First is the refresh of the iPhone 5 – the 5S. It will have higher internal specifications but no retooling (saving costs) and is 100% guaranteed to fit all the existing iPhone 5 accessories. Apple know that like prestige car makers its model needs refreshing but not significant visible changes. Not hard to predict and 99% likely but Apple can surprise. But a refreshed model can't really last 12 months more so the next iPhone 6 will have to be spectacular.
Next is it is the cheap iPhone. Not going to happen! The 5 model will drop to 4S pricing and replace that model which has been a significant seller to those who could not access 4G. Apple is unlikely to go cheap and cannibalise its existing phone market – it is more likely to go the other way and create a new premium product.
Just as the iPhone was aspirational to baby boomers the lack of a premium cool product needed for Gen Y and Asian markets has not gone unnoticed.
“Why should I use the same phone as my Dad?” is the current conundrum for Apple and I think it will release a new co-branded range (think Amex, Vuton or closer to home RM Williams etc.,) limited edition collectable handsets with some must have feature (like using its clout with Telcos to offer unlimited Facebook or Twitter or co-branded store offers). Apple is after all a master designer and marketer and is likely the only one that could do this.
All speculation aside its main manufacturer Foxconn appears to be gearing up again after the hiatus in iPhone sales – a sure sign of an imminent releases.
From what I know of Apple (and it’s a big thing to learn all about them but I am trying) I think the analysts are right and even though it may be doing it a little tough there is no stronger company on the IT planet that has the capacity to surprise us all. If I were Apples CEO I would not be so worried about the next 12 months but the next 5 years. It is time to see the next iconic product.