Apple's iPhone 5s and a low-cost iPhone 6 model are expected to roll out in August or September of this year, analysts say, further fueling consumer speculation about a successor to the iPhone 5.
Barclays analyst Kirk Yang has joined the gang calling for an August/September 2013 release for the next round of iPhones. On Friday, Yang predicted that Apple will release two models each of an iPhone 5s and 6 — one model for most of the world's carriers and one designed for China Mobile.
The iPhone 5s, a "true follow up" to the 5 model released in September 2012, is rumored to feature an integrated fingerprint sensor.
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"It's intuitive, it's secure and it makes customers feel like secret agents. Apple knew fingerprint sensing technology would be a hit a long time ago, so the company invested millions of dollars to start implementing this technology as soon as possible," writes International Business Times' Dave Smith. "[The] technology is so smart, it can differentiate your fingers so as to associate different functions with those fingers. For example, you can use different fingers to play music, or ask for directions, or call a particular contact."
The iPhone 6,
a less expensive model, is also said to be debuting in August or September 2013. Apple is still crunching numbers and putting together a marketing strategy so the 6 doesn’t offset the 5s sales, according to IBT.
Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty forecast a low-cost iPhone after meeting with Apple's CFO Peter Oppenheimer last month.
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"We also see several signs that a lower priced iPhone makes sense," Huberty wrote. "1) iPad Mini is expanding Apple's customer base with 50% of purchases in China/Brazil representing new customers to the ecosystem. 2) Chinese consumers show a desire to purchase the latest version of iPhone (instead of discounted older generations). 3) iPhone 4 demand surprised to the upside in the December quarter. Even at a low 40 percent gross margin and 1/3 cannibalization rate, we see an 'iPhone Mini' as incremental to revenue and gross profit dollars."
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