Apple is planning to begin production on its new iPhone in Q2 2013 according to a WSJ report — with the size and shape remaining similar to the current iPhone 5 device.
Earlier analyst reports anticipated a summer launch of the next-generation iPhone which many believe will only be another incremental upgrade.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster told CNET that he expects the iPhone 5S to launch in late June with a faster A7 chip processor, upgraded software and a better camera on board and LED technology called “Smart Flash.”
The much-rumored fingerprint reader security feature is expected to debut with iPhone 6 rather than an iPhone 5S according to Munster — that's if Apple actually decides to go with an "S" version rather than jumping right into iPhone 6 in order to draw more buzz for its summer launch.
“We believe investors have wondered if Apple can put out new and innovating products without Steve Jobs,” Munster told investors in a note released today. “We believe that ultimately, if Apple is viewed as a company that can innovate, the multiple will improve.”
Gene Munster did admit he believes there's an “outside chance” that an iPhoine 5S could be equipped with a NFC (near-field communications) chip in order to open the opportunity for mobile payments.
The low-cost iPhone that so many analysts have talked about is anticipated to launch in September — with the budget smartphone targeting emerging markets and adding color options with a different casing than iPhone 5.
A June 20th launch date for the new iPhone is currently being tossed around by some along with the idea that the design for iPhone 5S and 6 were influenced by Steve Jobs before his passing as a part of a secret legacy.
The bigger question still remains — will an iPhone 5S really draw serious interest in the U.S this summer? I'm convinced that iPhone 5S would be disappointing to many. It will take more than an incremental upgrade from Apple for even the holdout iPhone 4S owners to make the great leap forward.
The smarter move would be to wait it out for iPhone 6 which Apple just may release in time to goose sales for the holiday. It's all just speculation — until it's not. What do you think?