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Next iPhone: 25 million by year's end, WSJ says

The updated smartphone will launch in the third quarter, feature a new design, and come with an 8-megapixel camera, The Wall Street Journal reports.

What will the next iPhone feature?
What will the next iPhone feature? Apple

Apple is asking suppliers to assemble by year's end 25 million units of its next iPhone, possibly the long-rumored iPhone 5 or the iPhone 4-something-or-other, The Wall Street Journal is reporting today.

According to the Journal's anonymous sources, Apple has requested that "a few million units" of its next iPhone be ready in August in preparation for what the sources say is a third-quarter launch for the smartphone. At the same time, the Journal reports that those shipments could be delayed due to the new iPhone being "complicated and difficult to assemble."

Though the Journal's sources didn't say why the device might be hard to build, it could have something to do with its reported design. According to the Journal, the device will be both "thinner and lighter" than Apple's iPhone 4. In addition, it will come with an 8-megapixel camera, the publication's sources said.

The Wall Street Journal's report is the latest in a long line of rumors surrounding Apple's next smartphone launch. And none of them can seemingly agree on what Apple will eventually offer.

Just yesterday, DigiTimes reported that Apple has ordered 15 million iPhone 5 units for a September launch. A few days earlier, DigiTimes reported that suppliers are preparing to produce millions of units of the iPhone 5 to get ready for an October release. And just a couple days before that, BMO Capital analyst Keith Bachman wrote in a note to investors that Apple will start selling an iPhone 4S--not an iPhone 5--with minor updates in September.

Another report last month from Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore claimed Apple will be offering both an updated iPhone 4 and an iPhone 5 this year.

So, what will Apple be announcing related to its next iPhone? Like all other Apple product announcements, there's no way to know until the company unveils the device onstage. And as just the last few rumors show, any report on what Apple has planned should be taken with a heaping helping of salt.

Click here to see a full roundup of all iPhone 5 rumors.