WSJ agrees with MEGATech News on Next iPhone

Today the venerable Wall Street Journal decided to chime in with their take on Apple’s soon-to-be-released-but-not-soon-enough-for-Apple-fanboys next iPhone. Still, there’s something to be said for Apple’s tight-lipped handling of their product marketing over the years, which has resulted in the kind of free-for-all frenzied publicity that most companies would kill for.

The Wall Street Journal fills in more details on the evolving iPhone saga, which MEGATech News started speculating on here and here. Indeed, their findings concur that the design for the next iPhone will be very similar to the current iPhone 4 but thinner and lighter – with the last part being par for the course where Apple is concerned.

Of particular interest is the information that Hon Hai Precision Co., one of Apple’s main product assembly houses, has been tasked to assemble an aggressive 25 million iPhone units by the end of the year which comes out to around a 6 million unit run rate per month. The WSJ also notes that Hon Hai will be using Qualcomm’s “world phone” chipset which means it is likely both Hon Hai and Pegatron are assembling the same model. MEGATech News previously reported that Pegatron was hinted at having 15 million units on order by Apple, which means there is a potential for 40 million units forecast by the end of 2011.

However, Hon Hai’s Chairman, Mr. Guo Tai-Min, has expressed strong concerns about the thinness of Apple’s touch sensor which has been impacting yield rates. The only way for Apple to keep making the iPhone thinner would be to continue reducing the thickness of the capactive touchpanel and front glass, internal components – specifically capacitors, power components and the battery, and finally case materials. Insiders have hinted that yield is such a high concern that volume ramping may be further pushed back.

In light of this news, it makes perfect sense that Apple would use Pegatron as a second assembly house to pool capacities with Hon Hai in case yield’s remain bad at both sites. While a 40 million unit forecast seems to have been made by Apple, the final production deliveries will be lower than that number, possibly by a wide margin if yields remain terrible.

To summarize, look for a thinner, lighter iPhone very similar in design to the current iPhone 4. It may be launched as an iPhone 4S or iPhone 5, and it will include an A5 processor, 8 megapixel camera, current 3.5″ retina display, 32GB/64GB capacities and a newly re-designed back cover. It should also feature a new antenna design which won’t cause signal degradation like on previous generation iPhone 4 units. This is our take on the next iPhone and we’re sticking with it.


Source: Wall Street Journal, MEGATech News: What We Know about iPhone 5 and iPad 3 (Sort of), The Next iPhone Is Just Around the Corner

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