As always, the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) rumor mill is grinding out possible new product releases, launch dates, and device updates. And, while there are no safe bets in the technology world, in the Apple world these whispers and speculations drive gains on the stock chart and keep a lively buzz always surrounding the company; that is part of the Apple magic.
Rumors that Apple would be releasing the “iPhone 5S” began almost the instant its predecessor, the iPhone 5, was launched. After all, what followed the company’s fourth-generation smartphone, but the iPhone 4S. Once the precedence is set, what else could Apple conceivably call the second iteration of its fifth generation of smartphones? Apple’s signature use of taxonomy to help brand its products has led consumers to expect nothing less.
Now, rumors regarding the new phone are coming fast and with increasing detail. Citing Japanese Apple blog MacOtakara, AppleInsider reported that the company’s production partner Foxconn (FXCNY.PK) is “starting to ramp up production of Apple’s iPhone 5 successor.” The site also commented that because the design of the rumored iPhone 5S is so similar to the company’s current version of the smartphone, no substantial equipment changes will need to be made in order to manufacture both devices on the same production line.
Taking another step down speculation lane, MacOtakara stated that Apple would likely be expanding its base of potential iPhone users by making another partnership with a larger wireless carrier. The blog provided evidence to support this assertion; Japan’s number one cellular provider, NTT DoCoMo, which does not currently offer the iPhone to its customers, has been “apparently” reducing orders for smartphones running Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android for fall 2013.
Analysts are adding their own spin to the rumors as well. In a research note sent to investors in January, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek calculated that production of the next-generation iPhone would begin this month — as the report in MacOtakara indicated — in preparation for a launch in either June or July. He also predicted that Apple would for the first time release a second smartphone alongside the 5S, the much-rumored, low-cost device designed for developing markets.
Just as the previous “S” iPhone models did not undergo design changes, the upcoming new 5S is only expected to benefit from updated internal components. As AppleInsider noted, “a faster A-series SoC [system on a chip] is almost a given,” but rumors also point to an updated camera or camera lens assembly and the implementation of SmartFlash, a technology that improves image color rendition.
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