This past Sunday, the curtain was lifted on a deal struck between Apple and the world’s largest phone carrier, China Mobile. The focus of the deal is to make both the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c available to the company’s 760 million subscribers as soon as January 17, 2014. Having already sold 23 million iPhones over this past year in China, analysts project Apple doubling their reach having penned the deal with China Mobile.
As always, a new deal and a new year brings next-gen iPhone speculation and it would seem the rumor mill has already begun churning. Digitimes claims “sources from the upstream supply chain” indicate Apple will release a large 5-inch iPhone (iPhone 6?) in May 2014 and a large 12.9-inch iPad (iPad Max?) in October 2014. As smartphone screen sizes have gotten progressively larger over the years, Apple has (in true Apple fashion) been slow to make evolutionary changes to the iPhone. This changed with the iPhone 5, when the company lengthened the phone, increasing the screen size disproportionately. However, other manufacturers continue to dominate the “phablet” market, such as Samsung with the wildly successful Galaxy S4 and Note II. As Forbes alludes, the new iPhone model will prove beneficial for iPhone 5c, which was touted as a lower cost iPhone, as it will push its price lower and make it more accessible to consumers, in say, China.
Is Apple throttling potential profits from the iPhone 5s by releasing a new model so soon? In the past, Apple has released a new iPhone each year late summer or early autumn. The iPhone 5s hit shelves just this past summer, and if the May 2014 rumor is accurate, the company has never launched two iPhones so close together (with exception of the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s). Some speculate Apple may being pushing out newer phones sooner in an effort to keep up with the rapid evolution and release cycle of Android-based smartphones.