Unlike some bozos we could mention, KGI Securities Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo gets it right more often than not. He got the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, Retina MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and new iPod touch right.
Now he’s making another prediction: that Apple will unveil a new iPhone 5S with a better camera and color-shifting flash, as well as iOS 7, at WWDC in June for a July release. Also? A colorful iPhone 5 will become Apple’s new $99 iPhone.
According to Ming-Chi Kuo’s report:
We expect Apple will introduce its new iPhones and iOS7 in June, and start shipping the new iPhones (5S and low-cost model) in the FDD version in July. Both dates are earlier than last year’s roadmap. We attribute this to:
(1) an effort to avoid repeating the fatal mistake of last year of the delayed iPhone 5 launch, which gave competitors room to grab market share; and
(2) the new iPhones this year are mainly designed on the basis of the current iPhone 5, which suggests development time could be reduced.
As for what the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5 will actually entail, Ming-Chi Kuo says:
[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.
It’s an interesting note. We’ve heard tell of future iPhones coming in multiple colors before, but this is the first we’ve heard that it would only apply to a budget iPhone 5. If you think about it, it makes sense: keep the iPhone 5S a premium device, available only in a couple of colors, and then make the older iPhone 5 more “fun.”
Ming-Chi Kuo’s claims of a July release also match up with recent reports that the next iPhone will come out in late summer, although those reports said April.