According to its recent 10-Q filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, Apple’s purchase commitments for the March quarter are down over $3.5 billion compared to two quarters ago.
This suggests that – unlike two quarters ago – Apple isn’t prepping manufacturing processes for a new iPhone design, thus offering some proof that the Cupertino company isn’t adhering to the rumors of a colored iPhone 5 that have been circulating the web for a while now.
This was interpreted by Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty, who said that – much like every ‘S’ model iPhone – Apple’s next smartphone will be more focused on upgraded internals than a fancy new design:
“Lower planned purchases of production equipment sets up for higher iPhone 5S margin. The 10-Q discloses $904M of commitments for equipment purchases compare to $4.5B just two quarters ago when Apple invested in new in-cell touch displays for the iPhone 5.
The decrease is likely due to iPhone 5S not requiring significant hardware changes, therefore iPhone GM could be much higher in C2H13.”
Nobody can say that this isn’t expected. To explain why, I’ll give you a brief history of iPhone speculation to date:
2007 – First iPhone widely anticipated,
2008 – iPhone with 3G almost certain, video capture also expected,
2009 – First ‘S’ model released (iPhone 3GS), against speculation from some suggesting a redesign,
2010 – ‘iPhone 4G’ thought to emerge and be first to compete against HTC’s Evo 4G, redesign also due, confirmed when an Apple employee left a prototype device in a bar in Redwood City,
This is where things get more interesting,
2011 – Delayed iPhone release led many to believe a redesign was on its way. Speculation pretty much split 50/50 between iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S. Also the first time people expected multiple iPhones, Apple seemed to make the ‘S’ model iPhone routine,
2012 – After many rumors and many more ‘leaked’ designs, iPhone 5 released with long-overdue redesign (the first update for nearly two and a half years),
2013? – Well, lets just say that an iPhone 5S with the same design seems highly likely, especially with Apple’s update trend and today’s news to back this thought up. Though let’s not rule out the possibility of new iPhone designs on a possible multiple devices just yet…
Apple’s 10-Q filing also states $10 billion in capital expenditure this fiscal year. According to Finance boss Peter Oppenheimer, $1 billion of this will be dedicated to investing in retail stores. However, this still leaves $9 billion unaccounted for, leaving the rumor mill wide open for any business Apple is involved in, though some of it has been earmarked for manufacturing, with Apple saying: “We’re buying equipment that we will own that we will put in our partners facilities.”
So just what is Apple planning?
Well, as iDB points out, the mysterious ‘Project Azaela’ could potentially be a huge venture for the company, though the money could be going towards any number of Apple’s fields, such as iCloud, redesigns of other products, or even the seemingly fading rumor of an Apple television set.