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iphone 5The fabled iPhone 5 — or whatever Apple ends up calling its follow-up to the iPhone 4S — may be Steve Jobs’ last hurrah, according to Rodman & Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar.

As CNet reports, Kumar wrote in a research note last week that the next iPhone “was the last project that Steve Jobs was intimately involved with from concept to final design. For that reason…this product will establish the high water mark for iPhone volumes.”

He goes on to say that the iPhone 5 will have a thinner design and larger screen — a mantra we’ve heard repeated ad nauseam over the last year. Some very dedicated Apple fans ended up creating a realistic-looking mockup of the iPhone 5, based on a multitude of specs leaked online.

If true, it means that all of the iPhone 5 rumors we’ve been bombarded with weren’t exactly false, they were just a year early. Kumar also notes that the iPhone 5 is expected to include LTE 4G technology — something that wasn’t possible this year since LTE chipsets are still power hogs, and LTE networks (aside from Verizon) are still getting off the ground.

This may sound like the beginning of yet another run of iPhone 5 rumors, but there’s plenty of reason to believe that the iPhone 5 could be something new entirely. The redesigned iPhone 4 followed the iPhone 3GS, and I think Apple will have a hard time marketing a flagship smartphone next year without increasing its screen size.

CNet’s Brooke Crothers corroborates the report, citing sources who say that the iPhone 5 is indeed a “complete redesign.” The sources say that Jobs spent much of his time over the last year developing the device, and because of that he wasn’t very involved in the iPhone 4S’s release.

I have a hard time imagining that Jobs wasn’t involved in the integration of Siri in the iPhone 4S though, since it embodies his philosophy of easy-to-use technology that ends up feeling magical.

Image via MacRumors

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