With Apple set to announce its latest financial results for Q2 of 2013 (Apple’s Q3), analysts are keen to get their predictions ready in time to help investors decide how to spend their cash. Analysts – so far – have been pretty cautious in their predictions, believing that Cupertino is set to announce a relatively poor quarter. Along those lines, Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities is pessimistic of Apple’s plans to release a successor to the iPad mini in 2013.
As we’ve heard a few times this year, he does believe we’ll see a new 9.7″ iPad this year. The fifth generation is said to feature similar design to the iPad mini, with slim bezels, a thinner body and anodized slate coloring on the black model. What’s more surprising about Kuo’s analysis is its release date. Allegedly, it’s set to land in early September, making it two months earlier than the iPad 4’s release last year.
On to the iPad mini, and although Kuo doesn’t believe a new model is set to arrive this year, he does think Apple will approach new releases with a similar tactic to that of the iPad 3. He believes we’ll see a Retina, and a dumbed-down version of the iPad mini next year. It’s a tactic used before in March 2012, keeping the iPad 2 on inventory in one storage option when releasing the Retina-equipped iPad 3. If true, it would give the newly designed iPad 5 enough chance to gain some interest before equipping the iPad mini with a Retina display. A smart marketing move perhaps. Although, I do worry about missing out the holiday period.
Lastly, the analyst also came to a conclusion on the iPhone’s future. And – as we’re all expecting – Apple will be releasing an iPhone 5S this year. However, much like the report from earlier this month, he thinks it will be in short supply at launch. Nothing surprising there. Shipment volume should see improvement between October and November.
What is perhaps a little surprising is that he’s under the impression that Apple will release a budget iPhone in early September (similar timeframe to the iPad 5). Just in case you’ve been hiding under a rock all year, this budget iPhone is set to feature a 4-inch display, plastic shell in a choice of colors, and come in at less than $400 SIM free. Kuo states his believe that it could cost between $450 and $550, and ship in numbers close to 25 million this year.
I have to say, none of the analysis strikes me as “out there”, and it’s certainly all plausible. I’ve long given up on believing Apple has a set structured release cycle anymore. Its once predictable 12 month cycle is a distant memory, and Cupertino could presumably release anything between September and December. I don’t know about you, but I find the uncertainty of release dates very exciting.