Apple might surprise consumers later this year by releasing two iPhones and some call it the iPhone 5, to run the iOS 5 operating system Apple unveiled to developers three weeks ago. Apple is also expected to ramp up production of the next iPad in August and the LulzSec leaked AT&T documents have provided the most concrete evidence that the next iPad will be LTE-enabled. A lower cost variation of the iPhone for developing companies might also be in the works and Apple is getting into the TV business by developing its own Apple-branded Smart TV……….
Wall Street analysts are joining tech bloggers who are anticipating the production if not unveiling of the iPhone 5 within the next 60 days and the production of fifth-generation iPhones in August will begin ahead of a projected late third quarter launch, according to intelligence obtained by one investment banker’s recent trip to Taiwan. After meetings with unnamed individuals in Taiwan last week where Apple‘s supply chain and manufacturing facilities reside, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty issued a note to clients in which she confidently stated: “Apple’s next iPhone will begin production in mid to late August and ramp aggressively” into the calendar fourth quarter. She added that, based on her intelligence, the new handset will launch and be available to consumers sometime near the end of the third calendar quarter of the year, which ends September. As a result of the later than usual launch, Huberty shifted 2 million iPhone units from the firm’s third quarter estimates to its fourth quarter estimates, though the firm’s full year estimate of 72 million units remain unchanged. However, the analyst notes that if the next iPhone were to come out in early September, it would “drive upside” to Morgan Stanley’s lowered estimates.
Lower priced iPhones and an Apple-branded TV may also be in the works, Huberty noted. According to the analyst, Apple is forecasting a large iPhone unit increase in 2012 “on the back of new products and potentially lower price points.” Various major news outlets reported this spring that Apple is planning a cheaper iPhone model, which analysts believe would help the company make gains in emerging and prepaid mobile markets. “We also believe Apple is in the early design stages for a TV, which could add $19 billion and $4.50 of annual revenue and EPS longer-term,” Huberty continued. In March, the analyst reported that checks in Asia suggested Apple was working on a “Smart TV prototype.” Earlier this week, an unverified report claimed to leak Apple‘s plans for iOS-powered connected TVs, citing a “former Apple executive” as the source. In addition to Apple’s ramping up of iPhone production, Morgan Stanley sees upward pressure on iPad shipments as post-Japan earthquake product constraints have subsided. Huberty also echoed reports that improved component supply has led Apple to negotiate price cuts with some of its suppliers. Those cuts could boost margins “modestly in the June quarter and more in September,” the note read.A recent report out of Asia said Apple has demanded 10 percent price cuts from iPad suppliers as orders increase. The report specifically cited companies supplying printed circuit boards, optical components, battery modules and touch panels as being pressured to lower prices.