Back in January, KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo revealed, what he believed to be, Apple’s product roadmap for 2013. Kuo is known to have well-placed sources in Apple’s supply chain, and has been accurate in the past, so his predictions tend to carry more weight than others.
The report claimed, among other things, that Apple is planning to release an iPhone 5S—complete with faster processor, improved camera and built-in finger print sensor—alongside the long rumored budget iPhone, this summer. And today, Kuo doubled down on his claims…
The analyst issued a new research report this morning, alleging that Apple will unveil its iPhone 5S, as well as a lower-cost handset, along with iOS 7 this June. He says initially it will only support the FDD standard, but a China Mobile-friendly TDD version is also on the way.
Here’s an excerpt from the report (via MacRumors):
“We expect Apple will introduce its new iPhones and iOS7 in June, and start shipping the new iPhones (5S and low-cost model) in the FDD version in July. Both dates are earlier than last year’s roadmap. We attribute this to: (1) an effort to avoid repeating the fatal mistake of last year of the delayed iPhone 5 launch, which gave competitors room to grab market share; and (2) the new iPhones this year are mainly designed on the basis of the current iPhone 5, which suggests development time could be reduced.”
Kuo goes on to say that the 5S will be running a faster A7 processor and feature an improved camera with a new Smart Flash system, which can use a white or yellow flash based on lighting conditions. He also believes a fingerprint sensor will be located under the Home button.
As for the cheaper ‘budget’ iPhone, Kuo is calling for a hybrid casing made of fiberglass and plastic that will make it lighter and slimmer than general plastic casing, and easier to make in various colors. It will, however, still be thicker and heavier than the current model iPhone.
Not only does Kuo’s new report reiterate his previous claims, but it also lines up nicely with several other reports. We’ve heard from multiple outlets that Apple is on the verge of launching a budget handset. And other accurate insiders have talked about the 5S’ new flash system.
I’m still not sold on the whole fingerprint sensor idea, and I think that a June release is too soon, as it would eliminate users whose carriers let them upgrade every 12 months, like myself, from opening weekend. But hey, it seems like anything can happen with Apple at this point.