Supplier Chatter Pointing to Redesigned iPhone with 4-Inch Display, 'Sleek Look'

Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White has released a new research report today outlining some of the takeaways from a recent trip to Asia to talk with companies in Apple's supply chain. According to White, chatter from those suppliers is pointing toward a larger 4-inch screen on the iPhone 5, which will also include a redesign bringing a "new, sleek look".

In our view, this will be the most significant iPhone upgrade with a four-inch screen and a new, sleek look that we believe will require a Unibody case. This new, sleek look will be the most important reason that consumers decide to upgrade to the iPhone 5, while we believe the addition of 4G will also attract buyers of the new device.

White notes that some suppliers are expected to begin ramping production of components in June, ahead of a launch in the August-September timeframe leading into a blockbuster final quarter of 2012.

iphone5 3
Sleek "iPhone 5" mockup based on leaked 2011 case designs

As in any discussion of a larger screen on an iPhone, the issue of screen resolution is certain to be a key sticking point. With the iPhone currently offering a 3.5-inch Retina display, an increase to 4 inches would require one of two changes: an increase in resolution that would yield difficulties for developers by adding yet another device size to the mix, or a decrease in pixel density that would maintain the current resolution but see density drop to roughly 285 pixels per inch from the current 326 pixels per inch.

Among White's other takeaways from his trip:

- Display issues have caused a bit of a bottleneck on supplies of the new iPad, but the shortages seem to be easing. Any small constraints on March quarter sales numbers would be compensated for by a boost to June quarter sales.

- Suppliers suggest that a smaller "iPad mini" is still in the works, but launch timing remains unknown.

- While the new iPad is not yet officially available in China, some resellers are already carrying the device. Speculation is pointing to a potential May release for the new iPad in China, although evidence for that timeframe beyond a recent regulatory approval appears scant.

Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

BillyBobBongo Avatar
122 months ago
Nice to see MacRumors still getting their money's worth out of that ugly iPhone 5 mockup.
Score: 48 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GonMacNvrGoBack Avatar
122 months ago
Saw the word 'analyst' and immediately dismissed the article
Score: 45 Votes (Like | Disagree)
OceanView Avatar
122 months ago
LTE, bigger screen, 1 GB RAM ?
This might be the iPhone I've dreamed about.
Wake me up in Oct!
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mjtomlin Avatar
122 months ago
Did we fall into a time warp? Is this Fall of 2011 again or am I just experience deja vu?
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
applesith Avatar
122 months ago
As long as the screen is 4" or larger, I'm all in! 3.5" is simply too small for power users.

It's a phone! who the heck is a power user on a phone? larger screens do not increase productivity or make the user a power user (whatever that even means).
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AustinIllini Avatar
122 months ago
Please can we can not call it iPhone 5 anymore!

Its iPhone (6th Gen)
or
iPhone (4th Form factor)
or
new iPhone (with 4G)

You're fighting an uphill battle. Just deal with it.

----------

I'm not sure how they could pull it off without an ugly plastic strip (as on the first iPhone), but I'd love to see an aluminum back again. I'm not a big fan of the tapered edges, though. In two more months, we'll all know what to expect.... :D

Is it August already?
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

REC ASA CODE2016 20160601 205816 2745

Elon Musk Reportedly Demanded to Become Apple CEO as Part of Potential Tesla Acquisition [Update: Musk Denies]

Friday July 30, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly once demanded that he be made Apple CEO in a brief discussion of a potential acquisition with Apple's current CEO, Tim Cook. The claim comes in a new book titled "Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century," as reviewed by The Los Angeles Times. According to the book, during a 2016 phone call between Musk and Cook that touched on the possibility of ...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 13 to Bring Over a Major Feature From the Apple Watch

Wednesday July 28, 2021 2:21 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will feature an always-on display akin to the Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6, according to recent reports. In his weekly Power On newsletter, Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, who often reveals accurate insights into Apple's plans, said that the iPhone 13 may feature an Apple Watch-inspired always-on mode. The Apple Watch Series 5 and Apple Watch...
duracell battery bitter coating

Apple Says Don't Buy AirTag Replacement Batteries With Bitter Coating

Wednesday July 28, 2021 11:08 am PDT by
Since AirTags were just released earlier this year and are expected to have a year-long battery life, it may be some time yet before AirTag users need a replacement battery, but when the time comes for a refresh, Apple is warning customers not to buy batteries with a bitter coating. AirTags use coin-shaped CR2032 batteries, which happen to be a size that's easy to swallow. Some battery...
a15 chip

iPhone 13 and Redesigned MacBook Pro Chip Production Hit With Gas Contamination

Friday July 30, 2021 5:44 am PDT by
The most important TSMC factory that manufactures Apple's chips destined for next-generation iPhone and Mac models has been hit by a gas contamination, according to Nikkei Asia. The factory, known as "Fab 18," is TSMC's most advanced chipmaking facility. TSMC is Apple's sole chip supplier, making all of the processors used in every Apple device with a custom silicon chip. Industry...
apple rtp land

Apple Preparing to Occupy 200,000 Square Feet of Temporary Space Ahead of New $1 Billion North Carolina Campus

Thursday July 29, 2021 9:14 am PDT by
Back in April, Apple announced a $430 billion investment over the next five years to create more than 20,000 new jobs as the company continues to expand. One significant piece of that plan is a new engineering and research center in North Carolina where Apple will be investing over $1 billion and hiring at least 3,000 employees. Assemblage of seven properties in Research Triangle Park owned by ...
Apple Leak Feature

Apple Demands Leaker Reveals Sources Under Threat of Being Reported to Police

Wednesday July 28, 2021 6:53 am PDT by
Apple has sent a cease and desist letter to a leaker based in China as part of its continuing attempts to curtail leaks of unreleased products, according to Vice. A Chinese citizen who shared images of stolen Apple prototypes on social media was sent a warning letter from Fangda Partners, Apple's law firm in China, on June 18, 2021. An extract from the letter read:You have disclosed without ...
macos monterey tidbits feature copy

Apple Releases New macOS 12 Monterey Public Beta

Wednesday July 28, 2021 10:19 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the third public beta of the macOS 12 Monterey beta to public beta testers, allowing non-developers to test the new macOS Monterey software ahead of its public release. The third beta comes two weeks after Apple released the second macOS Monterey public beta. Public beta testers can download the macOS 12 Monterey update from the Software Update section of the System...
iOS 15 General Feature Purple

Apple Releases New Public Betas of iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, and tvOS 15

Wednesday July 28, 2021 10:16 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the third betas of iOS and iPadOS 15 to public beta testers, allowing non-developers to download and test the new updates ahead of their fall release. The third public betas come two weeks after Apple released the second public betas. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program can download the iOS and iPadOS 15 updates over the air after...
nothing ear 1 buds 1

Nothing 'Ear (1)' True Wireless Earbuds Launch to Take on AirPods Pro With ANC and Unusual Design for $99

Tuesday July 27, 2021 7:57 am PDT by
Nothing, a new brand from OnePlus founder Carl Pei, has today officially launched the "Ear (1)" true wireless earbuds after months of anticipation around the company's AirPods Pro rival. The Ear (1) features an in-ear design, Active Noise Cancelation, Bluetooth 5.2, IPX4 water resistance, and a charging case with Qi-compatible wireless charging and a USB-C port. Fast pairing is supported on...