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Analyst Brian White with Topeka Capital Markets is in Taipei this week, meeting with local contacts in the supply chain, and attending the 2012 Computex Show that is expected to see 120,000 visitors. While speaking with his supply chain sources, he picked up word that Apple is set to have an "exciting" September.
Specifically, he expects Apple's next-generation iPhone is more likely to launch in the month of September, rather than October. Last year, the iPhone 4S debuted in October, which was a few months later than the iPhone launch window that Apple had utilized in prior years.
People in the Taiwanese supply chain also discussed with White the belief that the next iPhone will feature a unibody aluminum casing manufactured by Foxconn. However, White also said his industry contact was "skeptical" about the prospect of Apple using material from Liquidmetal Technologies, an amorphous metal that Apple has exclusive rights to in consumer electronic products.
Last week, a number of parts allegedly from Apple's next iPhone began to surface online, and one of them showed what appeared to be a largely aluminum back with small pieces of glass at the top and bottom of the device. The component also suggested the next iPhone will be slightly taller, to accommodate a larger 4-inch screen, and would also see the headphone jack moved to the bottom of the device.
White also believes that Apple could unveil a new iPad "mini" in September. Numerous recent reports have suggested that Apple has been experimenting with a smaller 7.85-inch iPad that would pack in the same 1,024-by-768-pixel screen resolution as the first-generation iPad and iPad 2, allowing applications to run without modification and for the device to be branded a Retina display.
Topeka Capital Markets has a 12-month price target of $1,111 for AAPL stock. White believes Apple's current valuation does not reflect the growth the company has delivered in recent years, nor future growth prospects.