In a new research report, Peter Misek (an analyst for Jeffries investment banking firm) suggests that Apple’s forthcoming “iPhone 5S” is scheduled for production around March of this year, with a release slated for either June or July.
Misek mentions that he’s seen signs of two iPhone 5S prototypes in testing, although it’s likely that one is the cheaper iPhone that’s been the focal point of a number of Apple-related rumors this past week – including today’s report of a 2013 release date for a less-expensive iPhone. When discussing the possibility of a low-cost iPhone, Misek said the device “looks close to being greenlit or may already have been” and included some measures Apple will likely take to reduce the manufacturing cost:
Similar to the iPad mini, we expect a concentrated low-cost iPhone rather than a “cheap” one. Likely specs: polycarbonite case with 4″ non-Retina display and no LTE. We believe a new low-cost iPhone would increase Apple’s share, decrease [gross margins], but have little impact on [earnings per share].
In a previous report, Misek proposed the possibility of the seventh-generation iPhone being equipped with a 4.8-inch display, which he effectively retracted and omitted in this new report, stating that he hasn’t seen further signs of the device. Instead, he suggests that the form-factor previously outlined is reserved for the “iPhone 6″, although it’s hard to believe Apple would make yet another change to the iPhone’s resolution within such a short timeframe.
Finally, in his conclusion, Misek shared his outlook on recent reports pertaining to Apple drastically reducing component orders for the iPhone 5 due to “weaker-than-expected demand”: a topic we chose not to cover for various reasons. Similar to other, well-informed analysts, Misek remains skeptical on the dire and grim reports, submitting that the decreased component orders are a product of an assembly bottleneck that resulted in a surplus of components. Additionally, if Apple truly decides to release the next-generation iPhone this summer, they’ll need to transition the bulk of their production force to the latest and greatest iPhone.
Stay tuned for complete coverage on Apple and their upcoming seventh-generation iPhone.