updated 10:30 am EDT, Tue August 2, 2011
LTE still thought to be missing from 2011 hardware
An iPhone upgrade coming this fall "could be a bigger upgrade than we expected," says Sterne Agee's Shaw Wu. The analyst cites checks with Apple's supply chain, which also allegedly indicate that the a new model will feature a display "slightly larger" than the 3.5-inch size Apple has used since the first iPhone in 2007. The phone should "retain a similar form factor and size but with thinner bezel," he adds. "We believe this makes sense to improve the iPhone experience without making it too bulky as we have seen with models from competitors."
Wu reiterates, though, that information suggests a 2011 iPhone will likely forego 4G (LTE). Problems are said to remain with battery life on devices and "spotty" network coverage. "And ironically, if anyone is in a position to fix these weaknesses, it would be AAPL," Wu comments.
The analyst's information ultimately just reinforces other reports, which have likewise pointed to a larger display and a continued dependence on 3G networking instead of 4G. Apart from the screen, other anticipated improvements include an A5 processor, an eight-megapixel camera and possibly a hybrid GSM/CDMA chipset that would eliminate the need for separate iPhone models for carriers like Verizon. Some accounts have suggested that Apple may also have a cheaper iPhone design in the works available as a prepaid option.