It's hard to beat the prescience of market analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who accurately predicted Apple's forthcoming iDevices and Macs last year. Now, according to AppleInsider, he's saying we will indeed be seeing an iPhone 5S with a fingerprint sensor, a low-cost iPhone with a plastic case, and an iPad mini with a higher-resolution screen. That's the good news. The bad news is that each of these technologies are causing the devices to be delayed. Kuo says Apple is finding the fingerprint sensor, which will be used for secure access and other purposes and which will appear under the home button, difficult to engineer because of interference from the coating under the cover glass. In addition, the plastic case for the low-cost iPhone is a challenge because of the difficulty of coating and surface treatment for such a slim device. And the higher resolution of the iPad mini display also is presenting technical challenges.
The upshot is many of these devices may come later than many are expecting, Kuo says. Still, he's pegging August as the expected date of arrival. The truth is, Apple itself may not know. It all depends on how things come together. What we do know is Apple will do everything possible to get it right rather than come out with an inferior product. Here's Kuo's Apple product roadmap for this year: