White says Apple is keeping its iPhone 5 plans especially secret to prevent a falloff in demand.
"Apple is keeping its iPhone 5 cards extra close to the vest on this launch to avoid a falloff in iPhone 4 demand ahead of a refresh, especially given the February launch of the CDMA iPhone 4 with Verizon."
"Although we do not have a smoking gun that definitively rules out a delayed autumn unveiling or one that supports a launch this summer, there is a pattern of activity in motion with the supply chain that makes us question a delayed launch," he said.
Interestingly, White suggests the disaster in Japan may actually help Apple as suppliers will "rush to support Apple at the expense of competitors." A recent DigiTimes report said Apple has agreed to absorb the increase in production costs faced by Japanese component suppliers.
Many believe that unlike the tablet market Apple is losing its lead in the smartphone battle and cannot afford to delay the launch of a new device.