The next iPhone model will likely hit stores in late June according to Gene Munster, Piper Jaffray’s senior Apple analyst, said in a note to clients on Tuesday, CNET reported.
Munster predicts that Apple will release the iPhone 5S in late June of this year followed by a low-cost model of the iPhone in September.
The analyst went on to speculate that the latest edition of the phone would include a faster processor, better camera and new software for the phone’s hard drive. He was less certain about whether the iPhone 5S would come equipped with the near-field communications (NFC) technology that would allow users to tap into a mobile payment system.
Last year’s purchase of AuthenTec, a company specializing in mobile and network security, led Apple watchers to expect the company to equip iPhones with fingerprint reading technology in the near future, which would allow customers to safely pay with mobile devices. This feature may ultimately have to wait until the release of the iPhone 6, however.
Munster also predicted that a cheaper variant of the iPhone would hit stores sometime in September, and be priced at around $250. It has long been rumored that Apple would release a cheaper version of its signature product in order to compete in emerging markets where the bulk of industry growth is expected to take place in the years ahead.
Consumers in these markets overwhelming tend to go with cheaper low-end technology, which is not Apple’s traditional forte. Thus the release of such a product will be a significant departure from Apple’s traditional business model.
Overall Munster estimates a 15 percent increase over last year in the sale of iPhones during the three-month quarter ending June 30, 2013 (3Q). Assuming a late June release, Munster estimated that Apple will sell some 4 million units of the new iPhone 5S by the end of that quarter. This may seem like an ambitious goal until one recalls that Apple sold 5 million units of the iPhone5 during the first weekend it went on sale.
The Piper Jaffray analyst said that altogether Apple was likely to sell 30 million iPhones during the 3Q of the financial year.
Munster’s forecast of Apple’s likely return for investors during the remainder of the year was rather downcast, Forbes reported.