T-Mobile, Sprint iPhones Coming for the Holidays: Analyst

In yet another confirmation of what we already predicted, Jefferies & Co. analyst Peter Misek said in a Friday research note that Apple‘s iPhone 5 isn't likely to include LTE. It will launch in September, and won't be the iPhone 5, but the iPhone 4S, he said.

Misek said that “According to our industry checks, the device should be called iPhone 4S and include minor cosmetic changes, better cameras, A5 dual-core processor, and HSPA+ support."

It's pretty similar to what we have already heard, and it sounds a lot like the iPhone 3G to iPhone 3GS transition. Based on that upgrade, and recalling our lack of excitement once the original "wonder" of a new iDevice rolled out, we'd question if it's really a necessary upgrade. In fact, those who have iPhone 4s should probably stick to their current models.

Perhaps more interesting than that is that non-news is that Misek says that “industry checks indicate Apple will likely announce Sprint, T-Mobile, and China Mobile as new carriers.” Since T-Mobile uses different 3G frequencies than does AT&T, the iPhone would have be redesigned, but what's stranger still is that those frequencies are destined for AT&T's LTE (assuming the deal is approved).

That means, they have already confirmed, that owners of current 3G smartphones (such as a T-Mobile iPhone 4S, would be) must swap out their handsets, eventually.

Meanwhile, Sprint is another CDMA carrier, so that device can leverage the changes that were made for the Verizon iPhone 4.

Misek said that Qualcomm LTE chipset Apple would have used “is currently not achieving yields sufficient for inclusion in the iPhone 5.” He said that Apple had hoped to have the LTE chipsets ready, but had already been planning a version without LTE called iPhone 4S.

While Misek said that Apple will announce distribution deals with Sprint and T-Mobile in time for the holidays, China Mobile could take longer. He believes, though, that China Mobile, that Asian nation's largest carrier, could be added in the next 12 months.
Tags:  Apple, iPhone