updated 01:01 pm EST, Tue January 15, 2013
'iPhone 5S' could be ready for June/July launch
Apple is currently testing two prototype iPhones, claims Jefferies analyst Peter Misek. One of these is said to be Apple's next flagship model, nicknamed the iPhone 5S. The nature of the other phone is unclear, but could possibly be the rumored low-end iPhone. In any case, Misek expects the 5S to be an incremental upgrade over the 5, and debut in June or July, even though the 5 and 4S were both fall releases.
Misek speculates that a low-end iPhone may have already been greenlit, and that it will take the iPad mini's approach of being a "concentrated" device, rather than built cheaply. "Likely specs: polycarbonate [plastic] case with 4" non-Retina display and no LTE," the analyst writes. Apple has used Retina screens on every iPhone and iPod touch since the iPhone 4.
Looking further ahead, to a so-called iPhone 6, Misek speculates that Apple will upgrade to a 4.8-inch screen. Initially, Apple stuck with 3.5-inch displays for the iPhone, even after competing Android phones were regularly surpassing the 4-inch mark. The iPhone 5 appears to have been a concession to demand though, and Apple could conceivably carry on that trend whenever the 6 ships.
Regarding Apple's alleged reduction in iPhone 5 part orders, Misek argues that they're probably connected to three factors, including preliminary production of an iPhone 5S in March. Also playing a role could be an assembly bottleneck that caused part stockpiles to rise during the holidays, and demand that isn't low so much as in line or "slightly below optimistic expectations."