The iPad mini will look like a large iPod touch, says 9 to 5 Mac, with smaller side bezels. The display is expected to be 7.85 inches diagonally, 1024 × 768 pixels at 163 PPI — the same pixels-per-inch density as the pre-retina iPhones and iPod Touch.
With the same 4:3 aspect ratio and 1024 × 768 pixel dimensions, it should look to iPad software exactly like an iPad 1 or 2 display — everything will just render a little smaller, but not too much smaller. At $299, Apple will sell a ton of them.
The iPhone 5 release date is expected to be Sept. 12, when the iPad mini may also be announced. It’s a bit taller than the 4S, allowing for a display that has one extra row of icons on the Home screen. Qualcomm could see its baseband content grow from about $8 in the iPhone 4S to $15-$18 in the iPhone 5, as Apple upgrades to a 4G LTE slim baseband modem. The new iPhone is expected to have a taller 4-inch screen, LTE, a smaller dock connector and unibody construction. It will likely ship with iOS 6 and cost $199 with a two year contract.
The iPhone5 will support LTE from Korean carriers SK Telecom and KT. SK Telecom is the world’s second-largest LTE operator after Verizon Wireless. SK had 4.22 million LTE subscribers at the end of July 2012 and says it is on track to achieve its target of 7 million LTE subscribers by year-end. Korea has a total of 8.4 million LTE subscribers, and may have close to 16 million by year’s end.
The Korea Communications Commission (KCC) regulator auctioned LTE spectrum across three bands, 800MHz, 1.8GHz (PCS) and 2.1GHz (AWS), last August. SK Telecom (51% market share) and KT Corp (31% market share) control just over 80% of the country’s mobile market. The South Korean LTE-enabled Samsung S3 uses a Exynos 4 and their own LTE baseband chip. For the U.S. market, Samsung swapped its processor for a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 with built-in LTE capability.
Apple may use a variant of the A5 chip with a Qualcomm LTE modem that can work on China Mobile’s TD-SCDMA network as well as Sprints’ FD-LTE network at 1.9 GHz. Less likely (but possible I suppose) would be support for TD-LTE at 2.6 GHz. Last year Saudi Arabia’s Mobily launched TD-LTE using the 2.6 GHz band.
The iPhone 5 may be relatively ho-hum, but it’s a world phone. China Mobile has 600+ million subs. It’s not about the United States.
I would like to suggest that a fifth gen iPod Touch could be positioned as a Bluetooth 4 hub, supporting a line of tiny Bluetooth 4 health and fitness sensors.
A September launch could generate 6-10 million iPhone 5 sales in the final 10 days of Q3, while some expect Apple to sell 23 million iPhones in Q4.
All this is just idle speculation, of course.