Report: Thinner, lighter iPhone will use Qualcomm baseband chips

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is working with its suppliers to deliver the next iteration of the iPhone to market sometime in the third quarter, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the latest in a drumbeat of reports speculating on the next iPhone.

The report, which cited unnamed sources at Apple's component suppliers, said the new iPhone will be thinner and lighter than the iPhone 4 and will have an 8-megapixel camera. The report dovetails with previous reports on the next iPhone, which many analysts expect to come out in September. Most interestingly, the report said the new iPhone will use Qualcomm's (NASDAQ:QCOM) baseband chipsets, replacing those from Infineon.

Investigations into the CDMA version of the iPhone 4 for Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) in February revealed the gadget has a new antenna design as well as a chip from Qualcomm designed for both CDMA and GSM networks. A handful of companies including iFixit, UBM TechInsights and IHS iSuppli conducted teardowns of the Verizon iPhone, and found the device runs a baseband chip from Qualcomm, the MDM6600, that supports Verizon's CDMA and EV-DO networks as well as GSM and HSPA+ standards (up to 14.4 Mbps). It is the same chip that powers Motorola Mobility's (NYSE:MMI) Droid Pro global phone.

Representatives from Apple and Qualcomm declined to comment. Representatives from Samsung, which makes memory chips for the iPhone, and Infineon declined to comment, according to the Journal.

According to the report, Apple wants to ramp up production for the new iPhone significantly. "Apple's sales estimates of the new iPhone is quite aggressive. It told us to prepare to help the company meet its goal of 25 million units by the end of the year," an unnamed source at one of Apple's suppliers told the Journal. "The initial production volume will be a few million units ... we were told to ship the components to assembler Hon Hai in August."

The report cautioned that shipments of the new iPhone could be delayed if Hon Hai, which assembles the iPhone, encounters difficulties in the assembly process. The Journal report comes on the heels of one from the Taiwanese DigiTimes, which, citing unnamed sources at component makers, said Taiwanese notebook maker Pegatron Technology secured orders for 15 million units of the next iPhone.

For more:
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this DigiTimes article

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