Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White is out with another research note today sharing some highlights from day seven of his trip to China and Taiwan to talk with technology companies and other sources. Based on discussions with officials at an unnamed "tech-supply chain company", White now believes that Apple's iPhone 5S due for release later this year will arrive in two or possibly even three screen sizes.
We also walked away with the view that Apple will release the iPhone 5S in at least two screen sizes this summer and possibly three. We continue to target July as the launch date. Essentially, we believe Apple is coming around to the fact that one size per iPhone release does not work for everyone and offering consumers an option has the potential to expand the Company’s market share.
White also believes that Apple will be releasing a lower-cost iPhone as part of the summer launch, but now sees a price tag in the range of $300-$350 rather than the $250-$300 price he had previously thought possible.
White's prediction of two or even three different screen sizes for the iPhone 5S, in addition to a lower-cost iPhone model, seems to be inconsistent with Apple's typically streamlined product lineups, especially when various carrier and capacity configurations need to be accounted for.
His prediction also conflicts with claims made by a number of other sources, including reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who maintains that the iPhone 5S will indeed primarily be a spec bump of the iPhone 5 with the same 4-inch display, an improved camera system, and perhaps a fingerprint sensor as a differentiating factor.
As a result, we view White's prediction with considerable skepticism unless independent corroborating claims surface leading into the iPhone 5S launch.