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The sixth-gen iPhone could be along sooner than expected, a mobile industry wonk forecasts, amid a welter of recent speculation around the handset.

After unveiling the fourth and fifth-gen iPhones in October 2011 and September 2012 respectively Apple is widely expected to stick with the now-established Q3 date for introducing the next model.

Not so. Or at least not if we can believe Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley.

In a note to investors, Walkley claimed that Apple is most likely to drop a “higher-end iPhone” during the second quarter. That suggests that the company could return to releasing new iPhones in June, as it did with the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4.

The former Piper Jaffray number cruncher also backs reports that a cheaper iPhone – AKA the fabled iPhone Mini - could be in the pipeline, as Apple looks to see off the challenge from low-cost Android kits in the booming smartphone markets of the developing world.

Walkley wrote: “We believe Apple could launch a higher-end iPhone model by the June quarter versus its more typical September/October timing for a new iPhone launch.

“We also believe Apple could potentially launch a lower-end iPhone focused on more price-sensitive pre-paid markets, as we believe consumers in markets such as China, Latin America and Eastern Europe would have very strong demand for a more affordably priced 3G iPhone.”

Rumours about Apple's plans for 2013 come after another analyst claimed that this could be the year we finally see the iPhone land in a range of colour options, most likely the pink, yellow, blue, green, purple, silver, slate and red hues currently in use with the iPod Mini.

Via:

Boy Genius Report

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