Analyst: Apple iPhone 5S Production to Begin This Month

Apple is gearing up to begin production on the iPhone 5S later this month with the goal of releasing it in late September or early October, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek wrote in a note to investors this morning.

In addition to the iPhone 5S, Apple also last month started production of the much-rumored lower-cost iPhone, which will be priced at around $300 to $400, he added.

Misek believes Apple will put in orders for 25 to 30 million iPhone units during the fall quarter, then ramp up to 50 to 55 million units during the holiday period. For the quarter beginning in December, Apple plans to build around 5 million iPhone 4S handsets, 20 million low-cost iPhones, and 25 million iPhone 5S handsets. He didn’t mention the iPhone 5 $603.49 at Amazon.

“Although the large build plan indicates Apple’s confidence in the new product launches, we remain cautious as our checks indicate mostly incremental feature upgrades for the iPhone 5S,” the report notes. “The Galaxy S4 $599.99 at Amazon continues to take share and the iPhone 5S will also have to compete with Google’s Moto X phone.”

So if you were hoping the iPhone 5S would look completely different than its predecessors, you better not hold your breath.

We should note that Misek’s past predictions haven’t always been completely accurate. The analyst previously forecasted that iPhone 5S production would begin in March for a June or July release. In addition, last year he incorrectly predicted that the launch of an Apple-branded television set was near.

His latest forecast does, however, follow reports that contract manufacturing giant Foxconn has been recruiting factory workers to build Apple’s next iPhone. The Foxconn hiring push is being conducted “specifically for production of a new iPhone model,” according to a recent DigiTimes report.

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