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WSJ: Apple plans to build 25M thinner, lighter next-gen iPhones this year

post #1 of 74
Thread Starter 
Apple is reportedly gearing up to build its next-generation iPhone, placing orders for key components to build a new model thinner and lighter than the iPhone 4 with an 8-megapixel camera.

The Cupertino, Calif., company is said to be so aggressive with build plans for its next-generation handset, it hopes to build 25 million units by the end of 2011, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, citing sources in Apple's overseas supply chain. It was said that Apple may not be able to meet that goal if Foxconn cannot improve its yield rate, as the new iPhone is reportedly "complicated and difficult to assemble."

The next iPhone will reportedly sport new wireless baseband chips from Qualcomm, replacing the Infineon chips found in the current iPhone 4. The report did not indicate whether that wireless chip would be a dual GSM-CDMA model allowing compatibility with both types of networks, something that has previously been rumored for Apple's next-generation iPhone.

And while the Journal did claim that the new iPhone will be thinner and lighter than its predecessor, it did not give any indication whether the body of the device will be similar to the current iPhone 4. Previous reports have been divided on the issue, with some claiming the new model will be a major redesign, and others claiming the new device will retain the same form factor.

Apple's alleged order of key components places the device on track to go on sale in the third quarter of calendar 2011, sources reportedly said. Suppliers expect to ship their components to device assembler Foxconn in August.

If accurate, the 25 million build total for 2011 would suggest that Apple expects its iPhone sales to continue to grow with the launch of the fifth-generation model. In its previous fiscal quarter, the company sold a record 18.65 million iPhones, including both the iPhone 4 and previous-generation iPhone 3GS.



Those numbers could go even higher if Apple decides to continue to offer the iPhone 3GS as a free entry-level model later this year, as is rumored. A recent report from one Wall Street analyst claimed that Apple will offer the iPhone 3GS to customers for free, subsidized with a standard two-year service contract.
post #2 of 74
Thinner...lighter...8 megapixel camera...somewhat bigger screen...

Yeah. That should do it !!
post #3 of 74
I thought that apple never wanted an iPhone to sell for free (with contract) as it indernines the brand's value.

Why pay $70 a month for a 2 year old phone when a few hundred more gets you an iPhone 4?
post #4 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post

Why pay $70 a month for a 2 year old phone when a few hundred more gets you an iPhone 4?

Because some of us have family members with limited data plans and pay $25 for them; the phone price matters then and extra goodies don't necessarily for non-power users.
post #5 of 74
I don't care about thinner & lighter at this point.

Give me more battery life.
post #6 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiameKnuj View Post

Because some of us have family members with limited data plans and pay $25 for them; the phone price matters then and extra goodies don't necessarily for non-power users.

You're paying ten times as much for data plans as you EVER do for a phone. Up front costs are completely meaningless.

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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post #7 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post

I thought that apple never wanted an iPhone to sell for free (with contract) as it indernines the brand's value.

They already do in plenty of markets. Back when the iPhone first launched Apple were skittish about it, they were concerned that it would devalue them as a brand, but clearly as they got deeper into the phone market they found that it wasn't a problem - and in fact wider exposure to Apple hardware seems to have increased their brand value.

Apple's new operating principle seems to be that it's fine for users to get a piece of Apple hardware for free or cheap, but it should never feel like a cheap object.
post #8 of 74
Coming from a 3Gs, I'll buy it just for the 8MP camera. Thinner sounds good too.
post #9 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

You're paying ten times as much for data plans as you EVER do for a phone. Up front costs are completely meaningless.

The data cost for the term of a contract is (24 months @ $15 per month) $360.
An added $200 phone cost would be about a 50% increase in the total cost.
post #10 of 74
I just want a bigger screen. Android is way, way ahead on that front. 4" minimum, but I'd go for 4.3 or 4.5".
post #11 of 74
A true Galaxy SII killer!!
iPad 3, Galaxy S4
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iPad 3, Galaxy S4
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post #12 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

I just want a bigger screen. Android is way, way ahead on that front. 4" minimum, but I'd go for 4.3 or 4.5".

I think those phones are too bulky. I wouldn't want a bigger screen if that meant the handset had to be any bigger.
post #13 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by brutus009 View Post

I think those phones are too bulky. I wouldn't want a bigger screen if that meant the handset had to be any bigger.

The handset won't get bigger, the margins may however get smaller.
post #14 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimhill View Post

I don't care about thinner & lighter at this point.

Give me more battery life.

I want thinner, lighter, more battery life, bigger screen, 8mp camera, a much improved antenna system, 4G capable and a faster processor. Too much to ask for?
post #15 of 74
Oh! Ooohh!!! I want an orange iPhone!
post #16 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by brutus009 View Post

Oh! Ooohh!!! I want an orange iPhone!

Your wish is granted.

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply
post #17 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxhunter101 View Post

I want thinner, lighter, more battery life, bigger screen, 8mp camera, a much improved antenna system, 4G capable and a faster processor. Too much to ask for?

You forgot 500GB Flash memory!
post #18 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Your wish is granted.

You beat me 3 minutes.
post #19 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Your wish is granted.

::grumble grumble:: \
post #20 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by brutus009 View Post

Oh! Ooohh!!! I want an orange iPhone!

or http://www.colorware.com/c-17-smart-phones.aspx
Cubist
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Cubist
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post #21 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxhunter101 View Post

I want thinner, lighter, more battery life, bigger screen, 8mp camera, a much improved antenna system, 4G capable and a faster processor. Too much to ask for?

With a free bumper!... Now you asked for too much!
/
/
/

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

Reply
post #22 of 74
Thinner, lighter... what else can we say? Well, thinner will make it sharper enough to cut users' fingers!!!
post #23 of 74
Since they are going longer than their usual 1 year cycle I can see a different form factor but typically I'd expect 2 years per base design.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #24 of 74
Give me something else please! Thinner, lighter, better camera - those are all expected every year. I want a 4" screen which I think would improve the device beyond belief, and I want a semi-new design - give me an aluminium back or something!?

I'll probably be getting this new iPhone so I want it to be good enough and not out-dated as soon as #6 arrives!
post #25 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxhunter101 View Post

I want thinner, lighter, more battery life, bigger screen, 8mp camera, a much improved antenna system, 4G capable and a faster processor. Too much to ask for?

You forgot to mention that you want it delivered by a naked Megan Fox riding a pink unicorn.
post #26 of 74
I would be happy to upgrade if the image on 9to5mac is accurate. I am hoping that the new iphone would have a metal back but that's just aesthetics.
post #27 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

You forgot to mention that you want it delivered by a naked Megan Fox riding a pink unicorn.

You have as much chance seeing Megan Fox naked as seeing a pink uniform!... Oh, wait look on the internet, megan's there... BTW, Megan Fox clothed is a 10! (ignore her hands), but topless or naked is a 6... (says the troll; LOL)
post #28 of 74
Not thinner or lighter: If the guts can be squeezed, then more battery, please. I hope to see 24 hour battery life someday (not expecting it anytime soon).

64GB memory. Some of these apps are taking significant space. I want to fit my whole music library as well.

5MP is adequate, but move the flash! I have to remove the case to take a flash picture, due to flash reflection.

Slight increase in screen would be welcome.

Louder speakers. There are still times, in noisy surroundings, when I miss calls.
post #29 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcphoto View Post

I would be happy to upgrade if the image on 9to5mac is accurate. I am hoping that the new iphone would have a metal back but that's just aesthetics.

Super sexy... until I saw the home button... WTF?!
post #30 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by brutus009 View Post

Super sexy... until I saw the home button... WTF?!

I will miss the current home button. Have you ever noticed how the curve makes it project a false image so that from some angles the button looks like it's convex not concave.

Still that looks amazingly slick
post #31 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

I just want a bigger screen. Android is way, way ahead on that front. 4" minimum, but I'd go for 4.3 or 4.5".

Gawd I hope not. The iPhone is the perfect size to fit in my pocket without a @#%^ case or holster. Thinner will definitely be appreciated too!
post #32 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... Those numbers could go even higher if Apple decides to continue to offer the iPhone 3GS as a free entry-level model later this year, as is rumored (sic). ...

Please stop with this BS it only makes you look stupid.

You might as well say: "I'm a dumbass American that doesn't know that the 3Gs is already offered for free in many other markets outside of the USA."
post #33 of 74
How surprised would anyone be if the next iPhone was thinner and lighter than the iPhone 4? Every new model is thinner and lighter than the one before it, so I'm sure that trend will continue until it reaches a point where it cannot get any thinner or lighter.
post #34 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by brutus009 View Post

Super sexy... until I saw the home button... WTF?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

I will miss the current home button. Have you ever noticed how the curve makes it project a false image so that from some angles the button looks like it's convex not concave.

Still that looks amazingly slick

Quote:
Originally Posted by tcphoto View Post

I would be happy to upgrade if the image on 9to5mac is accurate. I am hoping that the new iphone would have a metal back but that's just aesthetics.

You people should remember that the report of the changed design has been roundly discredited and Apple Inisder is only mentioning it here out of completeness.

Anyone who has done any industrial design can tell you that the model in the picture is really not going to happen, even if they *do* have a new model this year. It's far far more likely that they will stick with the same basic design this year. Even if they move to a new one, what you see in the picture is not going to happen at all.

Besides the fact that it only has 30% of the volume of the current model (a huge jump in space savings that is rarely possible), it has the (world leading) antennas removed. Also, things on designs aren't just changed "for the hell of it" (the new home button), there has to be a good design reason. Most of the flourishes you see on this render look cool but serve no purpose. No real designer does that.
post #35 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimhill View Post

I don't care about thinner & lighter at this point.

Give me more battery life.



Yes please. Though I suppose the market prefers the buzz words.
post #36 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by guch20 View Post

How surprised would anyone be if the next iPhone was thinner and lighter than the iPhone 4? Every new model is thinner and lighter than the one before it, so I'm sure that trend will continue until it reaches a point where it cannot get any thinner or lighter.

iphone original -135g
iphone 3g - 133g
iphone 3gs - 135g
iphone 4 - 137g

iphone original - 11.6mm
iphone 3g - 12.3mm
iphone 3gs - 12.3mm
iphone 4 - 9.3mm

Actually a lighter iPhone would represent a significant change. The trend from 3G->4 was much more about beauty and performance than weight. You think that the 4 is lighter because it's slimmer - much slimmer in fact.

Bizarrely I think that Apple likes to keep the weight up, because the feeling that the small phone is relatively dense makes it feel like a high quality object.
post #37 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

Bizarrely I think that Apple likes to keep the weight up, because the feeling that the small phone is relatively dense makes it feel like a high quality object.

I think there is truth in your statement.
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post #38 of 74
If a WSJ rumor doesn't come from Yukari Iwata Kane, I am not going to believe it.
post #39 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

iphone original -135g
iphone 3g - 133g
iphone 3gs - 135g
iphone 4 - 137g

iphone original - 11.6mm
iphone 3g - 12.3mm
iphone 3gs - 12.3mm
iphone 4 - 9.3mm

Actually a lighter iPhone would represent a significant change. The trend from 3G->4 was much more about beauty and performance than weight. You think that the 4 is lighter because it's slimmer - much slimmer in fact.

Bizarrely I think that Apple likes to keep the weight up, because the feeling that the small phone is relatively dense makes it feel like a high quality object.

I stand corrected.

Honestly, the thing could be the size of a phone book (remember those?) and could weigh as much as a gold brick--just make it available on the Sprint network and I'll be there on day damn one.
post #40 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Also, things on designs aren't just changed "for the hell of it" (the new home button), there has to be a good design reason.

While I agree with you that the pictured design is unlikely anytime soon, there is an obvious reason to change the home button shape - and that is to reduce the bottom margin. Apple want to keep the top and bottom margins symmetric or close, so the home button shape is a significant constraint.

Reducing the margins will likely be easier than making the model significantly thinner, than it currently is.
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