Next iPhone will see a significant hardware revision, analyst predicts. Meanwhile, T-Mobile seeks to lure in owners of old, unlocked iPhones.
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Stop me if you've heard this one before. Analyst Brian White with Topeka Capital Markets predicted in a note to investors Monday that the next iPhone, perhaps to be named the iPhone 5, will have a larger, 4-inch display and a brand new design. The design will be sleek and made from unibody construction. It'll resemble exactly what everyone expected to see from Apple last fall, instead of the iPhone 4S.
According to White, the iPhone 5 will be the most significant upgrade for the iPhone yet, suggesting to his clients that it will "dwarf" previous iPhone launches. (That'll be quite the feat given how successful the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S were the first few days they were available for sale.)
"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 wrote to his clients.
White came by this information during a recent trip to Asia, where he met with component suppliers in China and Taiwan. According to White, suppliers in Asia are already ramping up for the iPhone 5's launch later this year.
When? Oh, depends on who you choose to believe. Some employees at Foxconn have said the next iPhone will launch in June. Other Foxconn employees have said the next iPhone will launch in September or October. White thinks it'll arrive in August or September. My guess, it'll be sometime between June and October, or whenever Apple's good and ready to bring it to market. Let's just leave it at that.
This prediction isn't anything we haven't already heard before. The lead-up to the iPhone 4S debut was rife with similar reports. Will they come true this time? Only Apple knows.
In the meantime, real people with real iPhones are unlocking them thanks to a policy change from AT&T. You know who's in the market for old iPhone users? T-Mobile USA. It has already reached out to iPhone owners, and is once again reminding them that switching to T-Mobile with their old iPhone could be a great idea.
"Today we have more than one million unlocked iPhones running on our network. T-Mobile currently offers microSIMs for customers who already have a GSM phone they want to use on the T-Mobile network, including an iPhone. In order to set up an unlocked iPhone on T-Mobile's network, customers simply need to purchase a microSIM card and select a T-Mobile Value plan that suits their needs.
"In addition, we will continue to deliver more value to customers as we expand and modernize our 4G network. Beginning this year, we will introduce HSPA+ service in our 1900-MHz PCS spectrum. When we do, our 4G network will be compatible with a broader range of devices, including the iPhone."
This is all true, though owners of old iPhones shouldn't expect to see working 3G service from T-Mobile until very late in the year.
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