Expect no major facelift in the upcoming iPhone 5S following reports that Apple is dialling down its budget allocation for component purchases in Q1 2013.
According to iDownloadBlog.com, Apple plans to spend some $US904 million in the March quarter for its device parts acquisitions, representing a huge slowdown from the tech giant's manufacturing expenditures in Q2 2012, then reaching $US4.5 billion.
The figures suggested that Apple plans to use up first its components inventory, leading analysts to predict that what consumers will see in the iPhone 5S are hardly different from the iPhone 5 that they first saw in September 2012.
"The decrease is likely due to iPhone 5S not requiring significant hardware changes," the report quoted Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty as saying.
This assertion is supportive of earlier suggestions that Apple will opt for a slight refresh of the iPhone 5 this year. According to KGI Securities, the tech firm will issue the iPhone 5S by Q3 2013, with slight revisions, primarily by deploying the new A7 chips with the smartphone.
It is likely too that the iPhone 5S will sport more storage space with no extra cost for Apple owing to its recent upgrade of the iPad 4, now enjoying a capacious 128GB of built-in memory. Deals on fresh NAND components secured by the firm are likely to benefit all its product line for the better part of 2013, Ms Huberty said.
But the apparent lull in innovation jumps is only momentary as Apple has already set aside some $US10 billion for capital expenditures on its current fiscal year, prompting analyst to offer that the huge injections will likely finance new product introductions in the few years ahead.
It is expected that Apple will ramp up its product overhauls in the upcoming quarters, leading to the release of new iPhone variants, including the rollouts of low-cost versions and large-screen editions.
Needless to say, Apple is trying to match the successful market tactic that propelled Samsung to the top of the global smartphone competition. Reports persistently suggest that Apple will soon issue an affordable iPhone make that will battle it out with the cheaper Galaxy smartphones.
Apple is also reportedly mulling the release of a wide-screen iPhone to counter the growing dominance of Samsung's Galaxy Note 2.