Apple could bring out the successor to the iPhone 5 sooner than we think, followed by another smartphone towards the end of this year. The dual launch has to happen to compete with Samsung, as the Korean company is releasing multiple mobile devices this year. People familiar with Apple's production schedule are suggesting that we may see another device launch as early as this summer. It's rumored that production has already begun on the next device.
Apple is simultaneously attempting to bring a cheaper phone to the market, working on this concept with its manufacturers in Asia. We can expect to see that phone release later on this year, which suggests that the summer release will be the iPhone 5S, followed by the iPhone 6. To offer a less expensive version of the iPhone, Apple will more than likely change the phone's casing, opting for a cheaper material.
The Cupertino, Calif.-based company is facing new pressures in the mobile market, as consumers demand cheaper products. Samsung is giving Apple some fierce completion with its release of a line of affordable devices that continue to gain in popularity. Pre-orders for the recently announced Samsung Galaxy S4 begin later this month and Samsung is already working on the Galaxy Note 3.
An analyst at research firm Strategy Analytics, Neil Mawston, said, "There isn't really any major differentiator between the players at this phase." He also explained that Apple may need to launch more products faster, like Samsung is doing and said, "You have to do the traditional business school implementations like manage costs and move quicker than rivals." Samsung has been gaining share of handset shipment as well as profits.
As the Wall Street Journal reported, Strategy Analytics said that Samsung's worldwide smartphone shipments rose from 21 percent in 2011 to 25 percent last year. Apple is still holding its own, with an increase from 6 percent in 2011 to 8.6 percent last year, in comparison.
As for what to expect with the next iPhone, that is still unclear. As with previous models, Apple is likely to upgrade device components like the processor and camera. Apple's Chief Executive Tim Cook has been reluctant to provide any information. During an investor conference earlier this year, Cook said that Apple "wouldn't do anything that we consider not a great product."