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Thursday, April 11, 2013

iPhone 5S expected to launch late June, says analyst

The next-generation iPhone should start shipping by the end of June, followed by a low-cost iPhone in the September quarter, says analyst Gene Munster.

Apple's purchase last year of security technology provider AuthenTec could lead to a biometric security feature, aka fingerprint reader, for the 5S. But the analyst thinks such a feature is more likely to debut with the iPhone 6.

A follow-up act from Apple will come in the September quarter when the analyst expects to see the launch of the much-rumored low-cost iPhone. Targeted for emerging markets, a budget iPhone would help Apple tap into a market for low-cost smartphones that would be valued at around $135 billion in total. Munster pegs the unlocked price of a low-cost iPhone at $250.
Finally, Apple could announce its new television sometime in the December quarter, according to Munster, ultimately followed by the announcement of a smartwatch.
The analyst doesn't think either product would generate substantial revenue. But they would show that Apple is still capable of cooking up innovative products, something that would benefit the company and its stock price.
"We believe investors have wondered if Apple can put out new and innovating products without Steve Jobs," Munster said in an investors note released today. "We believe that ultimately, if Apple is viewed as a company that can innovate, the multiple will improve."
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