More iPhone 5 or iPhone 4S Confusion

So the rumors about Apple’s next phone release continue to go around and around.

Just when the general consensus rumor had been settling on a revamped iPhone 4 with new internals and quite possibly a release on Sprint and T-Mobile, a new rumor from BGR comes flying in about a totally redesigned iPhone 5 coming out this fall. This BGR rumor goes back to the ex-Engadget Editor rumor from earlier with an awesome looking image of a redesigned iPhone 5 with a bigger screen. So what exactly is going on here?

MoD thinks that the rumor tree is hearing several different Apples fall and it’s causing widespread confusion. So here’s our take on all this.

1. The current iPhone 4 design is not going anywhere, but is going to be the foundation of the “cheaper” iPhone that Apple has been rumored to be building. Updated with cheaper components, less memory, etc, this device will hit the sweet spot in the US of a free iPhone with a term commitment while also being made available with a prepaid plan. The amazing continued success of the 3GS on AT&T indicates there’s a big market for a cheaper iPhone.

2. MoD thinks that Apple was prepared to issue a iPhone 4S with updated internal specs that this was the phone that the rumors kept talking referencing a iPhone 4 with a new A5 processor, but early this year Apple changed direction and instead produced a new design that will allow for a bigger screen, admittedly that could be the current iPhone 4 design with the largest screen that can fit with almost no bezel. Apple was caught by surprise of the popularity of the bigger 4 inch Android premium phones (Nokia’s first FinWin phones are sure to have 4 inch screens or larger) and needed to adjust their production plans to make sure to have a new flagship iPhone that is still feature wise best in class. This adjustment led to the 3 month delay which also gave Apple additional time to get iOS 5 out the door. The device will likely come in a CDMA version for Verizon and Sprint and an updated GSM version that will make it “4G” for AT&T and T-Mobile.

3. MoD thinks the days of one new iPhone release a year in the summer are about over. Already this year we’ve seen the Verizon iPhone and the much delayed white iPhone 4. Apple is likely to make a number of special releases for big carriers in 2011-2012. Apple with momentum on Verizon won’t wait any longer than necessary to deploy a 4G LTE/CDMA Verizon phone once the chip sets fit Apple’s requirements.  Apple with established dominance on AT&T won’t wait long to deploy a 4G LTE GSM phone in 2012 (AT&T is already talking about the device). In China, Apple once it has the device will release a 3G TD-SCDMA or a TD-LTE 4G phone for China Mobile, in fact acting CEO Tim Cook was apparently in China this week negotiating this exact device. Network readiness may become the biggest factor in Apple’s release schedule for instance the iPhone is hindered in India which is still trailing in overall mobile broadband experience. In the future, two releases one in spring and one in fall makes a lot of sense for Apple, and ensures that the flagship of massive revenue is never older than six months.

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