Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may have several iPhones under production according to Deutsche Bank (Asia). Analysts from the firm have issued a new report on January 21st regarding the iPhone and HTC. We summarize the main points from the report below:
What is new for iPhone, potentially?
In light of the growing mid- to low-end market and increasing competition, analysts at Deutsche Bank sense a potential strategic move by Apple towards a new lower-end iPhone (in addition to 5S) and a shortening of the product cycle to 9-10 months (from one year) are the key points to watch. However, the analysts do not expect major changes in Apple hardware except in casing.
Colorful metal casing vs. plastic casing
For consumers to differentiate between the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)'s iPhone models at first sight, the analysts expect a colorful metal casing for iPhone 5S versus plastic casing for a lower-end iPhone. They believe that Hon Hai group, Foxconn Technology Co., Ltd. (TPE:2354) and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. (TPE:2317), will grab most of the orders for metal and plastic casing. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)'s iPhone metal casing likely accounted for 15-20% of Foxconn Tech sales in 2012E.
Camera: no migration but quality can still improve
The camera should still be 8MP for both 5S and lower-end iPhones, but the analysts believe that the production barrier will increase due to a larger aperture. They expect Largan Precision Co., Ltd. (TPE:3008) and Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758), experienced camera lens and sensor makers, to be well positioned to benefit from the higher precision requirements. Kantatsu seems to now be trying to penetrate the iPhone supply chain. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) likely accounted for 40-50% of Largan Precision Co., Ltd. (TPE:3008)’s sales in 2012E.
Battery: increasing battery life with new suppliers
Deutsche Bank expects a higher amperes cell and a potential change in the pack vendor list. They believe that TW battery pack makers such as Simplo and Dynapack will enter this area due to their superior product quality. ASP and GM for smartphone packs should be lower than those for NBs and tablet PCs due to a less complex design. However, there will likely be no contribution for TW battery pack makers from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) or other smartphone makers in 2012E.
HTC: M7 has more than one model
Finally, some information on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)'s iPhone competitor. HTC Corp (TPE:2498) will debut its flagship smartphones at the MWC in late-February. M7 is actually the name of an internal project, rather than a smartphone model such as Butterfly or One X. M7 should include seven models across the high-, midand low-end segments for different worldwide operators (to be launched in different periods).
The analysts expect HTC to emphasize its design and camera/sound features. HTC will likely adopt metal casing for its high-end models and plastic casing for mid-end ones. Catcher Technology Co., Ltd. (TPE:2474) should supply the majority of metal casing (followed by BYD), and Jabil and Ways should share the orders for plastic casing. With respect to camera, they believe that Largan and LiteOn will continue to dominate the share for camera lens and module, respectively. HTC Corp (TPE:2498) accounted for 10-15% of both Catcher’s and HTC’s sales in 2012E.