What would make the iPhone 6 so great that it would cause Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to abandon the iPhone 5 altogether? It could be less about the iPhone 6 (or the iPhone 5S) and more about the low-cost iPhone that’s also rumored to be in the works. Or it could be that some kind of major change is going to take place between the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 6 that would make it too costly to keep producing the previous model, which Apple has done around all previous iPhone transitions.
Apple to ditch the iPhone 5 for the iPhone 6 / 5S
MacRumors points to a report on ETNews, a Korean site which reports that Apple will discontinue production of the iPhone 5 in order to focus on the iPhone 5S and the low-cost iPhone. The site refers to the next iPhone model as being the iPhone 5S, but of course that still might not be the name it ends up having, especially if the refresh is so different that it would cause Apple to stop producing the iPhone 5 entirely. This is yet another indication that it might make more sense for the next model to be the iPhone 6 in spite of the classic numbering system which would otherwise indicate that it will be the 5S.
Apple changing its connection standard
It has already been expected that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) would stop producing the iPhone 4 and maybe even the 4S this fall so that it could move entirely to its lightning connectors. Older models have 30-pin connectors. According to MacRumors, the only exception would be the iPod Classic, which hasn’t received an update in several years.
When it comes to the iPhone 5 though, it would be somewhat unusual for Apple to stop production, especially because of the connector. Instead, it’s the screen that appears to be posing the problem.
The iPhone 6 expected to have a different screen
According to ETNews, the iPhone 6 (or 5S or whatever you want to call it) will have some other technology in its screen. The touchscreen on the iPhone 5 is said to use in-cell technology which isn’t suitable for production in low volumes. However, MacRumors indicates that both the iPhone 5 and the next iPhone are said to have very similar display technology, so it’s unclear exactly what this is a reference to. MacRumors points to leaked photos which indicate a change to the flex cable connectors are on the assemblies of the new iPhone.
iPhone 6, low-cost iPhone launching this fall
We continue to expect both the iPhone 6 (or 5S) this fall and with the low-cost model. The report in the Korean publication today is especially interesting because it seems to highlight a brief mention in a report from analysts at Societe Generale. They said the only reason Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) would continue focusing on reducing its channel inventory of older models is because soon there will be a low cost replacement that would make the older handsets (which previously had been considered Apple’s low-cost models) essentially obsolete.