Digitimes’ Cage Chao and Steve Shen reported Friday that chipmakers including Qualcomm, Broadcom, STMicroelectronics, NXP, Texas Instruments (TI) and OmniVision have have according to industry sources commenced building up stocks of their silicon components to be used in Apple’s next-generation iPhone.
Chao and Shen say Qualcomm and Broadcom are producing 4G and Wi-Fi chips using a 28nm process at major chip manufacturer Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), with insider sources also noting that OmniVision is currently also seeking capacity at TSMC’s fabrication facilities, resulting a tight production capacity for the foundry’s 28nm process.
Qualcomm’s rumored difficulties in getting its 28-nanometer LTE 4G baseband chip into volume production were cited last spring by Piper Jaffray analyst and veteran Apple-watcher Gene Munster according to a report by modmyi.com’s Michael Essany as a reason behind the iPad 5 release delay, so if production of the Qualcomm chips is finally getting under way, that would support a fall new iPhone release.
STMicroelectronics is also reported to be ramping up production of MEMS devices, with NXP and TI also building up inventory of analog ICs for iPhones.
The International Business Times’s Dave Smith reasonably deduces that since Apple plans on releasing iOS 6 this fall, and in the past has released new iOS versions at the same time as idevice upgrades, as it did with iOS 5 and the iPhone 4S last year, he anticipates the next-generation iPhone will be unveiled alongside iOS 6 likely around the beginning of October, noting that release time frame is proven to be the best time to release new products, as evidenced by iPhone sales hitting an all-time high in 2011 — even more importantly, Smith says, Apple has learned that an iPhone released near Christmastime will result Santa having plenty of iPhones to deliver. He cites the iPhone 4S not only being the No. 1 item on teens’ and young adults’ Christmas wish lists, but also was in general one of the bestselling tech items before, during and after Christmas.
Smith also provides a worth perusing profile of features coming in iOS 6, some of which were not announced by Apple at the WWDC last week.