Apple poised to begin production of next-gen iPhone and lower-cost iPhone

3 Apr 2013

The iPhone 5

More reports have surfaced whereby tech giant Apple’s manufacturing partners are preparing to ramp up production of a new iPhone in the second quarter in time for a potential summer launch of a device powered by iOS 7. Apple is also believed to be working on a much-anticipated lower-cost iPhone device.

In recent weeks we reported on rumours that a new iPhone 5S would be unveiled with fingerprint recognition technology around June, when Apple holds its annual Worldwide Developers Conference.

Analysts at the time suggested that a lower-cost iPhone would also debut alongside the next iOS 7 operating system around that time.

However, this could also mean the devices could be revealed in September, in line with Apple’s traditional iPhone release schedule. The iPhone 5 was released on 21 September last year in the US.

The Wall Street Journal has now reported that manufacturers are gearing up for production in the second quarter, with a view to delivering the next-generation iPhone, as well as a lower-cost sibling in time for the summer.

The lower-cost iPhone will come with a four-inch screen and will come with a different casing than the higher-cost iPhone.

But the bigger question is what about Apple’s other key iOS device – the iPad? Traditional iPad release schedules have dictated that a new device would be revealed in March and guess what, March has passed.

Apple refreshed its iPad line-up with a fourth-generation iPad and the iPad mini in October.

So are we due to see the release of an iPad 4S, an iPad 5 or an iPad mini 2 any time soon?

Apple is beginning to see mounting pressure in the tablet space as Android-powered devices from manufacturers like Sony and Samsung grow in popularity.

Apple’s first-quarter earnings will be revealed on 23 April, more than a fortnight from now, and perhaps we’ll have some clarity at that stage.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years