Peter Misek, an analyst at Jefferies, has checked with industry sources and now believes Apple will introduce an incremental upgrade of the iPhone this year, reserving the iPhone 5 announcement for 2012.
The analyst specifically checked with Catcher Technologies, who indicated to Jefferies that component orders have begun for the “iPhone 4S”, not the iPhone 5.
“We could see an upside surprise to September iPhone orders. We believe iPhone units will reaccelerate due to: new lower-cost iPhone, iPhone 4S in the Fall followed by iPhone 5 in June 2012, and more carriers," Misek wrote in a research note, according to the International Business Times.
He believes there is little chance to see the iPhone 5 launch in September with LTE (long term evolution) support, and therefore puts his money on a device that should be called iPhone 4S, and that should include minor cosmetic changes, enhanced cameras, the A5 chip, and support for the HSPA+ standard.
Scott Sutherland, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, agrees with this forecast.
Sutherland also tells its clients that, "Based upon our checks and public comments by Verizon and others, we are in the camp that expects only an incremental iPhone upgrade (iPhone 4S) this September, which includes a dual-core processor and improved imaging.”
“We expect the iPhone 5 to arrive by next January, which will include 4G and can work on both Verizon and AT&T's networks, thus allowing CDMA and GSM based subscribers equal access to the new iPhone," said Sutherland.
Jefferies Misek added that his firm expects Apple to introduce several rounds of cloud-based announcements leading up to the day its iPhone 5 debuts in early 2012.
"As expected, the WWDC keynote focused on software and cloud services with mostly me-too capabilities announced. We expect this to be Apple's first round of cloud service announcements with round two in the Fall (likely focused on video) and round three in 2012," said Misek.
Of course, other analysts are not expecting an iPhone 4S announcement this fall, but rather an iPhone 5 pre-loaded with a much assorted iOS 5.
We would have to agree that Apple may not have confirmed iOS 5 so early, had it not been confident that it could simultaneously launch a handset with the same moniker, much like it did last summer with iPhone 4 and iOS 4.
Apple’s iPhone also has to play catch with Google’s upcoming Nexus 4G, which makes it all the more credible that Cupertino can’t wait until 2012. Then again, Apple knows its product roadmap better than Wall Street analysts do.