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

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

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