24 million next-gen iPhone shipping this year?

Foxconn is to manufacture 24 million units of Apple's next-gen iPhone in 2010, reports this morning claim.

Further, the device will sport new LCD displays which should make the handheld device much better for reading iBooks.

Apple appears set for a June introduction of the next-generation iPhone, most likely at or around its Worldwide Developer's Conference (WWDC 2010) on June 7, according to this latest DigiTimes report.

Expectation of a WWDC 2010 launch has existed since before Gizmodo published details on an iPhone prototype acquired nefariously for a $5,000 fee. That report has led to criminal investigation.

When better is better than best

Now, Digitimes analyst Ming-Chi Kuo cites sources within component manufacturers to claim Apple's next-gen iPhone will deliver the same in-plane switching (IPS) technology as the iPad.

The display will also feature fringe-field switching, or FFS, technology, further improving the viewing experience of the 960-x-640 resolution LCD display.

"By incorporating FFS technology, which enables a wider viewing angle and clearer visual quality under in sunlight, Apple is aiming to improve the handset's e-book reader functions and promote its iBooks store," the report said. "HTC's Hero smartphone has already adopted this technology."

Screens will reportedly be supplied by LG Display and Prime View International. They are one-third slimmer than before, which creates space for a larger battery module.

At least 24 million

Foxconn is expected to ship 4.5 million next-generation handsets in the June quarter, with a further 19.5 million units currently anticipated to shift in the final six months of the year.

The processor seems set to be a Samsung manuftured ARM Cortex A8 processor derivative of some kind -- don't be shocked to see an Apple-tooled version of that, such as the A4 processor.

The report  claims the iPhone will host 512MB of memory. This contradicts previous claims from Vietnam, where another claimed iPhone prototype was dismantled with a label on the device's claimed A4 processor suggesting inclusion of 256MB of memory.

More leaks

This morning a second wave of images of a claimed iPhone prototype emerged from Korea, those these could be fakes.

There's no guarantee the external design of the next-gen iPhone will be identical to any of these lost prototypes.

What else can we expect from the next-gen iPhone?

  • Front-facing video chat camera
  • Back-camera has larger lens
  • Camera flash
  • Micro-SIM instead of standard SIM (like the iPad)
  • Split buttons for volume
  • Power, mute, and volume buttons are all metallic
  • The battery is 5.25 WHr at 3.7V, compared to the 3GS battery, which is 4.51 WHr at 3.7V.
  • It measures 4.50 by 2.31 by 0.37 inches and weighs 140 grams

Initial manufacture of 5-megapixel cameras for the device has begun, with Korea's LG Innotek ready to mass produce them starting in the second half of this year.

Finding the iPhone value-chain

Previous reports have claimed the following firms will profit from the iPhone's anticipated 24-million sales this year:

Chimei Innolux will join previous panel suppliers TPK Touch Solution and Wintek in providing touch-panel modules.

Around 45 percent of the iPhone's Quartz components will be supplied by TXC; Kinsus will deliver the printed circuit board (PCB) while Largan Precision and Genius Electronic will be making the camera modules. Leadertek is offering X-ray testing equipment and Taiflex Scientific will be providing copper-clad laminate for the interconnects, Digitimes has previously claimed.

Assuming the device runs iPhone OS 4.0 on launch, the device will also likely have software support for multi-tasking, printing, the iBookstore and more, including video chat. Apple has previously promised the new iPhone OS will ship "this summer".

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