Yes, I know, Apple’s new iPhones have been on sale for just over two weeks, but industry watchers are already looking ahead to its successor. Traditionally, the biggest iPhone releases come every other year, so we expect the iPhone 6 to be a big improvement over the iPhone 5s — not just an incremental upgrade that adds a faster processor and an improved camera.
In addition to a new design, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek says the iPhone 6 will come with a larger 4.8-inch display that will satisfy critics and fans of larger phones.
In a research note issued to investors on Monday, Misek went back on the Hold rating he placed on Apple shares with a $450 price tag and gave the stock a Buy rating with a $600 target. One of the reasons behind his change of heart is the information Misek has gained from supply chain sources.
They claim Apple is now getting more favorable prices from component suppliers, and that the Cupertino’s company’s profit margins are growing as a result. In addition to this, the sources expect Apple to finally give in a launch a larger iPhone with a 4.8-inch display in 2014.
“Despite still seeing risk to CQ4 and FY13 revs, we now believe better [gross margins] will allow Apple to skate by until iPhone 6 launches with its 4.8″ screen,” Misek wrote. “We est ~50% of smartphone shipments have >4″ screens and that iPhone 6 will catalyze a large upgrade cycle. The stock is attractive based on the attitude change, FY15 revs >+15%, and valuation.”
While Misek has accurately predicted a number of big Apple moves in the past, he’s also been wrong on several occasions, too. In fact, back in February, Cult of Mac put together a rather lengthy article that detailed Misek’s “History Of Horrible Apple Predictions.”
With that being that case, it may be best to take his latest research with a pinch of salt. But having said that, many believe that a larger iPhone is only a matter of time. High-end Android smartphones are getting bigger every year, and a large number of consumers are turning to devices with big displays. Apple needs to compete with these to eliminate the risk of losing customers who feel a 4-inch display isn’t big enough — as I noted in our iPhone 5s review.
And now that it has two iPhone lines — the high-end one and the less-expensive-but-still-new model — there’s no reason why it cannot produce one device with a larger display for those who want it and another with the same 4-inch display for those who don’t.