Security guards stand at the entrance of an Apple store during the release of iPhone 5 in Beijing's Wangfujing shopping district, December 14, 2012. (Photo : Reuters)
The Apple iPhone 5S release date could be as early as May or June of 2013, according to an analyst who specializes in Apple stocks.
The new iteration of Apple's flagship smartphone could also offer different screen sizes and come in five different color schemes: pink, yellow, blue, white & silver and black & slate.
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The educated guesses come from Brian White, an analyst at Topeka Capital Markets.
"Our checks indicate that the next iPhone will have more choices for customers," wrote White in a note to investors.
"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," he said.
"Our checks are also indicating that the next iPhone will offer customers more choice in terms of screen size," he continued.
"Although Apple offers a 4-inch screen on the iPhone 5 and a 3.5-inch screen on the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4, the Company has never offered multiple screen sizes for a single model," wrote White.
"We believe this is about to change with the next iPhone offering different screen sizes that we believe will allow Apple to better bifurcate the market and expand its reach."
Different screen sizes could mean different pricing tiers based on something other than memory capacity.
White seems fairly confident that the next iPhone will be the iPhone 5S, not a jump to an iPhone 6.
It would make more sense for Apple to milk the iPhone 5 for as long as possible, especially if it only wants to release an incremental upgrade.
Sales of the iPhone 5S are rumored to be slower than expected. The latest phone wasn't a huge upgrade from the iPhone 4S in many customers' minds, so many of them didn't snatch up the new version.
So even updated to an iPhone 5S would probably send sales surging. It's okay to be one version behind the latest model, but two? Egos can't handle that kind of bruising.