A new report adds weight to recent rumors suggesting Apple (AAPL) is preparing to launch one or more new iPhone models by mid-2013. In a note to investors on Monday, Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley told clients that Apple’s iPhone 5 saw “very strong” demand in the holiday quarter, likely pushing cumulative sales for fiscal 2013 above analysts’ consensus to 173 million units. Moving into the summer months, Walkley sees Apple launching a new “higher-end iPhone” sometime in the June quarter, and a low-end model could be in the works as well.
“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,” Walkley wrote. “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.”
An earlier report from Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White suggested that Apple is planning to launch the “iPhone 5S” in May or June with several new color options instead of just black and white. He also said Apple will launch two different versions of its new iPhone, one with the current 4-inch display and a second smaller version at a lower cost that will target emerging markets.
Walkley reiterated his Buy rating on Apple shares with a 12-month price target of $750.