On Wednesday Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White told investors that based on his "checks" with Apple suppliers, the next-generation iPhone will represent a huge departure from previous models, including the just-launched iPhone 5. Currently dubbed as the iPhone 5S, the next phone will offer customers more choice, he said, including different colors and screen sizes.
"Although Apple offers a 4-inch screen on the iPhone 5 and a 3.5-inch screen on the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4, the Company has never offered multiple screen sizes for a single model," he said. "We believe this is about to change with the next iPhone, offering different screen sizes that we believe will allow Apple to better bifurcate the market and expand its reach."
White also told investors that this supposed iPhone 5S will be offered in five different colors: blue, pink, yellow, white/silver and black/slate. The phones are expected to launch in May/June with certain supply production starting in March/April.
Rumors of multiple iPhone launches are nothing new, and so far they've fallen flat as shown with the separate launches of the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5. Offering multiple form factors of a new release is a departure from the norm, but one that Apple may need to embrace due to Android's growing market share.
In 2012, many news sources voted the Android-based Samsung Galaxy S3 as the best gadget of the year, beating out the elongated Apple iPhone 5. CNET called the Galaxy S3 a "worldwide hero" due to the combination of its large, vibrant HD screen, Android 4.0, 8MP camera, 4G LTE connectivity and more. It's also one of the many "Galaxy" smartphones that's currently fueling rumors of Google going after Samsung's market share with the Motorola xPhone, slated to launch this year.
Despite high sales of the iPhone 5, Apple's stock reportedly took more than a 25-percent plunge, touching new lows, by the end of 2012 after shares rose to an all-time high in September. Still, the iPhone 5 is expected to help shares rebound in 2013 along with the introduction of the iPhone 5S and its many form factors.
"Apple is our top overall pick for 2013," White said. "With the 25% correction in Apple’s stock from the high in September, the stock is now trading at just 7.7x our CY13 EPS estimate (less cash) and the company’s portfolio has never been stronger, in our view."
The drop in stock value was reportedly due to "tax-related selling" which in turn created a "negative news cycle". This negativity is expected to be broken as iPhone 5 and iPad Mini sales continue to grow, and details regarding the next iPhone are conveniently leaked into the news machine.