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KGI analyst predicts 128GB, gold-colored, A7-powered iPhone 5S

updated 12:15 am EDT, Fri August 16, 2013

New chip expected to be 20 percent more efficient, use faster RAM

KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, a technology analyst with an above-average track record for accuracy, has told investors in a note on Thursday that the iPhone "5S" expected next month from Apple will be a lot like the other "S" devices -- using the same basic form factor as the previous model, but with various tweaks on and under the hood. Kuo believes the new iPhone will mark the debut of the "A7" processor, use faster RAM, offer an improved camera and fingerprint sensor (but not near-field communication) and add a "gold" color option to the usual black and white colors.

The company will continue with the four-inch screen, Kuo claims, despite the fact that competitors with larger models may be stealing some sales away from Apple over the screen size. Though it is one of the smallest screens in the "flagship phone" class, the iPhone 5's screen size makes it easier to use with one hand than many of its larger rivals, and offers better color accuracy and the Retina-quality pixel count that competitors are only just catching up to. The smaller screen has not stopped the iPhone 5 from regaining share in the North American market and maintaining its "most popular" individual brand title.

Kuo also believes the amount of RAM will be the same in the next iPhone as it is in the current model (1GB), but will use the faster LPDDR3 RAM in addition to a faster, more efficient processor to keep the speed of the iPhone highly competitive.

Kuo told clients that the iPhone 5S will be the first unit with a new processor from Apple called the "A7," based on the ARMv8 architecture which suggests it could be 20 percent more efficient than the current dual-core A6. The current chip is rated at 1.3GHz, which is already faster than the Nexus 7, HTC's One X and the Samsung Galaxy S III. In addition, he speculated that the A7 may include preliminary support for 64-bit in preparation for a fully 64-bit future "A8" chip, which would also require changes to iOS and apps.

Kuo also said he believes the iPhone 5S will sport a fingerprint-sensor home button covered in sapphire glass like the camera lens, and that the camera will use a larger, fixed f2.0 aperture with dual LED flashes for better pictures. He did not comment on whether the camera's resolution would move to 12MP as has been widely speculated, but said that he expects Apple to offer a 128GB storage option for the iPhone 5S as it did for the latest iPad.

The analyst is also predicting that the company will add a "gold" color option to the traditional black-silver and white-silver models. Some gold-colored parts have been seen in leaks, but no chassis suggesting a body color change has yet been revealed. Finally, Kuo told investors he doesn't expect Apple to support near-field communication (NFC) in the next iPhone, as support for it is still very anemic compared to Bluetooth and other options. He suggested that support might be added to future iPhone models.

Unconfirmed reports have suggested that Apple is planning a special event on September 10 to reveal the latest iPhone model and perhaps also a lower-cost additional model aimed at prepaid and developing markets, often called the "iPhone 5C." Reports have suggested that such a device would not be a cheap (and cheaply-made) handset with limited features, but rather an economic version of the iPhone 5 with at many of the same features that would sell for less than the current models but well above the low-end of Android phones. Apple used a similar strategy with the eight-inch iPad mini (which is priced well above its nearest competitor, but is a much higher-quality device) and was rewarded with it becoming the company's second most popular product, allegedly outselling the full-sized 10-inch iPad by a wide margin.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. Leatherropes

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 07-02-11

    I am tired of hearing rumors.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    You choose to read them.

  1. chas_m

    MacNN Staff

    Joined: 08-04-01

    If this particular analyst didn't have such a good track record, I'd have laughed at the gold colour option. I too am tired of rumours, but interest in this product is amazingly high, so any scrap of info that might be true -- as long as it is from credible sources -- is going to get reported here and elsewhere.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    The golden iPod mini was surprisingly beautiful.

    I might be up for a golden 5S, if it's not too tacky.

  1. RockoBoffo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-12-13

    Apple has failed to engineer a larger screen iPhone.

    This update will sell well as a single model from Apple will usually do - however, it's not going to make a dent in Android's momentum. The budget iPhone may do that in some markets where prepay is the norm, and a budget iPhone will help.

    Meanwhile in premium markets 5" phones are popular and Apple cannot figure out how to do a large phone.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by RockoBoffoView Post

    Apple has failed to engineer a larger screen iPhone.

    This update will sell well as a single model from Apple will usually do - however, it's not going to make a dent in Android's momentum. The budget iPhone may do that in some markets where prepay is the norm, and a budget iPhone will help.

    Meanwhile in premium markets 5" phones are popular and Apple cannot figure out how to do a large phone.



    I think you've got it backwards.

    If this new iPhone will "sell well as a single model from Apple will usually do", that means that it will probably outsell last season's model, and will single-handedly outsell every other smartphone line on the planet. So Apple hasn't "not figured out how to do a large phone", they've figured out that what they've been doing so far is far more effective and successful than any larger phone on the market, and see no reason to TRY and make a dorkphone that is, by some insidious majick, somehow not dorky.

    As it is, Android's momentum is not making a dent in Apple's sales: They continue to grow. Android's market share comes at the expense of the dumbphone market, not Apple's.

    Only once the smartphone market is saturated, we'll start to see real trends and be able to draw conclusions as to whether a change of strategy might be necessary.

  1. davidlfoster

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 12-06-05

    Any suggestion that Apple cannot figure out "how to do" a large phone is preposterous. They just don't want to and I agree with them. I like phones that fit easily into my pocket and that I can operate one-handed. If individuals want a tablet for a phone, they can go elsewhere. Apple calculated how much it would cost to produce such a phone and how much more money it would make and then figured out how many people predisposed to buying Apple phones would buy it and then very likely, decided it just wasn't worth the effort.

  1. aristotles

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: 07-16-04

    Will Apple be offering downgrade rights for the 5S to iOS 6.x?

  1. chas_m

    MacNN Staff

    Joined: 08-04-01

    aristotles: nope!

    Sorry you don't like progress, and have decided to make up your mind about iOS 7 before trying it. Hey, good news though -- you could be a federal court judge with those qualifications ... :)

  1. iphonerulez

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 11-28-08

    There's only one thing that can put a dent into Android OS growth and that would be Samsung switching to Tizen OS on all its smartphones. However, after standing on stage with a chest full of bluster, saying how they were going to make the switch later this year, he punk'd out and the company is staying with Android for the near future. I'd heard there were some issues with Tizen, making it not ready for primetime.

    Apple by itself can't do a damn thing about Android's growth. The platform is viral due to the cheap hardware it uses and is basically a free OS for anyone to do as they please with it. How can any one company catering to the high-end smartphone consumer hurt Android OS? It would be like Porsche trying to sell more cars than Toyota. Porsche couldn't ever dent Toyota's market share even if Porsche made some Baby Porsche like they did with the 914 years ago. The trouble with Wall Street is that there are too many jackasses who think they understand the smartphone market or believe they can run Apple better than it's already run. If a company doesn't want to build cheap junk then there is no way to gain market share in poverty-class countries. Hedge fund managers are idiots if they think that market share is everything for value of a company. Actually it's easier to hold lower market share than to hold major market share indefinitely.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    ^ yes, yes, yes.

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