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New iPhone models predicted

TAIPEI -- Taiwanese companies in the Apple Inc. supply chain have begun preparations to produce parts for new iPhone models likely to be launched in the third quarter of this year, First Capital Management said in a research note yesterday.

With the smartphone industry gradually maturing, Apple Inc. is expected to adopt a dual screen-size iPhone strategy this year to cater to the growing trend toward larger displays and better resolution, said the company, a subsidiary of First Financial Holding Co.

Apple will launch a 4-inch iPhone 5S, an upgraded version of the iPhone 5, and a brand new iPhone model with a 4.8-inch display in the second half of the year, the research note said.

In preparation for the launch of these two new iPhone models, local parts manufacturers have begun preparing materials for test production in the second quarter and shipments in the third quarter.

Combined shipments of the iPhone 5S and 4.8-inch new iPhones will reach 32 million units in the third quarter and 67 million units in the fourth quarter, the research note predicted.

Besides Apple Inc., other major smartphone makers are also expected to release various flagship devices with displays in the 4.7- to 5-inch range, the report said.

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