Low-Cost iPhone and iPad 5 to Ship in Early September with iPhone 5S Coming Later, No Retina iPad mini in 2013?
According to a new report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, production difficulties will cause Apple's iPhone 5S to ship towards the end of September, with supplies constrained until October or November. This is in line with recent reports that have suggested production on the iPhone 5S will ramp up towards the end of the month for a fall launch.
Apple's upcoming iPhone 5S is expected to retain the same form factor as the iPhone 5, but it is said to feature upgrades like a higher megapixel camera, a new slow motion video mode, and a fingerprint sensor — reportedly the factor behind the production delays.
We believe iPhone 5S will experience production difficulties among numerous components as well as assembly, as seen with iPhone 5 last year. The model will thus be available only in limited amounts following launch. We expect undersupply to improve in October or November.
Kuo believes that Apple’s low cost iPhone, which will be priced between $450 and $550, will launch somewhat earlier, likely towards the beginning of September alongside the fifth generation iPad.
A number of images of Apple's plastic-cased device have leaked over the last few weeks, suggesting that it will be similar in form to the iPhone 5 and that it will come in a variety of colors. MacRumors also has renderings of what the device may look like.
The fifth generation iPad, which is also expected in September, has been rumored to feature a slimmer, iPad mini-style redesign that will offer a thinner form factor and smaller bezels. According to Kuo, it will be the only iPad released in 2013, which is unsurprising as the potential release date of the iPad mini has been in flux in recent months. Though some reports have suggested Apple might release a slightly upgraded non-Retina version of the iPad mini in late 2013, Kuo does not believe that will happen.
Judging by the production status of low-cost iPad mini model, we estimate shipments can only launch in December at the earliest. For the sake of gross profit, the model may not be much cheaper than current iPad mini, which means less appeal to consumers. As such, we think Apple is unlikely to launch the product this year.
Kuo attributes the iPad mini Retina delay to the higher energy demand of a Retina display alongside limited battery capacity because of the diminutive size of the device. Rather than launching in 2013, Kuo predicts that the Retina mini will instead be released in March or April of 2014.
Finally, Kuo believes that the Haswell Retina MacBook Pro will launch in mid-September while an updated iMac will launch in late August. The exact launch date of the next MacBook Pro refresh has been in question since WWDC, as many expected Apple to release an upgraded MacBook Pro alongside the upgraded MacBook Air. While the MacBook Air was refreshed in June, the date of the MacBook Pro refresh has remained up in the air.
Ming-Chi Kuo has been proven to have relatively reliable information over the past several years and his release predictions also line up with a number of other reports that have filtered out over the past few months.