That’s according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who has a knack for predicting Apple product launches. At least more often than not.
This time around, Kuo thinks that Apple will release a premier handset in the 5S with a low-cost version to tag-along. Announcements are expected in June with a July release. It’s speculated that the Summer release is an attempt to avoid the fiasco of last year’s late iPhone release which lead to other manufactures (read Samsung) snatching some valuable market share during the lag.
Consumers will easily tell the difference between the two phones as the new iPhone 5S will retain it’s current housing material and the low end model may incorporate aluminum and fiberglass, essentially weighing more but just as visually appealing.
Kuo also expects the 5S to have superior technological features including a new, faster A7 SoC, possibly a larger battery and ‘smart flash’ that uses white or yellow LEDs for high quality photos. Kuo also predicts a fingerprint security chip which is easy to consider since Apple did acquire fingerprint sensor maker AuthenTec last year. The low-cost version will have LTE data and possibly an array of colors.
Kuo is also indicating that Apple will ship the FDD-based (Frequency Division Duplex) LTE models on a different schedule than the TDD (Time Division Duplex) based lineup because the newer phones will be the first Apple products to use the technology. The new iPhones could also tackle China Mobile’s TDD networks (covering TD-SCDMA / TD-DLTE) however, compatible versions may not be ready until September.
That is significant because China Mobile’s iPhone might be responsible for 28% of iPhone shipments for the 2nd half of 2013. Kuo’s numbers tally an 83% rise from the first half to 110 million, that’s including Apple’s current iPhone line up.