Following a claim from Jefferies and Co. analyst Peter Misek stating that Apple’s next-gen iPhone would enter full-scale production later this month, AllThingsD has apparently confirmed the matter with their own sources, claiming that full-scale production for Apple’s “iPhone 5S,” as well as a cheaper version of the iPhone, is indeed nearly underway ahead of the devices’ expected fall launch.
From AllThingsD (emphasis added):
Apple is ramping up production of its next-generation iPhone ahead of an expected fall introduction that could include a second, lower-cost version of the device.
That’s the latest from Jefferies analyst Peter Misek, whose channel checks suggest that Apple’s manufacturing partners will begin pumping out the iPhone 5s later this month. And sources familiar with the company’s plans say that this is indeed the case.
Interestingly, Misek said that iPhone production ramp-up will follow one that’s already under way for Apple’s long-rumored lower-cost iPhone, a device he figures the company will price somewhere between $300 and $400 — without a subsidy. He estimates production plans at 25 million to 30 million units, split pretty much evenly across the 5s and its new lower-cost sibling. And he said the new entry probably won’t be competitive with the truly low-end handsets popular in emerging markets.
While the claims about the “budget” iPhone can’t be confirmed, the production timing does line up well if indeed Apple is planning to launch such a device alongside their next-gen smartphone. Similar rumors regarding the iPhone 5 began cropping up this time last year ahead of its fall 2012 release, and beginning full-scale production now should allow Apple to get a decent head-start on demand for their next smartphone.
Earlier today, a separate report suggested that the “iPhone 5S” might be in short supply at launch due to limited supplies of its rumored fingerprint-scanning hardware – but given that none of the many, many leaks surrounding the device have showed a fingerprint scanner, and the fact that there has been no credible information that the next iPhone will even have such a feature, those claims can be safely dismissed for now.
Numerous leaks have already suggested that the next-gen iPhone will have significant under-the-hood upgrades (including a new custom Apple A7 chip), dual-LED Flash, and a larger battery. The device is expected to launch sometime this fall, with the most recent reports suggesting it will be unveiled at a September event.