iPhone 5 Expected With LTE, but iPad Mini Launch Unlikely: Jefferies
While the world breathlessly awaits the expected debut of Apple's latest smartphone, the iPhone 5, at a special press event in San Francisco on Sept. 12, the analyst firm Jefferies has thrown its 11th-hour predictions about what the new iPhone will have to offer into the mix of media coverage. The research note also offers predictions regarding other Apple products, such as the long-rumored iTV and the iPad Mini. Jefferies analyst Peter Misek also outlined Apple's potential upcoming media events and product launches.
Under the heading "Virtually certain to be unveiled," Misek wrote that the unveiling of the iPhone 5, with a 4-inch screen, unibody construction that is 20 percent thinner than the iPhone 4S, a new battery, Long-Term-Evolution- (LTE-) capable chipsets that are backward-compatible with Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) and GSM networks, and final tweaks to Apple's latest mobile operating system, iOS 6, would be the most likely focus of the event. "We believe Apple will unveil the iPhone 5 on Sept. 12," the research note said. While there may be fewer surprises than there have been in prior years (as the number of leaks seem to be uncharacteristically high this time around), we still see numerous catalysts for the shares to perform well over the next couple months and the next year."
Less certain, but "highly likely" to be unveiled were updates to Apple's iPod media players, including more colors for the Shuffle, a new model for the Nano, and an iPod Touch that closely resembles the iPhone 5. Misek said it was also likely that the iPhone 5 would support near-field communication (NFC) technology, which he noted was enabled in iOS 6, but said hardware may not be included.
Other possible updates to the iPhone 5 include an improved camera update and a new tier-one carrier. T-Mobile is the only major carrier in the United States that doesn't offer the iPhone, but Misek filed that possibility under "unlikely," saying T-Mobile's LTE network was not ready. Misek also said it was unlikely that Apple would unveil the rumored iPad Mini, a smaller version of Apple's market-dominating tablet device that would compete with other 7-inch tablets offered by competitors like Amazon and Google for a lower price point. Finally, Misek wrote that there is virtually no chance of Apple unveiling its own branded television, which is commonly referred to as the iTV.
As for Apple's upcoming product announcements and launches, Misek predicts Apple will begin retail sales of the iPhone 5 on Sept. 21, followed by a release from Apple two days later tabulating weekend sales. By Oct. 10, Misek said he predicts an invitation for an iPad Mini launch event will be mailed out to the media, followed by the formal announcement of the device by mid-October and culminating with the launch of the iPad Mini at the end of that month.