Last week we brought you all sorts of news about Apple's upcoming iPhone. Reports were coming fast and furious from major news agencies that the iPhone 5 (or, more likely, "new iPhone") would be getting a major redesign, the main feature of which would be a screen at least 4-inches long on the diagonal, and which was designed in large part by Steve Jobs himself before he passed away in October.
Today, a report from PiperJaffray analyst Gene Munster provides some more information about the redesign. In a note to investors, Munster discussed the redesign, as well as the potential problems Apple could have with the iPhone's release due to shortages of 28 nm chips manufactured by Qualcomm (which produces the cellular baseband chips for the iPhone 4S and new iPad). Munster said that he did not expect these shortages to negatively impact the iPhone's launch, and estimates an 80% change of Apple meeting Wall Street's December quarter expectations of 49 million iPhone sold.
As to the redesign, he said that the new iPhone will have a metal rear panel like that of the iPad, rather than the glass panel found in the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. The metal rear panel is a long-anticipated change, and would be welcome to those who feel that the glass rear panel on the current iPhone is too fragile and a poor design choice.
Munster also said that he expects the new iPhone to sport LTE functionality. Given the increasing size of the major carriers' 4G LTE networks and the proliferation of 4G-capable competing smartphones, that seems extremely likely. The fact that the third-generation iPad also has 4G capability makes a 4G iPhone a virtual certainty.[Lead Image: Concept Photo from ADR Studios]