With the release of its next-generation handset, presumably called the “iPhone 6,” Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) could move back to a summer launch schedule for its flagship smartphone, according to an analyst who also shared some tidbits about the iOS 8, the upcoming version of the company’s mobile-operating system.
Despite CEO Tim Cook’s suggestions that the new iPhone will not be released until the fall, Abhey Lamba, an analyst at Japan-based Mizuho Securities, said that Apple is expected to ramp up production of the iPhone 6 soon, and a July release for the smartphone is a possibility. According to Lamba, supply-chain vendors are gearing up for an earlier production schedule, suggesting a sooner-than-expected launch of the handset.
“Recently, the company has been introducing new lineup in September time frame whereas the next generation phones could come out in July this year,” Lamba said in a note, obtained by StreetInsider. “The earlier launch will be helpful for Apple as it will ensure significant availability and distribution of the new device during the holiday season.”
In addition, Lamba also suggested that Apple is likely to launch multiple models of the iPhone, with display sizes ranging from 4.7 inches to 5.5 inches, compared to the current iPhone's 4-inche screen size. On specs, Lamba’s note agrees with earlier rumors in forecasting that Apple could introduce a larger iPhone along with the iPhone 6.
The analyst also believes that the iOS 8 would help improve the TouchID fingerprint scanner, and that the biometric scanner could be introduced in the iPad 6 and the next-generation iPad mini with Retina display.
Lamba gave an outperform-rating price target of $575 on Apple, saying that the introduction of a new product category, buzz around the iPhone 6 and shareholder activism are likely to help move the company’s stock to the high $500s over the next 12 months, StreetInsider reported.
Meanwhile, some reports also have suggested that the iPhone 6 could feature Quantum dots technology for an improved display that can reproduce highly accurate and vivid colors. Apple reportedly has many patents related to various ways of using Quantum dots in displays, which also lends some credibility to the rumor.