Piper Jaffray: Apple iPhone 5 to feature completely redesigned body style, resemble iPad’s metallic rear panel

“Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster writes in a research note [yesterday] that he thinks Apple remains on target for an October launch for the iPhone 5 despite the reported 28 nm baseband radio chip shortage at Qualcomm,” Eric Savitz reports for Forbes. “Munster also provided some thoughts on what will be new in the iPhone 5.”

Savitz reports, “‘We believe the iPhone 5 will represent the biggest consumer electronics product launch of 2012 as well as the biggest device upgrade cycle in smartphone history,’ he writes. (No pressure, Tim Cook!) ‘We believe the iPhone 5 will have a completely redesigned body style, which may more closely resemble the metallic rear panel of the current iPad. We believe there is a 50% chance the new phone has a slightly larger 4+” screen. We believe larger screen size is one of the few areas in which Android devices have been able to compete. Beyond the redesigned body and screen, we believe the new phone will include 4G LTE, upgraded processor and memory, and a higher megapixel camera.'”

Read more in the full article here.

21 Comments

    1. “…may more closely resemble…” but not necessarily be the same. Maybe this is where the LiquidMetal comes into play. I’m not aware of it’s radio frequency sensitivity – unlike metal being able to interfe with signal reception – but if it’s similar to plastic this would allow the form factor and add lightness to the phone.

      I think the form factor will be changed on the new model to reflect the MBA and iPad form factors. JMO.

        1. Well the current iPhone has an antenna around the outside edge of the device… Why not the next iPhone as well? It wouldn’t matter what the back of it was made of. Which means it could still theoretically be made of Liquid Metal, making it lighter, stronger and thinner than the glass back used now.

          1. Jobs wanted iPhone 4 to have metal back from very beginning. But this was not feasible since metal back still reflects signal from quite wide angles. No one wants signal to suddenly drop just because you turned your iPhone in such angle that it would screen the nearest cell tower.

    2. One of the characteristics often claimed of Liquid Metal is that is is not opaque to radio waves like conventional metals are.

      I have yet to see any figures showing how transparent it is to the frequencies used for cellular radio, but judging by what I have read so far, I wouldn’t completely rule out the possibility of it being used with an internal antenna.

  1. Also, screen size is a “competition”? “Bigger is Better” is a US disease. Did the designers of the Mini Cooper do anything whatsoever to address the Cheverolet Impala?

  2. I really hope the screen size stays the same. It’s perfect in my opinion! I think the competition went bigger only in an effort to differentiate themselves, not to add function. Just a BS “selling point”.

    1. The Android smartphones probably need a larger screen to accomodate larger batteries and still keep the device relatively thin. It all works out pretty good for those who like looking at larger displays. I doubt there’s any proof that most consumers are in love with huge displays. Most just take whatever is available for a reasonable price. Although a larger display may be better for some consumers, I’d also say that the absolute need for larger displays by most consumers is pretty much BS.

      1. Most consumers are stupid and would automatically equate bigger as better; 3.5″ screen for $99 or 4.5″ for $99. Most would opt for the bigger device. However, carriers pushed LTE, not bigger screens. The LTE devices HAD to be made bigger because of the chipsets that were available; requiring one for radio and one for voice, and being very power hungry (bigger battery).

        The next generation LTE chips will much smaller (combine voice and data) and more power efficient. This is why Apple waited before releasing an LTE phone. By the end of this quarter, they should be able to begin building them in decent volumes.

        By this time next year half the large screen devices will be off the market to make room for more mobile LTE mobiles. I see no reason for Apple to build a phone with a larger screen.

  3. The only possible way for an iPhone to have a completely metal back, assuming LM is used, and is not radio transparent, is if Apple have perfected a screen with all the antenna built into it, as shown on here in a recently revealed patent. If that tech works, then all bets are off regarding the use of a unibody for the iPhone.
    Otherwise, no chance.
    Personally, I’d love a phone with an almost scratch-proof metal back, but I ain’t holding my breath for one this year.

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