The iPhone 6 will be a big deal for Apple when it’s released sometime this year, said a well-known analyst, adding that he believes the company will charge more for it than the iPhone 5s.
Andy Hargreaves at Pacific Crest said that Apple’s latest smartphone upgraded the the Cupertino, Calif.-based company to “outperform”–an improvement over “sector perform.”
He said the new phone will cost $635, which is about $100 more than usual, according to a report from Business Insider on Tuesday.
Apple, he said, will release a 4.7-inch version of the iPhone 6 sometime in the fall–a release date that is fairly consistent with other rumors as well as notes issued by other analysts. Apple has released its previous iPhone models during the fall. Some reports said the iPhone 6 would come out as early as May or June.
Regarding the price increase, Hargreaves said that Apple consumers are relatively wealthy, and they will spend the extra money to get an upgrade and a larger phone. Last year, Apple’s iPhone 5c did poorly compared to the iPhone 5s, even though it cost $100 less than the 5s model.
As a result, Hargreaves believes that consumers would be willing to pay more. He also said that Samsung charges $299 for the Note, which is a larger, 6-inch smartphone.
“While many observers have chided Apple for a ‘lack of innovation’ over the last two years, we do not expect a linear path to commercially successful new product categories,” Hargreaves told Business Insider.
“Instead, Apple is likely to choose its opportunities and timing extraordinarily carefully and release new products or services only when it feels it has the best chance to succeed, which does not mean it is not innovative, just that it is not dumb.”
But contrary to other rumors, Hargreaves said he envisions only a 4.7-inch model and not a larger variant.
Another report on Tuesday said the iPhone 6 “phablet”–which appears to be different than the normal iPhone 6 model–will be inspired by the iPhone 5c.
Apple Insider wrote that “the external design will take numerous cues from the company’s mid-range iPhone 5c, as well as its seventh-generation iPod nano.” It cited a Japanese blog as its source.
“The new models are apparently a cross between the design of the iPhone 5c and the seventh-generation iPod nano. According to the source, the new, larger iPhone won’t be a replacement for the existing iPhone 5c, but will be akin to a higher-end model,” it reads.
Last week, GT Advance Technologies Inc.–which is slated to provide sapphire glass for some of Apple’s new products–said in a report that in the second half of 2014, its profits are expected to rise, suggesting that the iPhone 6 could come later in the year.
“Our results for the December quarter were in line with our guidance, and the anticipated growth trajectory of our business remains unchanged,”stated Tom Gutierrez, president and CEO at GT Advance Technologies. “We expect to return to profitability during the second half of 2014.”
He added: “We are pleased to have Apple as a sapphire customer and to be in a position to leverage our proprietary know-how to enable the supply of this versatile material.”