Monday, March 4, 2013

iPhone 5S and low-cost iPhone reportedly expected this fall

A recent report by Apple Insider via Japanese blog Macotakara claimed that Apple is currently working on two different iPhone models. One of these will be a successor to the iPhone 5 with a 4.5-inch screen and the other a cheaper smartphone model sporting a polycarbonate body. The blog also mentioned that the next iPhone is likely to be expected by sometime in 2014, while the cheaper model should launch sooner.

Now, MacRumours is reporting via Taiwan's Commercial Times that according to Barclays analyst Kirk Yang, Apple is indeed working on both an iPhone 5S and a cheaper iPhone expected to launch in the August-September this year.

Yang also believes that both the iPhone 5 successor and the budget iPhone will have two models, with the second one being manufactured especially for China Mobile.

MacRumours further points out, "The report claims that Apple is still weighing production volume for the new phones, working to estimate how much the lower-cost iPhone will cut into iPhone 5S sales and still gauging appropriate volumes for an expansion to China Mobile. Regardless, Apple does expect total iPhone shipments to be higher than last year's levels."

Earlier this year, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, known for his accuracy when it comes to Apple's product lineup, offered his predictions stating that Apple will launch the majority of its new products in the third quarter of this year. Yang's report may be conflicting with that of Macotakara's, but seems to coincide with Ming's findings.

Kuo also mentioned that the next-gen iPhone will be called iPhone 5S, which will be identical to the iPhone 5 and will feature a faster 28-nm A7 chip, a fingerprint sensor, smart LED flash and an enhanced camera with f2.0 aperture. The phone is expected to be available in two colours, just like the current iPhone.

He further indicated a low-cost revamped iPhone 5 priced between $350 to $450, sporting a slightly thicker (8.2mm) plastic encasing and expected availability in six colours.

MacRumours had earlier cited the findings of analysts Brian White of Topeka Capital Market and Jeffries' Peter Misek that seem to strike similarity with Kuo's findings . According to Brian's research, Apple could offer the device in various colours and also feels that the iPad could be included in its multiple colour scheme.

White further thinks that the company will bring a new iPhone model with varying screen sizes that will help the benefit the company in terms of reach. He specifically mentions a smaller iPhone version that could allow Apple to target markets like China and open up opportunities in India.

And of course, he believes that Apple could unveil a larger screen size compared to the recently updated 4-inch screen on the iPhone 5, which seems to be in line with what Macotakara reported.

Peter Misek's research finding mentioned that the next iteration of the iPhone will feature a new super HD camera/screen, a better battery and NFC along with an IGZO screen for Retina+, 128GB storage, and could be available in 6 to 8 colours.

In this regard, Misek stated that many iPhone 6 prototypes are doing the rounds, especially a 4.8-inch screen model that he finds interesting. According to him, the device has a Retina+ IGZO screen, a new A7 quad-core processor variant, a new design with no home button and even fully in-built gesture controls.

Misek also refers to a budget iPhone offering at a $200-$250 price point on an "unsubsidised basis", but claims that the project has not yet been given the go-ahead.