iPhone 5S production starting in March, release in June

January 16, 2013

Apple’s next-generation iPhone will be on shelves this summer, according to multiple reports this week.

It’s already been reported that Jeffries analyst Peter Miesk has predicted the iPhone 5S — as many believe it will be called — to come out sometime in 2013. He followed up on that report Tuesday.

Our 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.

This rumor shouldn’t be completely thrown on the window, but the last S-model iPhone — the iPhone 4S — released in October 2011. A June or July timeline would put Apple back on track with its older release times. The iPhone 4, iPhoen 3G and iPhone 3GS were all released during the summer.

A cheaper iPhone?

The other big story that goes along with the new iPhone is a cheaper iPhone. An iPhone mini, if you will.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that Apple is working on a cheaper model iPhone to make it more affordable and expand the market. The backing of that phone could be a combination of plastic and metal — similar to what we currently have on the iPad mini.

It would also likely include a Lightning connector.

Former Apple CEO John Sculley weighed in on the rumor in the media today.

“Apple needs to adapt to a very different world,” said Sculley. “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.”

An even bigger iPhone?

The rumors continue getting more ridiculous. But Misek is trying to put it to rest.

The financial analyst mentioned in previous reports that Apple would release an iPhone with a 4.8-inch screen. Really?

He’s now saying, however, that he sees no further signs of this. He does suggest that the form factor could be for the iPhone 6.

What are your predictions for the next-generation iPhone?

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