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White iPhone 4 matters, especially in China, says analyst

Gregg Keizer | April 25, 2011
Its arrival would be strongest signal yet that iPhone 5 won't show 'til September.

Like most analysts, White has come around to the idea of a September launch of the iPhone 5.

"[A September launch] also gives them more time to ramp up," he said, referring to his bet that Apple will move faster into international markets with the new smartphone than it has in the past.

White just returned from a swing through China and Taiwan, where he spoke to component suppliers in an attempt to gauge the timetable for the next iPhone. "But we got mixed data points," he acknowledged.

The three-month lag may also give Apple the time it needs to build an iPhone able to connect to faster LTE cellular networks, a move White said Apple needed to make to stay competitive with rival handsets powered by Google's Android operating system.

White held to his position even though Cook scorned LTE last week in the earnings call.

"The first generation of LTE chipsets force a lot of design compromises with the handset, and some of those, we are just not willing to make," Cook said.

 

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