(Photo : REUTERS/Lucas Jackson )
We saw Apple expand its lineup with the iPad Mini in 2012, and if predictions are correct, Apple will be attacking more size ranges with its iPhone lineup in the years to come. According to a couple analysts, the next iPhone will release in May or June, come in different sizes, and eventually be joined by an iPhone mini down the line.
The iPhone 6, or iPhone 5S according to Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White, will release in a variety of colors and screen sizes.
"Our checks indicate that the next iPhone will have more choices for customers. This entails an expansion in both the color patterns and screen sizes with the next iPhone (i.e., likely called the iPhone 5S) that we currently believe will be launched in May/June with certain supply production starting in March/April," wrote White in a report.
The different screen sizes would allow for Apple to attack multiple price points and better compete with Samsung, which is expected to outpace Apple in 2013 due to the wide variety of products it offers.
"This eventually opens up the possibility for a lower-priced iPhone (i.e., iPhone mini) with a smaller screen size that could allow Apple to further penetrate markets such as China and open up opportunities in India," White said.
In an email interview with Reuters, Neil Mawston, the executive director at Strategy Analytics said that he believes Apple won't unveil a low-priced iPhone mini this year due to its current success, but will have to eventually.
"We think Apple will have to launch an 'iPhone Mini' at some point over the next three years to address the hundreds of millions of prepaid users worldwide that cannot afford the current iPhone," he said. "We expect the iPhone Mini to be more likely next year, in 2014 when ... Apple will be forced to discover fresh growth streams."
The iPhone 6 is expected to come with an HD display, NFC chip, and iOS 7, according to various rumors.
Apple's foray into expanding its iPad lineup with the iPad Mini was a success, and there's good reason to believe the same outcome will apply to the more popular iPhone series.
What do you think of a cheaper, less powerful iPhone mini? Would you pick one up?