Apple’s iPhone 5 fabricator, Pegatron, has reportedly landed a 15m-strong order for the fifth-gen smartphone, with shipping expected to begin in September. That’s according to the latest leaks to drain their way down the DigiTimes plughole, with component supplier sources claiming that – contrary to expectations of a significantly more advanced handset – the iPhone 5 “does not seem to have any major update” from its predecessor. That could suggest a single device, or that Apple has split manufacturing responsibilities for a two-strong next-gen iPhone line-up between suppliers.
The new leak echos talk from Friday, though that suggested Foxconn had clinched the next-gen iPhone production contract. Until now, Pegatron has been responsible for CDMA iPhone 4 production, the handsets used on Verizon and other carriers outside the US, though previous leaks have suggested the iPhone 5 will be a so-called World Phone offering both GSM and CDMA compatibility in a single device.
If that’s the case, then Foxconn and Pegatron could well be producing the same device, with Apple hedging its supply chain bets across two companies so as to hopefully avoid any bottlenecks. Alternatively, one manufacturer could be responsible for the advanced iPhone 5, while the other could be producing the more affordable iPhone 4S which has also been rumored.
Teardowns of the CDMA iPhone 4 actually confirmed that Apple had used Qualcomm’s MDM6600 radio chipset, itself capable – with the right firmware and software – of utilizing both CDMA and GSM networks. However, Apple purposefully decided to limit the handset to CDMA-only. It could well be the case that Pegatron is producing the iPhone 4S, ostensibly similar to the existing iPhone 4 (some rumors have tipped the inclusion of the dual-core Apple A5 processor as in the iPad 2) only with new World Phone support.
That could leave Foxconn to produce the iPhone 5, said to be a more significant departure in style and functionality. As well as the dual-core CPU, rumors have suggested the iPhone 5 will have a larger, 3.7-inch display, an 8-megapixel camera and potentially NFC connectivity. Foxconn is also expected to begin next-gen iPhone shipments in September.