WSJ: Apple Will Release Thinner, Lighter iPhone 5 This Year

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Apple’s iPhone 5, expected to launch later this year, will be “thinner and lighter” than the current device, and will feature a much improved camera, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Citing sources in Apple’s supply chain, The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is gearing up to produce 25 million fifth-generation iPhone units by the end of 2011.

The new device will reportedly pack a new wireless chip from Qualcomm, replacing the existing Infineon chips used in the iPhone 4, though it’s currently unclear whether it will support both CDMA and GSM networks.

The report also claims the device will boast an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, an improvement over the iPhone 4’s 5-megapixel lens

While the fifth-generation device will reportedly be thinner and lighter than the iPhone 4, there is currently no indication whether it will also sport a new design, or whether it will look similar to the current device as previous speculation has suggested.

Apple’s order of 25 million units may be too vast for Foxconn (Hon Hai), Apple’s current iPhone assembler, to handle, according to WSJ:

Hon Hai, based in Taiwan, is the world’s biggest contract manufacturer of electronics by revenue and is the global assembler for Apple products.

Two of the people, however, cautioned that shipments of the new iPhone could be delayed if Hon Hai can’t improve its yield rate as the new iPhone is “complicated and difficult to assemble.”