updated 01:20 pm EDT, Mon April 9, 2012
Based on info from Chinese, Taiwanese suppliers
The next-generation iPhone may employ a unibody design, similar to the way MacBooks are currently constructed, says Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White. The claim is based on a tour of suppliers in China and Taiwan, who he adds gave the impression that some parts would go into production in June, paving the way for a launch sometime in the fall.
White also anticipates the device moving to a 4-inch screen, up from 3.5 inches, and adopting LTE 4G like the third-generation iPad. He argues, though, that the "new, sleek look will be the most important reason that consumers decide to upgrade." The proposed specifications are largely consistent with various reports that have circulated since last year, although some of these pointed to a phone that would've launched around the same time as the iPhone 4S, or in place of it.
White's Asian sources also claim that Apple is still working on a so-called iPad mini. When it might launch is "unclear," according to White, but other reports have typically positioned it has having a 7.85-inch screen, and likely a 1024x768 resolution, equivalent to the first two iPads but sharper thanks to the smaller screen space. White mentions that the Retina display on the current iPad is believed to have created a bottleneck in Apple's supply chain, but that any issues have mostly been solved.
Demand for the tablet is allegedly "very strong." Speculation in Asia is said to point to a mainland China launch in May.