Apple to announce 'iPhone 5S' in June alongside low-cost fiberglass and plastic handset, analyst say

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, who has a notable track record in predicting Apple hardware launches, forecasts the Cupertino company will announce a successor to the iPhone 5 alongside a low-cost handset model in June ahead of a rollout in July.

Reiterating his earlier predictions, the well-connected analyst believes Apple will introduce two distinct iPhone models, a flagship iPhone 5S and less expensive version made out of fiberglass and plastic. Beyond housing materials, the two handsets will be further differentiated by the use of high-tech internals.

iPhone 2013
Source: KGI Securities


Kuo predicts that the iPhone 5S will leverage a number of next-generation Apple technologies, including a faster A7 SoC, a "Smart Flash" that uses white or yellow LEDs to ensure high-quality photos, and a fingerprint security chip sourced from the company's acquisition of AuthenTec. The 5S will recycle the same thin aluminum chassis seen on the iPhone 5, but may include a slightly larger 1600mAh battery.

As for the low-cost model, Kuo thinks that the unit will be slightly heavier than its aluminum-bodied counterpart, and will possibly see a hybrid casing made out of fiberglass and plastic. LTE data will come standard on the device, as the cost of such a radio chipset is negligible and can only serve to enhance user experience as Apple integrates more heavily with iCloud. Because the handset is likely to be more expensive than other mid-tier smartphones, the lack of LTE support would make it difficult to negotiate subsidies with mobile carriers. Kuo calculates that subsidies could cover the entire device cost with a two-year contract, making the low-cost iPhone an attractive option for developing smartphone markets like China.

Kuo is one of the first analysts to indicate that Apple will ship FDD-based handsets on a different schedule than TDD iterations, mostly due to the fact that the upcoming iPhones will be the company's first products to use the technology.

Interestingly, Kuo told AppleInsider that Apple is unlikely to use the recently announced Qualcomm RF360 frontside RF chipset, which promises LTE support of all 2G, 3G, 4G LTE and LTE Advanced technologies, including those used by China Mobile.

"RF360's customers are OEMs who have no capability to design RF front end and PA by themselves," he said."RF360's customers are OEMs who have no capability to design RF front end and PA by themselves." - KGI Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Kuo does note, however, that the new iPhone models will for the first time address China Mobile's TDD networks, which cover TD-SCDMA and TD-DLTE, but compatible versions aren't expected until September due to testing and network design processes. As the world's largest carrier by subscribers, China Mobile's TDD iPhone could account for 28 percent of iPhone shipments for the second half of 2013, despite seeing a later launch compared to worldwide LTE versions.

During a recent trip to China, Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly met with the Chinese telecom, though the meeting's discussions remain confidential.

With component suppliers expected to start mass shipments in May, the two iPhone models could be announced in June ahead of a July rollout. Kuo expects shipments of the iPhone 5S and low-cost iPhone to come in at nearly 40 million units and over 53 million units for the second half of the year, respectively. He notes that Apple doesn't want to repeat last year's delayed iPhone 5 launch, which gave competitors like Samsung room to crowd the market.

Broken down by quarter, the flagship iPhone 5S will ship more than 14 million and 21.5 million units over the third and fourth quarters, while the less expensive iteration will move above 19 million and 34 million units during the same period. Added to Apple's existing iPhone lineup, overall shipments are forecast to rise 83 percent from the first half of 2013 to reach 110 million units.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 51


    How credible is this analyst. History?

  • Reply 2 of 51
    LTE standard! iPhone 5S and the S is for "Special"
  • Reply 3 of 51
    Ming-Chi Kuo is very credible!
  • Reply 4 of 51
    christophbchristophb Posts: 1,477member
    Plastic, fiberglass, whatever.. If it happens perhaps the target market is gov, military and corporate. Function and cost over form, right?
  • Reply 5 of 51
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,526member
    He correctly predicted G/F2 screens for the iPad mini.
  • Reply 6 of 51


    finger id is huge step. will be very popular.

  • Reply 7 of 51
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member


    I hope Apple proves everyone wrong with this whole cheap plastic iPhone crap.  When Cook was asked about a lower cost iPhone at that Goldman Sachs conference he was a bit cagey in his answer which leads me to believe the conventional wisdom (cheaper plastic phone) might be wrong,

  • Reply 8 of 51
    isaidsoisaidso Posts: 750member
    Nope. This is just more bad news to further bash the stock.
  • Reply 9 of 51
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member


    Here we go.  The beginning of the so called expert source of what is gonna be the next specs of the next iPhone.  Sounds good but I think I will wait for the real thing.

  • Reply 10 of 51
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,355member
    Sounds like "S" will be for "Secure" if it has a fingerprint scanner built in. And speed of course :) To be honest, this guy at least sounds like he knows what he's doing.
  • Reply 11 of 51
    jakebjakeb Posts: 559member
    A fiberglass phone?
  • Reply 12 of 51
    allenbfallenbf Posts: 993member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AKaplan123 View Post


    How credible is this analyst. History?



     


    He laid out Apple's timeline of releases last year and was spot on from the ipad to ipad mini to iPhone, iMacs and iPods.  He's very credible. Much more so than almost any other. 


     


    I am due an upgrade on my daughter's and wife's iPhones in August...so close but so far from July ;-)

  • Reply 13 of 51
    I'm skeptical that Apple would make a new iPhone the main distinction of which will be that it will be a cheaper iPhone, made with cheaper materials and only somewhat less capable. What would I then be paying a substantial premium for with the 5s? Anodized aluminum? A faster processor? I, like most all consumers, could care less if it has a faster processor. This scenario just doesn't sound like Apple at all, unless the death of Steve Jobs really has caused it to lose its way (which is highly doubtful). I would be surprised if they didn't distinguish this less expensive iPhone more clearly, such as making it a mini-iPhone, perhaps even using the same form factor as the iPod Nano. Add the iPhone Plus and you'd have a dazzling array of iOS devices in all shapes and colors: 2.5" iPhone Mini, 4" iPhone, 4.94" iPhone Plus, 7.9" iPad Mini, 9.7" iPad, and perhaps even an 11.2" iPad Maxi.
  • Reply 14 of 51
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Welcome.


     



    Originally Posted by empyreal View Post

    Add the iPhone Plus and you'd have a dazzling array of iOS devices in all shapes and colors: 2.5" iPhone Mini, 4" iPhone, 4.94" iPhone Plus, 7.9" iPad Mini, 9.7" iPad, and perhaps even an 11.2" iPad Maxi.


     


    Dazzling must mean something different these days. image


     


    I'd prefer a 13" iPad, I think.

  • Reply 15 of 51
    Oh look. Ming-Chi Kuo can regurgitate rumors he's heard like the best of them. That's normal. Leave it to AppleInsider to amplify the noise by giving each repeat of the same rumor its own article. Hopefully, that'll convince the easily impressed that the rumor has gravitas.
  • Reply 16 of 51
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    I almost wish this were true. It would be interesting to see how Wall Street uses the release of a lower cost phone to hammer Apple's stock even lower. Anyone want to take a guess on which one would win?

    1. Apple suffers margin compression from lower cost phone.
    2. Apple has to introduce lower cost phone because sales of high end phones are failing to meet {inflated} expectations.
    3. Apple's $299 phone isn't cheap enough. They need to sell one for $99.95.
    4. Sure, it's low cost, but it's not as good as the iPhone 5S, so it's doomed to fail.
  • Reply 17 of 51
    allenbfallenbf Posts: 993member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post



    Oh look. Ming-Chi Kuo can regurgitate rumors he's heard like the best of them. That's normal. Leave it to AppleInsider to amplify the noise by giving each repeat of the same rumor its own article. Hopefully, that'll convince the easily impressed that the rumor has gravitas.


     


    He has credibility. 


     


    http://appleinsider.com/articles/12/08/31/iphone_5_ipad_mini_among_8_new_apple_products_coming_before_end_of_2012.html

  • Reply 18 of 51
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


    I hope Apple proves everyone wrong with this whole cheap plastic iPhone crap.  When Cook was asked about a lower cost iPhone at that Goldman Sachs conference he was a bit cagey in his answer which leads me to believe the conventional wisdom (cheaper plastic phone) might be wrong,



    Apple does have a patent for a special mfg process involving carbon fiber.  I'm not suggesting that this will be the chosen material, but it's possible.  Apple has also been working with Liquid Metal for a long time and I'm wondering when that material is going to rear it's head, if ever. Polycarbonate is a likely material if they decide to make a lower priced model, because of mfg costs.  I personally hope they come out with a larger screen ala 4.5 inch.  That's about the biggest I would probably use.  I don't know if I would use anything much larger than that.

  • Reply 19 of 51

    Quote:


    I'd prefer a 13" iPad, I think.



     


    13" would be great. It would need to be 2048x1536 display in order to display apps correctly, so the bigger you go the less sharp it will look. And if it were 13" then why not make it an iOS/OSX hybrid? Add a magnetically attachable keyboard and get rid of the Air. Perhaps that's where things are headed. 

  • Reply 20 of 51
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by empyreal View Post

    Add a magnetically attachable keyboard and get rid of the Air. Perhaps that's where things are headed. 


     


    The Surface tells us it isn't. image

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