Analyst: Prepare for ‘iPhone 4S’ on Sprint, T-Mobile

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I should know better than to report on analyst predictions about the next iPhone — they’re often wrong — but the latest from Jefferies & Company analyst Peter Misek is irresistible.

Misek said in a research note that the iPhone 5 will actually be called the iPhone 4S, suggesting that it’ll be a minor upgrade similar to the iPhone 3GS in 2009. The new phone will include Apple’s A5 dual-core processor, better cameras and minor cosmetic changes.

But the bigger piece of scuttlebutt is carrier support. Misek’s research note said the iPhone 4S will support Sprint and T-Mobile, finally bringing Apple’s smartphone to all four major U.S. carriers. Verizon’s speedy LTE 4G network, however, won’t be supported. Reportedly, Qualcomm’s LTE chipset isn’t producing sufficient yields, so superfast downloads will have to wait for the iPhone 5. The iPhone 4S will support HSPA+ networks, Misek’s research note said.

Most of this stuff seems plausible, and the T-Mobile iPhone rumor has shown its face before. The only real curveball is Sprint support, but with AT&T losing its exclusivity on the iPhone earlier this year, a Sprint iPhone wouldn’t be a shock. Most rumors expect the iPhone 4S, or iPhone 5, or whatever, to launch in September, so we’ll find out what Misek’s inside dirt is worth then.

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