Analyst: iPhone 5 to have 4-inch screen, unibody construction

Analyst: iPhone 5 to have 4-inch screen, unibody construction

Summary: Analyst claims iPhone 5 launch will be 'extraordinary, dwarfing previous launches.'

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Now that the iPad 3 is out and news about it is starting to die down, it's time for the iPhone 5 rumors to kick up a notch.

Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White has been on a tour of China and Taiwan and claims to have some insider information about what the iPhone 5 will bring to the table. Here are some of the highlights:

  • The new handset will have a 4-inch screen
  • Sleek new look that will require a unibody case
  • 4G capable
  • Some suppliers have already begun production of some components
  • August/September launch

White believes that the iPhone 5 launch will be 'extraordinary, dwarfing previous launches' and will push the stock price closer to the $1,001 target set by Topeka Capital Markets.

The 'rumor' that the next iPhone (which I suspect will just be called 'iPhone') will have a bigger screen is not a new one. Problems with bumping up the screen size to 4-inch is that the pixel density of the screen would fall from 326ppi (pixels per inch) to around 280ppi. That a substantial drop in screen density, although it would still have a higher pixel count than the new iPad.

Another reason why I don't think that Apple will mess with the iPhone's screen in that the device is selling phenomenally well with the current screen size. If people wanted a smartphone with a jumbo screen, they'd be buying them in preference to the iPhone (they do exist). Customer's aren't. There's a valuable lesson contained in that observation.

I'm also not sure what to make of the unibody suggestion. It's worth remembering that the original iPhone, the iPhone 3G and the iPhone 3GS were unibody construction in a sense (although not machined out of a single aluminum block). Apple can do some amazing things with aluminum but putting the antennas back inside the iPhone would leave less room inside for components (and the battery).

Image creditApple

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Topics: iPad, Apple, Hardware, iPhone, Mobility, Smartphones

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14 comments
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  • It is the same thing runs in circles for two years already

    Those "analysts" are as ignorant as always, so it is useless to ponder on whatever they say.
    DDERSSS
  • Beg To Differ

    People are buying larger screen size phones at remarkable rates, sales of the Galaxy Note (the largest screen size) are brisk. Most people I show my SII Skyrocket to comment on how much better they like the screen size than their 3.5 inch iPhone.

    That iPhones are also selling like hotcakes is a testament to:

    -The marketing prowess of APPL and the power of the iPhone brand they have built.
    -The fact that the smart phone market is not currently saturated, there are still plenty of new customers for everyone.
    -The notion that there are many reasons to prefer one phone over another, screen size being only one.

    I would not personally own a 3.5 inch phone again after using a 4.5 inch phone. Eventually, when the market is saturated and there are plenty of offerings at 4.5 inches or better with pixel densities over 300, like the HTC One X, APPL will need to respond with a larger screen size. Either that or introduce something completely different and compelling, which they often do.
    txscott
    • Not compared to iPhone

      iPhones are not "also" selling like hotcakes, they are dominating. In fact, there are indications that former Android users are frustrated and going back to iPhone.

      I think the reason people buy iPhone is that they like the iPhone. I also think they would prefer a 4" screen. Some might want larger but I suspect that most will prefer the 4" over the 4.5" I think 4" is a good compromise between better readability and svelteness. BTW, we have a Skyrocket but not sure we would do that again. It is a great phone and fast, fast fast but it would be too big for me and for my wife it has proven more challenging than I think it needs to be.
      DevGuy_z
      • Agree; iPhones sell like seven times better than second best smartphone ...

        ... model like SGS 2.
        DDERSSS
      • I just went back to iPhone from Android

        ...and I could not be happier. I, personally, like the size better for a phone. I tried several larger phones and I favor the 3.5 in iPhone. It's easier to transport, more comfortable in my hand, and with the pixel density of the retina display, I have no trouble using it at all.

        YMMV, and I wouldn't suggest what you should buy versus what I like, but if the iPhone goes to a larger screen I will be less happy, not more. It's a phone, not a tablet.
        use_what_works_4_U
    • Exactly

      Poeple are buying bigger phones otherwise Samsung wouldn't have sold so many Galaxy Family phones and most of the phones are at least 4.3" size. HTC wouldn't have sold good number of phones which are also 4.3" sized in most cases. I currently use HTC Titan and I do have iPhone 4 and like you said, I wouldn't go back to 3.5" after using 4.7" phone, which is like a tablet in your pocket.
      Ram U
  • I'm betting that all this guy got right

    Are the time frame and 4G, at least LTE.
    matthew_maurice
  • Many people prefer iPhone over android phones regardless of smaller screen.

    I don't think it is an accurate analysis to say that people don't want larger screens because they keep buying iPhone's smaller screen. They keep buying iPhone because they want an iPhone even though they might prefer a larger screen. I suspect many iPhone users would love a slightly larger screen. I also suspect that many would not want a > 4" screen (4.3-4.5) because that size is getting a bit big. But a 4" screen is probably right-sized. Apple wouldn't do it unless they felt users wanted it. And given 4G speeds, more people will probably do more web based content which was a bit slow on 3G
    DevGuy_z
  • Reality check

    Apple stcok price will get a reality check when Win 8 and iphone-5 are launched around September. My bet is that apple stock price will settle around 350-400 by end of 2012
    owllnet
    • Reality?

      Well, since you're so smart, why don't you buy some Apple stock in a short sale and bet on that 50% drop in price.
      THavoc
    • Only thing WinPhone 8 is going to do...

      ... is take sales from Android upgraders that are tired of Android and don't want an iPhone. iPhone is going to keep dominating the market in terms of the single most popular handset, and Android is going to keep dominating the market as far as the overall most popular phone platform.
      Champ_Kind
  • and Paul McCartney said his last album was going to be magical like....

    nothing we've ever heard. It was the same old stuff he was pushing in the 80's. The true magic in the Apple device was to make a computer less like a computer. Now that it's been done, the rest is just like old 80's music: it might be good but it's not new.
    happyharry_z
  • Latest Apple Patent

    A new, dazzling, utterly amazing, never before seen, extraordinary, and incredibly magical automated superlative generator :-)
    archangel9999
  • it would make sense

    for the new iphone to have a larger screen. Screen sizes seem to be going up and people are buying phones with bigger and bigger screens every day. So a new iPhone with a bigger screen seems only natural. Not sure about the whole Unibody thing though.
    Jimster480