Mizuho Securities analyst, Abhey Lamba, released a note to investors on Wednesday saying his "checks in Asia and Japan" indicate that Apple's two new iPhones will be introduced this July. Apple has stuck to a fall timeframe over recent years, and recent developments at its sapphire plant in Arizona suggest we won't see a launch anytime soon. But Lamba's unnamed sources claim "vendors are getting ready" for production earlier than expected. Lamba surmises that the early launch will ensure Apple have ample supply later in the year.
Lamba also goes on to reiterate the persistent rumor that Apple will launch its next iPhone in two different sizes, including a 4.7-inch model and one that's 5.5 inches. We've heard that a number of times already, and may have even caught a glimpse at what the bigger device will look like. Additionally, Apple's Touch ID technology will supposedly be "enhanced" in an effort to support more applications, Lamba said. That seems like an issue having to do with software—it's unclear how he sees Apple further enhancing Touch ID—but perhaps Apple can make it even more accurate and secure.
Another analyst earlier this year said Apple would use a staggered release model, first releasing the 4.7-inch model "as soon as possible," while the other device would hit in late 2014. Frankly, it seems to me like analysts simply throw darts at a board, so there's no telling who is right, and which overseas sources can be trusted. In January, a report from The Wall Street Journal claimed Apple wouldn't release its larger iPhones until the second half of 2014, likely in September or October.