Jefferies analyst Peter Misek is at it again. Following his report about two weeks ago about multi-colored iPhones, Misek has now released a new research report, once again claiming that the ‘iPhone 5S’ is due to launch in June or July, with production set to start ramping up sometime in March.
Misek […] said checks indicate that preliminary builds for the iPhone 5S will start in March for a launch in June/July. “As word of the earlier production schedule starts to spread, we believe we could see a slight slowing of demand CQ1 in anticipation of the new product launch and Apple will likely start curtailing channel inventory. Therefore we tweak down our CQ1 iPhone shipment estimate from 48M to 44M, which is still well above widespread fears of shipments in the mid-30Ms.”
MacRumors provides additional details regarding Misek’s comments. Misek makes a number of interesting claims regarding possible features of the ‘iPhone 5S’, which he classifies in terms of likeliness. He also makes note of 6 separate iPhone prototypes reportedly in testing at Apple:
Based on our checks, likely updates include a new super HD camera/screen, a better battery, and NFC. Possible updates include an IGZO screen for Retina+, 128GB storage, and coming in 6 to 8 colors.
Several iPhone 6 prototypes appear to be floating around. The model with a 4.8″ screen is the most interesting. It has a Retina+ IGZO screen, a new A7 quad-core processor variant, and a new form factor with no home button. Full gesture control is also possibly included.
Misek also chimes in to back up recent rumors that Apple may release a significantly cheaper iPhone, possibly targeted at a $200-250 price range.
It’s unclear how much stake should be put in Misek’s claims. On the one hand, a June or July launch would make for a faster release schedule than we are used to for the iPhone – indeed the fastest release schedule yet. However, Apple made a similarly surprising move when they released the 4th-gen iPad just 8 months following its predecessor.
Horace Dediu of Asymco hypothesizes that Apple may be doing so in order to mitigate the loss of sales that occurs when users are expecting new Apple hardware. If they break up their release cycle, consumers may not hold back as much in advance of new product launches.
Misek also claims that a new 5th-generation iPad could launch in June, with a thinner build (due to a thinner and lighter IGZO display). Meanwhile, the iPad mini will also reportedly be updated on the same time table, with the most persistent claim being that it will receive a Retina display.
Leaving no stone unturned, Misek even makes some claims about Apple’s long-fabled television set, which has been rumored so deeply that it has attained unicorn-like mythical status. Misek claims that Apple might release such a product sometime in September or October of 2013.
It’s worth noting that Misek does have a somewhat mixed track record, and analysts generally shouldn’t be considered as insider’s into Apple’s plans. We’d recommend exercising extreme caution with Misek’s latest sky-high dish of Apple Rumor Salad. I’d say it’s about as credible as our “authentic” iPhone 5S header image at the top of this post…