Blog Post

iPhone 4S Arriving This Fall With More Carriers?

Apple’s next iPhone (s aapl) will be called the 4S, and won’t offer much beyond minor cosmetic changes, better front and back cameras, an A5 dual-core processor and HSPA+ support, according to Jefferies & Co. analyst Peter Misek (via Forbes (s twx)). The information comes from industry checks performed by the investment banking firm.

Apple is also likely to announce Sprint (s s), T-Mobile and China Mobile as new carrier partners, according to Misek’s research note. T-Mobile expansion is already expected if the AT&T(s t) / T-Mobile merger goes through. The addition of Sprint (s s) would mean Apple’s reach would extend to all major U.S. carriers, and China Mobile signing on would mean that the iPhone would become available to over 600 million potential subscribers.

While analyst expectations are not always the most dependable source of information, this report is in keeping with what we’ve been hearing about Apple’s next iPhone revision. Rumors abound that we won’t see any new hardware introduced at WWDC this June, and fall has been widely cited as the most likely candidate for an iPhone update. The iPhone “4s” name has also surfaced before, back in April when it was used to describe a prototype handset being circulated by Apple among developers with an A5 chip for use in creating next-gen games. Supplier checks also often reveal clues about future Apple products, since the third-party supply chain isn’t as easily guarded as Apple itself.

Misek also claims that LTE chipsets from Qualcomm (s qcom) aren’t yet ready for mass production of the next iPhone, so we won’t see LTE support in the next hardware revision.

Take this report with a grain of salt, but if Apple decides to repeat what it did with the iPhone 3G and 3GS with the iPhone 4 and its successor, this does match with what I’d expect to see from a hardware update. What do you think about this latest next-gen iPhone rumor?

13 Responses to “iPhone 4S Arriving This Fall With More Carriers?”

  1. The iphone is overrated. There are so many different options out there now. If they chang the hardware of it a little, i believe it would be a much better phone.

  2. ggore

    I wish Apple would release the iPhone to ALL carriers, large or small, which would make the thing useful in ALL of the U.S. I am sick of AT&T and T-Mobile’s little tiny polkadots of 3G coverage while Verizon and Sprint’s entire systems are 3G-capable. And if you add in CellularOne, US Cellular, Pioneer, and all the other regional carriers, you have a phone that could be used all over the country.

    Not one of the big cellphone companies covers the entire US, offering true nationwide service, despite all their advertising copy. But the small regional carriers have roaming agreements with the larger ones, allowing their customers to really have the TRUE nationwide experience, so therefore, their customers should be allowed to have access to the iPhone as well, in my ‘humble’ opinion.

    Sometimes these roaming agreements are one-sided, wherein the small carrier can roam on the larger one’s system but the big one cannot roam on the smaller system, as is the case here in Oklahoma between AT&T and CellularOne. CellularOne can roam on AT&T anywhere in the country but AT&T cannot roam on CellularOne’s system here because AT&T was required to divest this system when it operated under the Dobson name and AT&T bought it. Therefore AT&T lost coverage here and will have to completely build a brand new system of its own if it ever wants to re-cover this area. Evidently they have no plans to do so, since this area has been removed from AT&T’s 3G upgrade “coming soon” map:

  3. Apple’s getting close.

    iPhone is just one leg on a stool that now includes iPad and will soon be joined by the MacBook Air with iOS support. Apple TV at $100 is probably always just an adapter that I can use when I’m home.

    Apple’s next big thing has to be an iCloud that unifies Mobile Me, Game Center and iTunes. Oh to be rid of iTunes…. not to mention PCs and Macs. That version of iCloud coupled with Sprint as the mad-dog carrier might even be the final driver that sorts out tethering.

    All my mobile devices, networked and synced, accessing services across mobile or wire-line and streaming to my TV …… sorry folks, someone slap me.

    Lost it there for a moment…. back to work.

  4. Apple Turnover

    I don’t mind if they’re just changing the internal hardware and leaving the display and case the same. I’m just happy if the iPhone will be available on Sprint and T-Mobile networks. That will boost iPhone sales and bring much needed revenue to Apple while slowing down Android growth a tiny bit. Apple should take its time developing and building up component supplies for a mass iPhone 5 push next year.

  5. josey4628

    When I bought my iPhone 3GS in June 2009, I was anticipating the option of ATT or Verizon iPhones with LTE service in June 2011 when my contract would be up.

    It’s a little disappointing that signs point to a later release with no LTE support, but not the end of the world… as always, we’ll have to wait and see what really happens.

  6. MacDaddy

    Who the hell is this “Jefferies & Co.” pissant little analyst company? Probably some puke company trying to get their 5 minutes of fame by making a factless prediction. Honestly, I don’t know why you tech blogs even bother with these little no name companies…

    • Appleman

      MacDaddy, why on earth do you feel the need to swear and make such a vindictive reply? It ads no value, and simply makes your own statement look biased.
      I suspect the analyst knows far more about the market then you do, and their report looks sensible.

      One of the benefits to Apple is the ecosystem of 3rd party cases, speakers, and other accessories – while Apple do and can change the form factor of their products – they don’t do so without good reason, and at the moment most signs are that this will indeed be a software driven version change, with limited design changes.

    • Richard

      @MacDaddy, Jefferies was recently ranked the #2 Equity Broker for North America, and was also named one of the world’s most admired companies by fortune magazine. Not really a pissant little analyst company I’d say.

      They actually handle the equity funds for a lot of aerospace technology too.