forbes reports that analyst Gene Munster wrote in a note on Tuesday: “We believe the iPhone 5 will represent the biggest consumer electronics product launch of 2012 as well as the biggest device upgrade cycle in smartphone history.”
“We believe the iPhone 5 will have a completely redesigned body style, which may more closely resemble the metallic rear panel of the current iPad,” Munster said.
“We believe there is a 50 per cent chance the new phone as a slightly larger 4in screen. We believe the larger screen is one of the few areas in which Android devices have been able to compete. Beyond the redesigned body and screen, we believe the new iPhone will include 4G LTE, upgraded processor and memory, and a higher megapixel camera.”
Munster thinks that Apple is still on target to launch the next iPhone in October. “We believe there is an 80 per cent chance Apple will be able to meet our 49 million estimate given the constrained supply,” he wrote.
In April, we reported that Qualcomm is suffering from a shortage of Snapdragon S4 processors for tablets and smartphones due to a lack of manufacturing capacity available to make those chips, leading to concerns that Apple could face supply constraints since Qualcomm provides baseband radio chips for the iPhone. S4 chips are made using the 28nm process, which is the latest manufacturing technology for ARM chips. Munster doesn’t believe that this shortage will cause much of a problem for Apple’s next-gen iPhone, though.
“We expect Apple is likely to get favourable treatment in terms of access to the 28nm inventory,” wrote Munster in his note. “Net-net, the worst case scenario is that Apple is unable to meet demand in the short term following iPhone 5 launch and units would shift from the December quarter into the March quarter as we don’t believe consumers would simply purchase another phone in most cases if they wanted the iPhone 5 and it was not available.”