Analyst: All Indications Point to an Early 2013 iPhone Mini, iPhone 6 Launch for Apple

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By Erik Pineda | January 8, 2013 11:11 AM EST

Call it iPhone 5S or iPhone 6 but analysts are firmly convinced that Apple will introduced two smartphone versions this year - a low-end edition and likely to be named iPhone Mini for a still undetermined debut date and the regular configuration that the tech giant aims to rollout as early as June 2013.

Apple, according to Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley, saw gigantic sales surge via the iPhone 5 in the December quarter and to sustain that usual leap, the company is all set to expand its iPhone flavour by offering two screen sizes and possibly more colourful casings for its smartphone apart from the black and white that consumers have seen in the past half-decade.

In effect, Mr Walkley echoed earlier forecasts by analysts that Apple is upping the tempo of its battle with Android phones currently leading the smartphone market. It goes without saying that the U.S. firm is gunning to regain the industry leadership from its arch-nemesis Samsung.

This time around, Apple is all willing to skirmish the Samsung-way.

"Apple could potentially launch a lower-end iPhone focused on more price-sensitive pre-paid markets, as we believe consumers in markets such as China, Latin America and Eastern Europe would have very strong demand for a more affordably priced 3G iPhone," the Canaccord analyst was reported by BGR News as saying on Monday.

Obviously, the war-plan is to take back the market shares that Samsung had successfully snatched in the past few years on the strength of its Galaxy smartphone onslaught, wielding two blades that captured both the high-end and low-end segments of the market, thanks to the Galaxy S2 and S3 and the Galaxy Note and Note 2 plus the more affordable Galaxy handsets that were geared for the masses.

The new Apple strategy calls for a change in the usual product cycles that were previously followed by the company, Mr Walkley noted, adding that "Apple could launch a higher-end iPhone model by the June quarter versus its more typical September/October timing for a new iPhone launch."

Canaccord's reading also suggested that Apple is not exactly on a desperate mode to kick out Samsung from its current place, the tech titan in fact is riding on a high note and brimming with pride that its iPhone sales for fiscal year 2013 would clock to a high of 173 million units.

On that note, Apple's share value is well-placed to reach the $US750 mark this year, with Mr Walkley projecting that "Apple is well positioned for strong F2013/14 sales and earnings growth driven by new product introductions, including the recently launched iPhone 5, iPad mini, and recently refreshed iPod, MacBook, and iMac lineup."

"Apple's industry-leading software ecosystem and its leading hardware expertise will lead to a strong product cycle for its key products," he added.

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