Analyst: iPhone 5 has 4G aspirations

An analyst report says the iPhone will support both 3G and 4G services, while echoing rumors about a new iPad.

The iPhone 5 will support both 3G and 4G services as Apple switches suppliers for critical silicon, an analyst said Monday. The report also said a new iPad is expected.

Following earlier iPhone 5 rumors, Ashok Kumar, a managing director and analyst at Rodman & Renshaw, chimed in with a report Monday saying Apple's iPhone 5 "will be Apple's first phone to support LTE," or Long Term Evolution, which is being marketed as a 4G technology.

And Kumar echoed other reports, saying that Qualcomm is the expected chip supplier for both a future Verizon-based iPhone, based on the CDMA standard, and the iPhone 5. "We believe the company has selected Qualcomm as its modem supplier for the CDMA iPhone as well as for the iPhone 5," Kumar wrote. "The iPhone 5 will likely use a two-chip modem, allowing the company to create 3G and 4G products."

"Switching suppliers for something as critical as a baseband (3G/4G) modem is a very complex and time-consuming task," Kumar said in an interview. But once the switch is made, a commitment is typically long term, Kumar added.

Currently, the iPhone uses a 3G chip from Infineon, whose wireless division Intel announced it is acquiring for $1.4 billion .

Kumar also wrote that Apple is expected to release a second-generation iPad with a 7-inch display and front/rear-facing cameras by early 2011. Similar rumors have surfaced in the past .

iPhone competition is expected to heat up in 2011, with Chinese and Taiwanese competitors launching $150 iPhone knockoffs running on Android. "Some of these vendors will attempt to leapfrog the iPhone through innovations such as larger or better screens, longer battery life, and more memory," according to Kumar.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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