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.
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.