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iPhone 5 rumor roll-up (continued) for week ending Oct. 7

John Cox | Oct. 11, 2011
The best thing about the iPhone 4S is that it means the iOSsphere can keep rumoring about the iPhone 5. And it is.

Which is a rather convoluted way of saying, "I have no idea when they're announcing this thing," but you don't want to actually say that.

IHS iSuppli, an electronics component market researcher, is even more pessimistic. "The iPhone 5 most likely will arrive in late 2012, or in mid-2013," according to a press release. If a blogger says this, it's rumor; if a market researcher says it, it's analysis.

The reason for the date range? "IHS continues to expect that Apple will introduce an LTE-capable iPhone 5 when an affordable chipset solution allowing a thinner form factor is available." Not to mention one that won't drain the battery halfway through your 373rd tweet.

IHS analyst Francis Sideco underlines the importance Apple places on a "superior customer experience, rather than to provide technology for technology's sake." As a result, he says, "Apple declined to offer an LTE-enabled iPhone that would have been more expensive, larger and more power hungry [i.e. what lots of people thought the iPhone 5 should be] and instead opted to introduce a device that delivers nearly the same wireless data speed, but with a superior user experience."

"No iPhone 5: Why is Apple Holding Off?"

This is a ripe rumor, endlessly fertile. That was the headline from International Business Times -- a headline that suggests a kind of Apple plot: They've got the phone and for Some Reason just aren't releasing it.

This past week, IBT's Kukil Bora wrote, Apple "unveiled iPhone 4S, and the 'iPhone 5' mystery remained a mystery after all."

"But what could be the reason behind the move, which is considered by many as a setback?" he wonders, obviously referring to his fellow tech Websters and pundits.

What indeed? Bora gives an answer by Forward Concepts analyst Will Strauss, who, like Francis Sideco, thinks it's because of LTE. The iPhone 5 brand will be slapped on an LTE phone and Apple is waiting for the right LTE chip. "They're saving iPhone 5 for the LTE version and that won't be out until next spring," says Strauss.

There is some solid information in Bora's story: He cites Strauss as saying HTC's ThunderBolt smartphone uses two chips: LTE baseband, and 3G. The implication is that Apple is holding out for a more integrated solution. And Bora, finally, reminds us that Apple CEO Tim Cook made clear in April that Apple thought the first-generation LTE chipsets "forced a lot of design compromises" that Apple was unwilling to make.

There are two chip solutions in the LTE-capable HTC ThunderBolt: an LTE baseband (modem) chip and a second one from Qualcomm for 3G voice connections, Strauss says.


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