Another day, another iPhone 5s/iPhone6 release date rumor. According to the most recent reports, Apple will begin manufacturing the iPhone 5S in March 2013 for a June or July 2013 release.
Since the iPhone 5 was released, tech blogs have been reporting that Apple will speed up the release of their next mobile device, most likely to be called the iPhone 5S. There could be as many as 3 new iPhones in 2013: the iPhone 5S, the iPhone 6 (rumored to be released in late 2013), and a cheaper version of the iPhone 5.
Previously, Apple worked on a yearly refresh cycle for their popular mobile phone. However, due to the surging market share of Samsung's Galaxy S3, and the impending release of the Samsung Galaxy S4, it seems like Apple will try and regain some of it's lost market share by adding two new phones in 2013, and release a cheaper version of the iPhone for developing markets.
The iPhone 5S release date has been rumored for either May, June, or July, but most analysts think that June makes the most sense, since that is when Apple will hold it's yearly developer conference, WWDC 2013.
KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo created a brand new outline for his predictions on Apple products in 2013. The chart shows the iPhone 5S release date being moved up to the third fiscal quarter, along with a newly designed iPhone 5 (most likely the cheaper version), a new iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2 being released around the same time as well. What features and specs might a brand new iPhone 5S have? Well, Kuo thinks that the new iPhone 5S will have a new, faster, A7 chip, a fingerprint sensor, and a brand new rear camera that includes a f2.0 aperture and a smart flash powered by an LED. But, he thinks that the overall design will be similar to the iPhone 5's.
A fingerprint sensor makes a lot of sense, and we wrote extensively about it in July, when Apple purchased the fingerprint sensor company AuthenTec for $356 million dollars. The purchase was 58% over market price and makes a lot of sense for the company. iPhone theft has been well documented; most recently, by New York City Mayor, Mike Bloomberg, who said that the crime rate in NYC increased because of the theft of Apple products. A fingerprint sensor would help stop these crimes, and would also could be an indicator that Apple might use NFC chips in their next iPhones. NFC, or Near Field Communications, would enable the iPhone to send secure data wirelessly, so that iPhone users could make purchases with their phones. To read more about AuthenTec and Apple, click here.
A cheaper iPhone 5 might be made out of plastic and have several new color options. He also thinks that the cheaper iPhone 5 will have a thicker body, at 8.2 mm instead of the minuscule 7.6 mm design the iPhone 5 currently sports. Kuo thinks that the cheaper version of the iPhone 5 will be sold, unlocked, at somewhere between $350-$450. That's a little bit pricer than an unlocked Google Nexus 4, which starts at $299 and goes up to $349, but its a lot cheaper than an unlocked iPhone 5, which costs a staggering $649. The cheaper iPhone make a lot of sense, according to former Apple CEO John Sculley. In an interview given to Blooberg Television on Tuesday, he thinks that Apple "Apple needs to adapt to a very different world." Sculley continued, saying, "As we go from $500 smartphones to even as low, for some companies, as $100 for a smartphone, you've got to dramatically rethink the supply chain and how you can make these products and do it profitably."
Similarly, Peter Misek of Jefferies, released an analyst note agree with Kuo's iPhone 6/iPhone 5S release date. According to Misek, Apple will unveil the iPhone 5S in June, but he thinks it'll be a minor update, and Apple will release a 4.8 inch iPhone 6 sometime in 2013. IBTimes reports that Misek thinks the iPhone 5S will begin production in March, only three months away and only six months after the iPhone 5 was released in September 2012.