Analyst Reiterates iPhone 5S with Fingerprint Sensor, ‘Low Cost’ Model in June


Last month, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released his 2013 product forecast for Apple and noted the next generation iPhone 5S would sport a fingerprint sensor under the Home button, utilizing technology from the acquisition of AuthenTec. He also predicted a lower cost phone to arrive in Q3 made of plastic, to be available in numerous colours.

Now, according to MacRumors, Kuo has just released another report that echoes his earlier product map predictions. An iPhone 5S (with fingerprint sensor and a ‘smart flash’) and lower cost model based on the iPhone 5 (with a hybrid plastic/fiberglass back) are expected to arrive in June/July:

[W]e expect the product differentiation between iPhone 5S and iPhone 5 will be: (1) computing power, with iPhone 5S to run on the faster A7 application processor; (2) the camera, with iPhone 5S being equipped with Smart Flash, ensuring photo quality using white or yellow flash according to lighting conditions; (3) iPhone 5S will have a fingerprint chip under the Home button, improving security and usability; and (4) the low-cost iPhone 5 hybrid casing of fiberglass and plastic will make it lighter and slimmer than general plastic casing and easier to make in various colors. However, we still think it will be heavier than iPhone 5S, which will have an aluminum casing. Thus, even form factor will be an area of differentiation.

Kuo iphone 5s july

Moreover, both models will have LTE cellular radios and later in September a TDD variant will possibly launch to support China Mobile. Last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook visited China and was rumoured to have met with the CEO of China Mobile. Cook has previously stressed “China is a very important market for us” during the announcement of a record 2 million iPhone 5 units sold in the country after its opening weekend.


  • Groagun

    So I wonder, with relatively “cheap” Android phones taking huge chunks of the market and Google now designing some nice software, in stock form, has Apple finally conceded and produced a less expensive iPhone?

    If so, will this product be available in North America or restricted to sales in China or other ‘BRIC’ nations only? We have gotten used to the iPhone costing big money here and subsidizing our phones through carriers but that trend may be ending with regulation and we seem to be adopting the European model of buying handsets outright.

    What percentage of iPhone customers will buy the new ‘cheap’ one and will that affect Apples income in NA? Or will the added sales numbers in places like China make up that difference and actually raise Apples reach and profitability?

    Either way it’s good for us and even if it’s not sold in NA I will have one shipped from Hong Kong and hope the bands are compatible with NA standards, LTE.

  • iFone

    The cue I took at the latest shareholders call is the differentiation they are trying to make with software and hardware on their financial reporting, and also what Samsung execs mentioned about future profits from hardware. I see Apple realized that and is putting a lot more effort on software differentiation than hardware. So, start selling less expensive (not cheaper) phones might start to make sense.

    As for the BCG matrix, I think Apple is planning to move the iPhone from being a ? to a Cash-cow, that will finance upcoming products like the mysterious iWatch, iTV and/or Apple iGlasses, etc.

  • FragilityG4

    I fingerprint scanner would be nice, but under the home button? You wouldn’t be able to use a case or a skin on your phone.

    I think the better spot would be to the left of the home button on its side so you can quickly scan your thumb using one hand.