Apple apostles holding out hope that the next iPhone will sport a bold new design should prepare for the worst, an analyst at one of largest US investment banks forecasts.
In recent weeks, tech sites have thrown up a host of unlikely-sounding rumours around Apple’s 2013 product pipeline. Among them is the canard that the next iPhone could be accompanied by a phablet phone with a 4.8-inch screen, as well as a more compact, cheaper kit dubbed the iPhone mini.
But while these relatively radical reimaginings of the iPhone may or may not come to pass, it seems that this year’s update of the standard-sized model is unlikely to differ much at all from the current-gen edition. At least not from a design p.o.v.
Certainly, that’s what Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty supposes, having noted that a United States Securities and Exchange Commission filing reveals that Apple’s order commitments for the second quarter are smaller than the preceding two quarters.
According to the number-mangler, this is a strong sign that Apple is probably not readying manufacturing processes for a fresh handset design. In turn, that means it's probable that the next iPhone won’t look too dissimilar to its predecessor, with any major differences restricted to its internals/spec sheet, she posits.
Huberty wrote: “Lower planned purchases of production equipment sets up for higher iPhone 5S margin. The 10-Q discloses $904 million of commitments for equipment purchases compare to $4.5 billion 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.”
Apple’s apparent lack of activity in laying the groundwork for a new design for its flagship phone is also being interpreted as an indication that rumours that the iPhone 6 could come in a range of colour options are also wide of the mark.