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iPad 5 rumor rollup for the week ending May 29

John Cox | May 31, 2013
12.9-inch iPad hilarity, September mourn, the yet-cheaper iPad.

We learn from Ray that Yeung bases his analysis in part on the work of colleague Kevin Chang, "who wrote in a separate note that his surveys of...[Apple's] electronics suppliers in Asia, suggest we continue to see weak demand for iPhone 5 but surprising demand sustainability for iPhone 4/4S,'" according to Ray. Chang estimates, since Apple doesn't break out sales by model, that these two older models may account for two-thirds of total iPhone shipments in the December 2013 quarter.

He also argues that iPad mini sales are "weakening" and Apple "may attempt to counter with lower-priced models," according to Ray. Chang again: "It seems that Apple is gradually seeing more impact from sub-US$200 offerings from Google, Amazon and other PC brands. Besides the retina display iPad Mini, we also expect Apple to launch a lower cost iPad Mini in the Dec Q (similar screen resolution with a cheaper mechanical design) priced at around US$200-250, to defend its market share."

Yeung then concludes, "From these data points, we detect an unsurprising pattern to lower-end mix that we view as part of a natural and inevitable trend for Apple and indeed the entire mobile device industry." This "inevitable" trend seems related to the rapid penetration of smartphones globally: "In a simplistic sense, at this level of global handset penetration, the market for new mobile-cellular hardware is now approaching a replacement-only market," Yeung writes.

How Apple actually assesses this changing market and how it responds is still a mystery. So far, it has not segmented the iPhone product line into differently priced models; the iPad mini is so far the only attempt to do so for its tablet line, and it's not clear whether buyers purchase it because it's a cheaper iPad (which seems to be the conventional wisdom) or because it's a smaller iPad.

The Citi data actually reveals that Apple already has lower priced iPads and iPhones: the older models that are selling "surprisingly" well, at least in the case of iPhone.

iPad 5 will be released after the September release of iPhone 6 or 5S, whatever
The Next iPad will be released "in time for Christmas," is how the iOSphere is summing this rumor up.

This week's paean to a September morn is courtesy of the Japanese tech site Macotakara, which recently published an account of the long-expected "cheap edition iPhone" which "will be produced during July September for shipping," according to the Google Translate version. 

At the very end, Macotakara dropped in a few sentences about the Next iPad: "Last information is for iPad 5th generation. The source told me that back microphone hole, which was removed from iPod mini [presumably a typo for iPad mini'] product however it was placed on prototype, will be added on this new iPod [ditto]. And he told iPad 5th may support standard SIM [rather] than only support data-SIM. Unfortunately, new iPad will be shipped after iPhone 5S, the source said."

 

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