By Jim Karpen updated on 08/29/2013
Apple's stock has really been jumping up the past week. After having dropped below 400, it's now well over 500 and heading up. Excitement is building, thanks to rumors of a Sept. 10 launch event for the new iPhones. Yet more photos of a champagne-colored iPhone 5S have appeared, seemingly confirming that Apple will be expanding its palette of colors, not only for the polycarbonate low-cost iPhone 5C but also for the iPhone 5S.
Big questions remain, though: how much will Apple charge for the low-cost iPhone, and will it discontinue all earlier low-end models in favor of the iPhone 5C? An interesting post today on AppleInsider says that Apple will drop the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5, but retain the iPhone 4S as its low-end device. The iPhone 5C will be its mid-range phone.
How much will the device cost? No one knows, of course, but AppleInsider shares the speculation of a market analyst who says an unsubsidized iPhone 5C will cost between $400 and $500, and an unsubsidized iPhone 4S between $300 and $400. Time will tell.
A separate post on AppleInsider says Apple will manufacture 5.2 million iPhone 5S models this quarter and 8.4 million iPhone 5C units. The reason Apple will make more iPhone 5C units isn't because it expects to sell more but because of the challenges inherent in manufacturing the 5S, with its fingerprint sensor and other new technologies. In contrast, the iPhone 5C is very similar to the current iPhone 5, but with a polycarbonate casing, so it's easier to make.
Rumors continue to suggest the Sept. 10 event will focus on the iPhone and that Apple will launch new iPad models later, likely in October. It's amazing how predictable these cycles have become. Photos of the white/silver casing for the new iPad and iPad mini models have been leaked online. Again, they seem to confirm that the 9.7-inch iPad will have a form factor similar to the current iPad mini and will be smaller, thinner, and lighter.
How much lighter is a key question for me. Until Apple comes out with the large iPad at a weight that's close to that of my iPad mini, I'll likely keep my iPad 2. It's expected the new iPad will be about 25 percent lighter.