iPhone with 4G LTE: Bigger and More Expensive

Senior Analyst at IHS iSuppli Wayne Lam via DigiTimes:

It remains to be seen whether the next Apple iPhone set for introduction in September will support 4G LTE. However, if it does, two things are clear. First, the iPhone’s minuscule printed circuit board (PCB) will have to grow in size in order to support the first-generation LTE baseband processor as well as all the supporting chipset. Second, the next iPhone’s BOM value certainly will increase substantially compared to the iPhone 4 if LTE is implemented in the same manner as in the HTC Thunderbolt.

Could Apple develop a larger iPhone? Perhaps one that incorporates a 4-inch display? To me, and based on this information, that would be the only way the iPhone slated for a September release would have LTE.

As for the BOM, an LTE-equipped iPhone would mean tens of millions of LTE chips, and that would also mean much lower prices than what HTC paid. Future iPhones with a two-year agreement will likely continue to start at US$199, or perhaps lower.

As I have shared previously, I think the next iPhone will look just like the current iPhone 4, but with an A5 chip and a better camera.

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