Apple hasn't officially announced an iPhone media event for September 10, but AllThingsD and The Loop are both saying it'll happen, and Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster thinks we'll see the introduction of two new iPhone models with a third to follow in the first half of 2014.
The new iPhone models Mr. Munster expects to see are the iPhone 5S and the brand new lower priced iPhone 5C with good odds both will be shipping by October. The iPhone 5S will sport a 4-inch display while the 5C will ship with a 3.5-inch display. The iPhone 6, as Mr. Munster is calling it, will ship in the first half of 2014 with a 4.5-inch or 5-inch display.
"We expect the cheaper phone to have a plastic casing, 4-inch display, and lower end internal specs than the 5S/5 line up," Mr. Munster said. "Additionally, we believe that Apple may exclude some software features, such as Siri, which we note was not an option on the iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4 upon launch."
Offering customers three models will help keep more iPhone users in the fold, and there will be plenty ready for an upgrade in the next few months. According to Mr. Munster's estimates, 125 million iPhones will go off contract in 2014, and based on an 80 to 90 percent loyalty rate, about 70 percent of his 152 million iPhones sold for the year are already wrapped up.
On biometric scanners built into the iPhone, Mr. Munster sees that happening, but the fingerprint scanners will be used only as an alternative to passcode locks. Using biometrics to authenticate for secure payments won't come until 2014 with iOS 8.
iPad fans won't be left out this fall. Mr. Munster expects updates for both the fill size and mini versions, but they won't be introduced until October. He thinks the new iPad model will match the look of the current iPad mini, which isn't much of a stretch. Apple likes visual consistency between products and the iPad is ripe for a facelift.
Based on Mr. Munster's expectations, the iPad product line will hold 55 percent of the market in 2014 and 50 percent in 2015, and that the iPad mini will make up 65 percent of the company's tablet sales.
Mr. Munster has some speculation on new products, too. He's still expecting Apple to release a television, just as he has been predicting for the past few years. Part of the reason he's certain this time Apple really will jump into the TV market is because he sees consumers yearning for something that's easier than plugging in an AppleTV. An actual television, he thinks, will be easier for consumers to figure out, and will cut down on remote controls in the living room.
An Apple Television would add $1.8 billion to the company's bottom line, assuming the device costs between $1,500 and $2,000, and with the product taking 9 percent of the Internet connected TV market.
Mr. Munster also had some thoughts on the rumored iWatch. He thinks Apple really will launch a smartwatch, but that it will ship some time in 2014 at the earliest. With a few big assumptions to go along with his figures -- such as 5 percent of iPhone users buying one in 2014 at about $250 -- the company could sell 14 million units and bring in an extra $3.5 billion in revenue.
Apple is currently trading at $472.75, up 5.39 (1.15%).