updated 08:55 am EDT, Wed July 6, 2011
iPhone 5 may be set back by manufacturing process
New hints have emerged that the next iPhone has a genuinely new design but may also be facing complications as a result. Suppliers said Wednesday that the new phone is "thinner and lighter" even as it carries a new eight-megapixel camera. As a result, though, the WSJ heard Foxconn (Hon Hai's manufacturing) may have to delay shipments as the new iPhone is "complicated and difficult to assemble" and might create yield problems.
Although not making any references to the iPhone 5 by name, Hon Hai chair Terry Gou may have hinted at the iPhone 5 during the company's general meeting. He complained that it was "really difficult" to fit components into iPads and iPhones because they were "so thin" compared to most others' products.
Apple was nonetheless very aggressive, one of the suppliers said. It hoped to have shipped 25 million of the new model just in 2011 despite assembly starting in August. Most leaks have pinned the public release to September, three months later than usual, and would give Apple just over one whole quarter to move the new amount.
Verizon has already given away clues that the new iPhone will use Qualcomm dual-mode chips and should be the first model to support both CDMA and GSM. Apple has long said it wants to ship as few models as possible and would need just one phone to cover most carriers. The CDMA iPhone 4 was an exception as Apple wanted to curb the rise of Android at Verizon.
Few other details have emerged so far, but a dual-core A5 processor is virtually certain. Apple may also finally move to 64GB of storage at the high end.