There are claims that Apple will start preliminary builds to the iPhone 5 successor in March. In relation to this, the company is expected to launch the rumored handset in June or July.
Apple: Working on the Rumored iPhone 5S
Jefferies’ Peter Misek issued a note to investors this week, and revealed that Apple is testing two future iPhone prototypes. One of these is the so-called iPhone 5S, while the other could be the rumored low-cost iPhone.
Prior to this, Misek predicted in December that the company will roll out a next-generation iPhone with incremental upgrade from the iPhone 5. He also believes that the next model, referred to as “iPhone 6,” will boast a larger 4.8-inch display.
Last December 2012, AMOG reported that an iPhone 5S prototype revealed minor tweaks on the handset’s back panel. It has an external appearance identical to iPhone 5, although its screws were placed differently. It also has “X” marks that replaced information such as model number, FCC ID, and IMEI number.
With rumors of the iPhone 5S starting to gain traction, the analyst expects that there will be a slight slowdown of demand for iPhone 5. He also pointed out that the slowdown won’t be due to reduced demand but three factors:
- An assembly bottleneck, which caused component inventories to rise in the holiday quarter
- Planning for preliminary reproduction of the next iPhone in March
- Demand may either be in line of “slightly below optimistic expectations”.
The company is also expected to sell 44 million units for the current quarter.
Low-Cost iPhone, Hitting the Shelves Soon?
Aside from the purported iPhone 5S, there are also rumors that Apple is working on a low-cost iPhone. The handset is said to be geared towards emerging markets like China. As what Misek stated:
Similar to the iPad Mini, we expect a concentrated low-cost iPhone rather than a “cheap” one. Likely specs: Polycarbonate case with 4-inch non-Retina display and no LTE.
Apple’s success with the iPad Mini is said to have prompted the company to work on a low-cost iPhone. There are also speculations that the mobile phone will rely on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipsets: Dual-core MSM8960 and Quad-core APQ8064.
In relation to this, the analyst believes that a less expensive iPhone would increase Apple’s smartphone market share. However, it would also decrease their gross margins. Nevertheless, Misek does not expect the rumored product to have much of an effect on the iPhone maker’s earnings per share.