Apple To Start Preliminary ‘iPhone 5S’ Builds In March, Launch In Summer?

In addition to the widely rumoured low-cost iPhone, Apple is reportedly testing an incremental upgrade to the iPhone 5 a.k.a the “iPhone 5S”, said Jefferies analyst Peter Misek in a note to investors (via AppleInsider). The analyst added that Apple is expected to debut the iPhone 5S earlier than expected, in June or July, with preliminary device builds beginning in March.

Iphone 5S

Misek believes that Apple will sell 44 million iPhones in the current quarter, a number he said is well above recent concerns that shipments might be in the mid-30-million range. However, he expects a slight slowing of demand for the iPhone 5 as word of the “iPhone 5S” production begins to spread. Misek also claimed the company’s next-generation iPhone, referred to as an “iPhone 6,” will sport a larger 4.8-inch display.

While Misek expects Apple’s next iPhone to launch sooner than expected in the June-July timeframe, he also believes Apple is separately planning a low-cost iPhone that would be geared toward emerging markets like China. Such a device may already have been greenlit, he said.

“Similar to the iPad mini, we expect a concentrated low-cost iPhone rather than a ‘cheap’ one,” he said. “Likely specs: polycarbonate case with 4″ non-Retina display and no LTE.”

Furthermore, Misek said that an apparent decline in iPhone 5 component orders from Apple is not related to its reduced demand, but is rather related to an assembly bottleneck during the holidays and preliminary production planning for the iPhone 5S.