iPhone 5: Thinnest iPhone Ever, "Sheep"-like Fanboys, Cheaper Model

By : Subscribe to Carlo's | April 24, 2012 2:56 PM IST

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Apple Inc.  (NASDAQ: AAPL) reportedly is planning to release the thinnest iPhone yet later this year.  According to reports, the sixth generation iPhone is expected to be less than 8 mm thick with the use of new Liquidmetal alloys for the case and in-cell display technology that would place the panel's touch sensors inside the color filters rather than above them. According to AppleInsider, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says the switch from glass to metal for the iPhone case and a thinner battery would pave way for a 7.9mm thick.

Last year, there were reports that Apple was releasing two phones for 2011 -- the mythical iPhone 5 and a cheaper, stripped down version, the iPhone 4S.  But in October, Apple just released iPhone 4S that retained the design and 3.5 inch screen of its predecessor, but did have a more advanced dual-core processor, an 8 MP rear camera, and a digital assistant called Siri.

The cheap iPhone rumors are back.  Citing a report in China Times, Boy Genius Report claims that Apple is working on a low-cost entry-level "iPhone nano."  A low cost iPhone would allow Apple to build more market share in the low-end smartphone market dominated by Samsung and Nokia and in emerging markets where the $199 for an iPhone on a two-year contract and $649 contract-free are steep. But the "iPhone nano" more likely is rumor than real given that there were also reports early this year about a 7-inch iPad mini (only a 9.7-inch new iPad a.k.a. iPad 3 was released).

The KGI analyst also predicts that the iPhone 5 will be released in October -- not June.  The iPhone 4S was released in October last year although its predecessors were unveiled at the annual June developers' conference.

For the past five years, the iPhone has been the best-selling smartphone.  The release of the iPhone 5 will again generate unprecedented hype and long queues outside Apple stores.  Samsung is geared to release the Galaxy S 3 in weeks and in a video teaser implies that Apple fanboys are like sheep.

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The sixth generation iPhone is generating unprecedented hype because it is expected to have 4G LTE support (like the new iPad), a quad-core processor (although a dual-core chip with quad-core graphics processor like the new iPad is more likely), and a 4-inch-plus screen.

Here are the expected specs of the iPhone 5:

Release date:  October (South Korean newspaper, quoting the head of human resources at Foxconn's Taiyuan, China factory)

Display: 4.6-inch (The Maeil Business Newspaper, quoting an unnamed industry source, in March)

Design: The most significant iPhone upgrade with a four-inch screen and a new, sleek look that we believe will require a Unibody case (Business Insider, citing Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White).

Platform: iOS 6 with more advanced Siri (iOS 6 News Blog).

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