According to the latest reporting by the global research firm TrendForce, both the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch versions of the next iPhone will enter mass production in June. They will be shipped in the third quarter, with the quarterly shipments projected to reach 24 million units. By the fourth quarter, the next iPhone will be released in greater quantities with the estimated quarterly shipments surpassing 50 million. The new model will help drive the 2015 shipments of all iPhones to go over 230 million, resulting in a yearly shipment growth of 20%. The next iPhone is also estimated to represent more than 35% of this year’s total iPhone shipments.
TrendForce says the biggest highlight for the next iPhone will be Apple's shift to LPDDR4 DRAM from LPDDR3. The iPhone is expected to get double the RAM, going from 1GB to 2GB. Using capacities of 25nm or 20nm processes as references, the iPhone 6s with its 2GB of memory is estimated to consume an additional 20K wafers per month. Worldwide DRAM capacity is at around 1,080K wafers per month, so an additional 2% of it will go to the next iPhone.
It's also predicted that the iPhone 6s is 'very likely' to have its minimum storage capacity raised from 16GB to 32GB. This would make the three storage tiers 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB. TLC-based NAND flash is expected to be used on the 64GB and 128GB models which are thought to make up over 50% of shipments. The iPhone will reportedly account for approximately 18% of all NAND flash consumption this year.
As previous reported, there is a 'strong possibility' that the next iPhone will feature Force Touch.
The design of this new touch technology is likely to have a flexible printed circuit (FPC) that is located under the LCD module to control the sensor. The U.S.-based Analog Devices Inc. is the expected candidate supplier of the next iPhone’s Force Touch sensor ICs, which will come with a firmware designed by Apple.
Apple would need to introduce new APIs for Force Touch with iOS 9 so that developers can introduce additional functionality into their apps.
The next iPhone is also expected to see a size reduction for its backlight LED package from 0.6t (3.0 x 0.85 x 0.6mm) to 0.4t (3.0 x 0.85 x 0.4mm). This means that each LED package will have its brightness reduced by about 10%. To compensate for the reduction Apple will need to add 2-3 LEDs in the module.
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