Analyst Says the Apple iPhone 4S Is Heading for Sprint, T-Mobile

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The next smartphone from Apple will be called the iPhone 4S, according to one industry analyst. This model will supposedly be offered by not just AT&T and Verizon, but also Sprint and T-Mobile.

This information comes from Peter Misek, a telecommunications analyst from Jefferies & Company, who says he got it from “industry checks”. Apple itself has not yet said anything about its next-generation handset, which up to now many have been calling the iPhone 5.

For many years, AT&T was the exclusive provider of Apple’s smartphones. Earlier this year, though, Verizon was allowed to introduce the iPhone 4. So adding two more carriers to this list would be a departure from Apple’s current strategy, but not a huge one.

According to Misek, some versions of the iPhone 4S will support HSPA+, a 4G wireless networking standard used by AT&T and T-Mobile. It won’t, however, have LTE or WiMAX, the 4G standards used by Verizon and Sprint, respectively. AT&T is also building an LTE network, and Apple supposedly wanted to add LTE support but the necessary chips won’t be ready in time.

Apple iPhone 5The analyst from Jefferies went on to predict that this model will have better cameras, though he didn’t specify what the new resolutions for the front- and rear-facing camera will be. Previous reports have said the rear-facing one is going to jump from 5 megapixels to 8 megapixels.

He also said that it is going run the Apple A5 1 GHz dual-core processor. This same processor is used in the Apple iPad 2, and there’s a general consensus that this company’s next-generation smartphone will be built around it too. 

Misek’s sources said the smartphone will include unspecified “minor cosmetic changes”. However, they apparently made no mention of the next iPhone having a larger screen, a feature of many previous reports about this handset. According to those earlier sources, this bigger display will not increase the overall size of the device. A few images and renderings supposedly showing this new configuration have appeared on the Web.

Coming this Fall?
This analyst said nothing about when the iPhone 4S is going to be released, just that it’s headed for all four of the top U.S. wireless carriers. However, there’s growing evidence from other sources that it’s not going to hit store shelves until months after many had previously expected.

For several years now, Apple has released a new smartphone near the beginning of each summer. This year many be different. There are reports from an array of sources such as analysts and even an AT&T employee that the fifth-generation iPhone isn’t going to debut until late summer or early fall.   

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