Apple is currently in the midst of a testing and evaluation period with potential components, investment firm Barclays reported Wednesday in a research note obtained by AppleInsider. Among the parts Apple is expected to utilize are Qualcomm's "MDM9615" LTE chip, which supports both voice and data connections on high-speed 4G networks.
That chip would be a change from the new iPad, which features Qualcomm's "MDM9600" modem. But that hardware only offers data connections over 4G LTE, not voice.
Like the iPhone 4S, the next iPhone is expected to be a "world" device compatible with a variety of 4G LTE networks. That's different from the new iPad, which comes in two different models compatible with Verizon and AT&T wireless networks in the U.S.
In addition to Qualcomm, companies that are said to be supplying potential components to Apple are chipmakers Skyworks Solutions, TriQuint Semiconductor, and Avago Technologies.
Barclays sees Skyworks Solutions emerging as a likely winner with Apple's sixth-generation iPhone, which it expects will launch this September. For Apple, the addition of a 4G LTE radio is expected to cost between $3 and $10 extra versus the 3G radio in the iPhone 4S.
The timeframe presented by Barclays aligns with a report from last month which indicated that the next iPhone will arrive in September or October of this year. That would be about one year after the arrival of the iPhone 4S, which marked the change of Apple's typical iPhone launches in June or July.