updated 12:33 pm EDT, Fri April 12, 2013
Cheaper phone predicted to have thicker, curved plastic back
Apple will announce both an iPhone 5S and a low-cost iPhone in June, and launch the hardware in July, says Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White. The claim stems from a meeting with Apple vendors and suppliers during a Chinese tradeshow this week. Based on the info, he expects the low-cost iPhone to have the same 4-inch screen as the iPhone 5, but use a thicker design with a curved plastic back, instead of flat metal and glass.
The 5S is predicted to hew close to its predecessor, but White says that the "strong consensus" among suppliers is that it will have some external modifications, such as a larger camera, and rearranged buttons on the left side. It's also anticipated that the phone will use some form of fingerprint recognition, which could be the device's major bulletpoint, much in the same way that Siri was used to sell the iPhone 4S. Apple is known to be working on fingerprint recognition, but which product it will first appear in is unknown.
In contrast with an allegation White made earlier this week, the sources at the tradeshow gave no indication that Apple is planning to use anything but a 4-inch screen, for the 5S or otherwise. White suggests that this could be a result of "extra secrecy," or else leaving a larger screen on the table for an iPhone 6.