Evercore Partners analyst Patrick Wang checked with Apple’s component suppliers and claims to have learned that the rumored iPhone 5S is indeed on the table for this year, and that it’s likely to employ a new Broadcom wireless radio.
In a research note issued this week, Wang reiterated his Overweight rating on Broadcom (BRCM) shares with a $40 price target, noting “We believe AAPL [Apple] will use BRCM’s 43342 combo chip (a/b/g/n, BT, FM) on the iPhone 5S with a ramp starting mid-2013.”
Some analysts are now questioning whether Apple can afford to release yet another “S” incremental iPhone update, while others are convinced that the Cupertino giant will roll out a low-cost (LC) version of the smartphone to gain more market share.
Evercore Partners embraces this theory, according to Patrick Wang’s research note, which adds, “We also expect the LC iPhone SKUs (launching 3Q) to continue using BRCM as well.”
“This supports the robust 3Q build (+14% QoQ) in our model,” he said, referring to quarterly growth.
If Apple does end up pursuing another “S” update this year, most bets are on a launch around the company’s annual developers conference, the WWDC.
Although Apple has refreshed its iPhones in fall in recent years, this time around analysts believe the company will require two separate events to unveil the iPhone 5S and the subsequent low-cost iPhone for the mainstream.
It is worth pointing out that there is still a great deal of debate as to whether the company is indeed planning to roll out a cheap iPhone.
Comments made by CEO Tim Cook and marketing SVP Phil Schiller have shot down such rumors. Both Apple executives dodged “cheap iPhone” rumors pulling out the same value-for-the-customer card.
Many believe that even if Apple does launch a cheaper iPhone, the device will only be cheap by Apple standards.