iPhone 5S buyers could have their choice of screen size, according to Topeka analyst Brian White.
Citing information from a meeting with a "tech-supply chain company," White said today he believes Apple will unveil the iPhone 5S in at least two or possibly three different screen sizes.
"We believe Apple is coming around to the fact that one size per iPhone release does not work for everyone, and offering consumers an option has the potential to expand the company's market share," White said in an investors note released today.
The analyst didn't specify or even speculate which screen sizes might be available. The iPhone 5 sports a display size of 4 inches, a boost from the 3.5-inch screen found in previous models.
This isn't the first time White has pitched this prediction. In January, the analyst cited sources who claimed the next iPhone might be offered in different screen sizes as well as different colors.
Let's play with the assumption that Apple considers three different screen sizes for the next iPhone.
One model would likely adopt a size larger than 4 inches. That could prove tempting to consumers who might otherwise gravitate to larger-screen Android phones. A second model would stick with the current 4-inch display for people who don't want a change. And a third could go smaller than 4 inches and sell at a lower price.
However many screen sizes Apple offers, White believes the iPhone 5S will debut in July. That forecast echoes the opinion of other analysts eyeing a summer release for the next iPhone.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster believes the new iPhone will come out in late June, while KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo thinks the iPhone 5S will be announced in June and available by July.
White also joins his fellow Apple analysts in anticipating a lower-priced iPhone this year, forecasting a summer launch along with the 5S. And just how low-priced will it be?
"Our research is now indicating that we should not expect the price to dip below $300 and those expecting a $150 to $200 iPhone will be disappointed," White said. "We have previously discussed an [average selling price] of $250 to $300 for a lower priced iPhone; however, a price tag of $300 to $350 now makes more sense."
The predicted price range would be for an unlocked, non-subsidized version of the low-cost iPhone targeted to developing markets such as China.
An iPhone in different sizes and colors? A low-cost iPhone? All of these notions sound atypical for a company such as Apple, which tends to move more slowly, surely, and traditionally.
But Apple is facing increasing pressure, both from Android rival Samsung and from investors. The company needs to apply more innovation and offer more choices across its traditional lineup to prove it's still a competitive force.