As the next iPhone gets closer to being released, Qualcomm ( QCOM), one of Apple's largest suppliers is ramping up production of its 4G chips, according to Digitimes. Earlier this year, Qualcomm said it was having trouble meeting demand for its 28 nanometer chips, as supplies were constrained. The processors are used for high-speed 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks. It's expected that Apple's next iPhone will be LTE-compatible.
Even as Qualcomm begins to ramp up production of its 4G LTE chips for the next iPhone, though, demand for the next-gen phone might be slow, one analyst says, citing its upgrade cycle. BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk believes that because of the upgrade cycle, those who purchased the iPhone 4S may not switch to the iPhone 5, pointing to comments by AT&T ( T) Wireless CEO Ralph de la Vega at a recent analyst meeting. "We then further questioned de la Vega on whether the impending launch of the iPhone 5 would cause AT&T to offer a tiered early upgrade fee option for customers that were deeper into their contract to perhaps deliver an effective $350 price point into the market and de la Vega flatly said no," Piecyk wrote, in his research report. Piecyk rates Apple shares "neutral." Shares of Apple are rising slightly in Friday trade, up 0.05% to $571.81. Interested in more on Apple? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock. Check out our new tech blog, Tech Trends. Follow TheStreet Tech on your wireless devices. -- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York >Contact by Email. Follow @Commodity_Bull