updated 12:23 pm EDT, Tue April 9, 2013
Suggests iPhone 5S could have multiple sizes
The next-generation iPhone will launch with "at least two screen sizes" as options, says Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White. The claim is based on a meeting with a company in Apple's supply chain. White argues that the new phone could potentially even launch with as many as three different sizes. "We believe Apple is coming around to the fact that one size per iPhone release does not work for everyone and offering consumers an option has the potential to expand the company's market share," he writes in an investor memo.
He also predicts that the new hardware will ship in July, and be joined by a lower-cost iPhone model. He suggests however that Apple is unlikely to offer an iPhone under $300 without a contract, and that a price somewhere between $300 and $350 "makes more sense" than speculation calling for $150 to $200. "We believe this price point is reassuring for investors that Apple wants to expand its market reach with consumers in developing countries such as China," says White. "However, the company will also manage its margin profile and brand accordingly."
A potential problem for the idea of multiple screen sizes is fragmentation. Apple already sells three different iPhones -- the latest model, and two older ones -- and the company has been hesitant to confuse the public with too many versions of its products. Another issue could be production, since suppliers have had a difficult enough time keeping up with iPhone 5 demand. Having to manage has many as six devices would likely strain suppliers to their limits.