According to a research report from RBC analyst Capital Markets analyst Amit Daryanani, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) rumored lower cost iPhone may not carry a Retina Display. Daryanani cited supply chain checks for his report and mentioned a June/July timeframe for both the iPhone 5S and the lower cost iPhone.
Our supply-chain checks indicate that AAPL is working to launch multiple new phones in the June/July time-frame this year. Specifically, AAPL will launch the iPhone5s and a more affordable but lower-end iPhone at the same time, in either late CYQ2 or early Q3. The low-end iPhone will have the same 4″ form factor as the iPhone5 but will have plastic casing and no retina display. With a lower price-point, AAPL will be able to target a growing and important part of the Smartphone market (sub-$400 price-band).
It is possible that a lower-cost iPhone could omit the Retina Display as that would allow for a better battery life and a cheaper price tag for consumers. However, Daryanani’s report note about the iPhone not carrying a Retina Display conflicts with earlier reports from KGI securities analyst Ming Chi-Kuo who reported that the low cost iPhone would carry a 4 inch display with 326 pixels per inch. This is the same number of pixels on every iPhone model since the release of the iPhone 4 and on every iPod touch since the 4th generation iPod.
Although the lack of a Retina Display does make sense to reduce costs, it is unlikely that Apple will take a step back on its iOS devices and strip away a feature that should be standard on every device. The new display is currently seen on devices in Apple’s iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch lineups and is even rumored to be included in the next generation of the iPad mini.
The Retina Display is also included on the iPhone 4, which is currently free with a two year contract in the United States. Since the release of iPhone 4, the Retina Display has been a standard feature on iOS devices, much like FaceTime on the company’s new releases.
Apple has required all developers to make their applications compatible with the iPhone 5’s and 5th generation iPod touch’s 4 inch Retina Display. This means that the company is making sure that all apps on the App Store are compatible with the current lineup of devices, as well as future devices.