Jeffries analyst Peter Misek thinks Apple will ship its next iPhone model in June 2013 instead of in the fall. That new iPhone model will be called the iPhone 5S, will inclue NFC support, and will be available in several colors much like the iPod touch.
Mr. Misek is claiming the new iPhone model will include a "super HD camera/screen, a better battery, and NFC," along with new color choices. He also expects Apple could bump up the maximum storage to 128GB, and use an IGZO screen for what he called "Retina+," according to BusinessInsider.
NFC, or Near Field Communication, uses weak wireless signals to let users perform tasks like paying with their credit card from their smartphone, and has long been rumored to be coming to the iPhone.
Jumping back to a mid-year launch seems like an odd choice now that Apple has moved to a schedule that gets new models in customer's hands during the holiday season and also cuts competitors out of copying new design features in time for gift buying. That's exactly what Mr. Misek is predicting, although he isn't offering any reasons as to why.
One reason for moving new iPhone launches back to mid year could be because Apple saw lower smartphone sales for two quarters leading up to the iPhone 5 release as shoppers waited anticipating the new model. By shifting to an earlier release cycle, Apple can spread out sales instead of pushing the majority of its sales into later in the year.
Mr. Misek did get his iPhone 4S predictions right ahead of that model's release, although he hasn't had any luck with his Apple TV predictions. That said, it's a safe bet that new iPhone models are coming, although whether or not they'll finally include NFC or come in more colors is up in the air.
Apple is currently trading at US$529.63, down 3.62(0.68%).