Apple Inc.’s next-generation handset is likely to run a bit faster; sport a somewhat larger, higher-resolution display and camera; and link to faster (HSDPA+) networks. But the incremental upgrade will not merit the name iPhone 5. We give the handset a C for effort and dub it the iPhone 4+.
On the other hand, the accompanying report card looks bright for the chip vendors already designed into the iPad 2; most have a better-than-average shot of getting sockets in the evolutionary smartphone.
The most heated competition will be over baseband processors, where the likely scenario sees Apple continuing to use its tried-and-true Infineon chips for 3G phones and the Qualcomm MDM6600 for the CDMA versions.
On the 3G side, Apple may upgrade to Infineon’s X-Gold 626 or 706 to pick up support for HSDPA+ networks, says Steve Bitton, senior technology analyst at our partner UBM TechInsights.
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