A well-known Wall Street Apple observer expects Apple’s manufacturing partners to start producing multiple new iPhone models in June or July, with the new smartphones introduced around September.
While the analyst note meshes with today’s report of Sharp gearing up to begin mass production of the iPhone 5S screens next month and other reports mentioning multiple iPhones on Apple’s roadmap, what’s perhaps most interesting is word that any drop-off in iPhone demand seems to be over.
And in her additional remarks bolstered by others, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty tells investors Wednesday that Apple could sell many iPhones in China even if the device were not priced cheaply…
“Apple’s new handsets are likely to launch around September, the analyst believes, based on her meetings in Hong Kong and Taiwan,” Apple Insider writes this morning. On Tuesday, a report suggested Sharp could start mass production of LCD screens for an iPhone 5S in June.
Huberty also said an Apple iPhone aimed at prepaid markets such as China would find great traction even if the device were priced above a $160 sweet spot.
For some time, industry observers have called for Apple to introduce an inexpensive iPhone able to compete with lower-priced Android equivalents from rivals such as Samsung and improve its standing in emerging markets.
Recently, some have claimed Apple could win a majority of Samsung’s users by creating a mid-priced iPhone, as the company had done in the past with the iPad mini and iPod nano.
Perhaps the most intriguing comment from the Morgan Stanley analyst were words of reassurance that whatever supply crisis which earlier worried Apple investors appears over.
“After a slow start, iPhone 5 is now on track to meet carrier volume expectations and iPhone 4 price cuts could stimulate demand near-term,” she writes in her note to clients.
Both a five-inch iPhone and one lower-priced could “expand market coverage” for Apple’s carrier partners.
As we’ve written, some onlookers believe Apple could hugely expand its market by signing more carrier partners. A number of demands Apple places on carriers offering the iPhone are blamed for a slowdown in new operator signups.