When it comes to Apple, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White has a mixed track record. He was the first Apple watcher to reveal that the company planned to launch an iPad mini, though details were scarce at the time, and he also was the first with sources who pointed to an iPhone being made available in several new colors last year. White has also had some big misses though, and he famously suggested that Apple was working on an iTV controlled by an “iRing,” that would be worn on the user’s finger — which seems… unlikely.
With White’s recent hits and misses in mind, his latest note could go either way. According to the analyst, Apple’s larger 5.5-inch iPhone will launch sooner than expected this year.
“Our research at Computex highlights that the majority of the accessory makers we interacted with today have already begun production in support of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6,” White wrote in a note to clients on Wednesday morning. “During our China/Taiwan Tech Tour in April, we met with a small number of accessory makers that had started initial production of accessories for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 but not the 5.5-inch version, but today’s research highlights a much broader ramp of the 4.7-inch version.”
He continued, “Also at Computex, we noticed that a few vendors had already started work on accessories for the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 and the pieces were available at the show. Given the lack of data points in recent months around progress with the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 and growing skepticism in the media around a 2014 launch, we view this as a positive development. Based on today’s research, we believe the timing of the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 launch appears to be in sync with our expectation around the unveiling (i.e., September) of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6.”
According to reports, Apple will release its 4.7-inch iPhone 6 in or around September, and then the bigger 5.5-inch iPhone phablet will launch closer to the holidays.
Apple’s new 2014 iPhone models are expected to feature a big design overhaul with thinner cases and rounded edges, and they are also expected to feature Apple’s new A8 processor and NFC.