Word on the web is that Apple has made some inroads to expand its iPhone business in the future. Analyst Katy Huberty working with Morgan Stanley says Apple will use its dual iPhone lineup (5s and 5c) for “multiple refreshes per year.”With all due respect for Mrs. Huberty and her studies, I seriously doubt Apple will go out of its way to create two new iPhone versions every year. Especially for 2014.
Let’s set aside the fact that Apple will have tons of leftover iPhone 5s and 5c units laying around next year when the iPhone 6 comes of age, and just use this simple reasoning.
The iPhone 4S, Apple’s current low-end choice, will be discontinued. The iPhone 5c will take its place as the new entry-level iPhone. The 5s will be where the iPhone 5 should be today (had it not been for the 5c that canceled its show prematurely), and the iPhone 6 (or whatever they end up calling it) will be the all-new flagship iPhone for the rich and glamorous.
This lineup makes sense both for Apple and its manufacturers – who won't be forced to adopt all-new designs yet again – as well as for the customers – who will have not one, not two, but three different iPhones to choose from.
An “iPhone Air” concept by Federico Ciccarese likely paints an accurate picture of what the next-generation iPhone will look like. Other concepts propose curved displays, something Apple might also try.
With a lineup comprised of iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, and iPhone 6, Apple will be offering different processor speeds, different camera upgrades and, at long last, different screen sizes too (if rumors turn out to be true).
I’ll admit there is somewhat of a chance that Apple will reiterate its iPhone 5c (though I can’t think of a name to supersede it) using the specs from the 5s.
And they could, by all means, discontinue the 5s just like they did with the iPhone 5. Who knows what problems this phone model might incur in the long run?
But, logically speaking, Apple has little to no reason to introduce more than one new iPhone next year. And whatever they call it, you can bet it will have an all-new, killer design, with a bigger screen and specs to match.
Plus, I don’t think Apple wants to steal any spotlight from the first iPhone that looks totally different than the last iPhone introduced by Steve Jobs.
Update: Let's not forget Apple is facing immense pressure to come out with all-new, life-changing products. The company is preparing to introduce a much-hyped iWatch and a big-screen TV, one of which is likely to make an appearance in 2014. As a result, the focus on the iPhone business will diminish.