Now that the iPhone 5S and 5C have been released, we can all turn our attention to what Apple is cooking up for next year.
One change that's likely on tap for the next-generation iPhone: a larger screen, according to Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White.
In a recent note to investors, White said he gleaned information about Apple's iPhone 6 during a recent visit to China and Taiwan and an unnamed tech supply chain vendor. He believes that Apple will release the scaled-up iPhone in the second or third quarter of 2014.
"We are confident a larger iPhone will be launched in 2014," he wrote in the report.
If history is any indication, the next iteration of the iPhone will feature a redesign. The iPhone 4 and 4S looked similar with a few internal tweaks, just like the iPhone 5 and 5S. But the iPhone 5 got a size boost to 4in from 3.5in, so Apple is likely considering a bigger screen for the iPhone 6.
Just how big remains to be seen. Back in April, Tim Cook didn't seem too impressed by the phablet phenomenon.
Cook acknowledged that some people want larger screens. But others, he said, "value other factors," such as resolution, colour quality, white balance, brightness, reflectivity, screen longevity, power consumption, portability, and compatibility with apps. Rivals like Samsung have "made some significant trade-offs in many of these areas in order to ship a larger display," Cook said. "We would not ship a larger display iPhone while these trade-offs exist."
White's contact, meanwhile, also had some interesting insights about the rumoured iWatch. The source reportedly "described this potential new device as much more than an extension of your iPhone but as a multi-purpose gateway in allowing consumers to control their home (i.e., heating/cooling, lights, audio, video, etc.)." White added that he stands by an earlier prediction that Apple will launch the iWatch before the end of 2014.
Meanwhile, in a separate report, White said he visited dozens of iPhone retailers and resellers in Shenzhen, China and noticed that the iPhone 5S was "surprisingly" still in stock most places. The iPhone 5C was also widely available.
"In some cases, the space gray colored iPhone 5S was out of stock but the champagne gold was available, exactly the opposite of what we have discussed in the U.S. market," he wrote. "In our view, we believe Apple may have allocated higher stock of the champagne gold iPhone 5s in China versus the U.S. market."
Meanwhile, one facility producing the iPhone 5C "appeared to be busy" during his visit, but data from China-based carriers and retailers pointed to "soft demand" for the colourful, nominally cheaper iPhone. The analyst added that orders for the iPhone 5S supply chain will likely need to be reduced in the future.