updated 09:43 am EDT, Fri March 22, 2013
One model expected to be low-cost option
Apple is planning to launch multiple iPhones in June or July this year, supply chain sources tell RBC Capital Markets analyst Amit Daryanani. The sources don't have any information beyond that, but Daryanani says he expects Apple to launch an iPhone 5S and a low-cost iPhone. "The low-end iPhone will have the same 4-inch form factor as the iPhone 5, but will have a plastic casing and no Retina display," he predicts. "With a lower price point, AAPL will be able to target a growing and important part of the smartphone market (sub-$400 price band)."
He suggests that a low-end iPhone would have lower profit margins than the iPhone 5 or 5S, but that it could add another $22 billion in revenue and $5 in EPS for Apple during calendar 2014, also boosting stock price by about $50. He estimates that the low-end smartphone market will have an addressable size of about 500 million units in 2014, of which Apple could take over 15 percent. A "conservative" target is 70 million units.
While other reports have hinted that a low-cost iPhone will stick to a 4-inch size, and possibly even ship in the summer, the notion that Apple might revert to a non-Retina display is unusual. The company uses Retina screens in every iOS device except the iPad mini, and it would need to produce both new displays and a new iOS resolution to support a 4-inch non-Retina arrangement.