Echoing reports from a few other analysts, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek recently issued a research note to investors claiming that Apple’s preliminary builds of the iPhone 5S will commence in March ahead of an anticipated launch date in either June or July.
Notably, this would mark Apple’s return to a Spring/Summer launch schedule. If you remember, the delayed launch of the iPhone 4S due to technical problems pushed back Apple’s typical Summer/annual refresh cycle.
Misek also noted that Apple is currently testing two iPhone models – the iPhone 5S and perhaps a lower-cost model as well. This also aligns well with a number of rumors that have been floating around the blogosphere as of late.
What’s really interesting, though, is that Misek claims that Apple’s next next-gen iPhone, the iPhone 6, will sport a whopping 4.8-inch display. Color us skeptical on that, but if folks keep snatching up large screened Samsung smartphones en masse, perhaps Apple will have no choice but to listen to the mass market.
Returning to the lower-cost iPhone for a second, Misek believes Apple will keep costs down by implementing a polycarbonate casing and not utilizing a Retina Display or an LTE chipset.
I personally don’t think Apple would revert back to a non-Retina Display – the difference is stark and would clearly make the device seem “cheap” as opposed to lower cost. As for alternate materials and no LTE support, well that does make a lot of sense.