iPhone 5 release date rumors in the week ending March 18: 4G LTE compatibility, September launch, ultrasonic bonding techniques and others

4G LTE compatibility could boost smartphones global sales

According to DigiTimes, an iPhone 5 with LTE could drive global sales of such smartphones. The device is expected to be released around September or October of this year.

The Taiwanese newspaper writes that the LTE inclusion is likely to boost global sales of smartphones supporting the technology in 2012.

Initial estimates were that 25-30 million LTE smartphones would be sold this year, but Taiwan-based smartphone makers claim that a potential LTE iPhone could drive sales up to between 45 and 50 million units.

iPhone 5 to be released in September, says analyst

In a note to investors on Tuesday, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek said that some “specialty components” of Apple’s television are currently being shipped to Asian suppliers.

Misek raised his estimates for iPhones sales this year from 145 million to 155 million.

For Q1, the analyst believes sales will amount to 33.2 million units, up from 28 million and to 32 million from 29.7 million for the June quarter.

Misek expects an iPhone 5 launch in the September quarter.

“Our expectations for the 5 include a 4″ to 4.3″ screen, wider form factor, A6 processor, and refreshed design,” he wrote.

iPhone 5 might feature 4G LTE

Verizon Wireless reportedly plans to only introduce devices that support Long Term Evolution (LTE).

In an interview with Dow Jones Newswires, Verizon Wireless Chief Technical Officer David Small said that the carrier plans to launch only 4G LTE capable smartphones for the remainder of the year.

Given that the fifth-generation iPhone is expected to debut this year and that the device is known to be Verizon’s number one smartphone, Apple is expected to comply with this rule. Hence a 4G LTE compatible iPhone 5.

Apple working on bettering ultrasonic bonding techniques

A new patent application from Apple published in the US Patent & Trademark Office on Thursday revealed that the company is considering new ways to permanently bond plastic and metal parts for its products.

The technique put forward by Apple describes melting a portion of a plastic component onto a metallic surface, so that the melted plastic integrates into one or more surface irregularities.

In this way, the plastic part will be ultrasonically bonded to the one having a metallic surface. The method of ultrasonic welding can be more effective than the one based on adhesives.

The iPhone and the iPad are products credited by the application as devices that the technique could be applied to in the future.