Concord Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo was one of the few reliable sources giving correct estimates about the iPad 2's resolution. It's this track record that makes us value information that he's gathered straight from supply channels about the expected iPhone 5. First off, the new iPhone will only undergo a slight redesign and an improved antenna positioning, focusing more on a flashier iOS 5.0 than on any major changes in the hardware. The analyst remained silent about a possible change in the screen size, but mentioned that it's the 2012 iPhone that will bring more dramatic changes.
In addition, Kuo confirmed that the new iPhone is to come with an A5 dual-core chip and an 8-megapixel rear camera. The analyst noticed that Apple will switch to a Qualcomm-produced baseband chip for both GSM and CDMA handsets. Apple's A5 chip is what's behind the iPad 2 and its noticeably faster performance and graphical oomph, but all of this is also expected on the next generation of the iPhone.
Kuo also confirmed earlier information that mass production of the phone is to start only in September, while trial units are to be produced as early as August. If true, this will break Cupertino's disciplined yearly release schedule and will leave us guessing about what we'll see at June's WWDC where Apple usually debuts new products. A delayed launch of the next-gen iPhone in September or October would allow Apple to ship between 28 and 32 million handsets this year.
Kuo also went on to claim that Japan's devastating tsunami affected seriously Apple supplies to an extent that a new generation of the iPod touch – as unlikely as it sounds – might not be launched this year.