Apple 2.0

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4.5 million iPhone 4Gs in 24 days?

May 17, 2010: 10:27 AM ET

And 24 million by the end of 2010, according to a new report out of Taiwan

DigiTimes, a Taipei-based tech daily with a rich supply of anonymous tipsters among Apple's (AAPL) Pacific Rim suppliers, issued a detailed report Monday about the next generation iPhone that actually quotes a source by name.

This is presumably the same fourth-generation iPhone -- or one much like it -- that was left in a Redwood City bar four weeks ago.

Here, according to Ming-Chi Kuo, DigiTimes senior analyst, is what Taiwanese component makers are saying about it:

  • Improved display. It comes with a sharper screen -- 960-by-640 compared with 480-by-320 pixels in the current iPhones) -- and the same IPS (in-plane switching) and FFS (fringe-field switching) technology used in the iPad to improve viewing angle and readability in sunlight. LG Display and Prime View International are said to be the panel suppliers.
  • Faster chip and more memory. It will have a 512MB memory module from Samsung Electronics and a Arm Cortex A8 processor to take advantage of the multi-tasking capability of the iPhone 4.0 platform. (AppleInsider points out that the iPhone prototype Gizmodo cracked open had only 256MB of memory.)
  • Compact construction. To solve the iPhone's notorious battery life issues, the new iPhone's panel is 33% thinner, leaving more space for an oversize power supply. Gizmodo's teardown found a battery 19% larger than the one that powers today's iPhones.
  • Ambitious build-out. Foxconn is expecting to ship 24 million units this calendar year -- 4.5 million before the end of June. Assuming that the new iPhone is introduced at Apple's World Wide Developers Conference keynote on June 7 and put on sale the same day, that only gives the company 24 days to move 4.5 million units -- an average of 187,500 a day.

Note that there was no mention of the front-facing camera that figured so prominently in Gizmodo's teardown.

DigiTimes has a mixed track record when trafficking in Apple rumors, but this report feels more credible than most. We'll find out soon enough.

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for

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