FORTUNE -- I can never tell with analysts who go on extended walkabouts in the Far East if they're getting the inside dope from their contacts in Apple's (AAPL) supply chain or if they're just getting spun.
Case in point: Topeka Capital's Brian White, who has been filing dispatches from China and Taiwan for more than a week.
On Day 3 of his trip he came away from meetings with unnamed component suppliers convinced that Apple is getting ready to launch:
On Day 6, the buzz was that China's mobile Internet is at an inflection point and "ready to explode."
On Day 7 he met with Huawei, ZTE and an unnamed tech supply chain company. According to Tuesday's note to clients, he walked away from those meetings persuaded that Apple will release the iPhone 5S this summer in at least two and possible three screen sizes.
"Essentially, we believe Apple is coming around to the fact that one size per iPhone release does not work for everyone and offering consumers an option has the potential to expand the Company's market share. As part of this summer launch, we believe a lower-priced iPhone will be released, as we have previously discussed; however, our research is now indicating that we should not expect the price to dip below US$300."
Finally, he passes along this tidbit about Apple's chief competitor in the smartphone market: "Despite the media hype around Samsung, our contact is confident that Samsung will ultimately lose the mobile device battle to Apple because he believes Apple's products are superior."
As I say, it's hard to tell if we're getting the inside story from these guys, or just getting spun.
Topeka's Brian White is sticking with $888. Bernstein's Toni Sacconaghi is still at $725.
FORTUNE -- After a string of analysts dropping their price targets in lockstep with Apple's (AAPL) falling shares, it's refreshing to hear from a couple of guys who haven't lowered their targets. Or at least not lately.
Bernstein's Toni Sacconaghi ($725, down from $800 last December) weighed in Tuesday with his views on the much-rumored Apple iWatch. He's MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 19, 2013 12:53 PM ET
Behind the reports that triggered a flurry of Apple analysts' revisions
FORTUNE -- At least five top Apple (AAPL) analysts lowered their price targets last weekend based on reports that the company had reduced some parts orders for the iPhone 5 in its Asian supply chain.
In a note to clients issued early Tuesday, Topeka's Brian White took a closer look at those order changes. His conclusion: "we believe the doomsday scenarios MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 18, 2012 8:28 AM ET
How exactly did Brian White come up with that number?
When last we heard from Ticonderoga's Brian White, a few hours after Apple (AAPL) reported its Q1 2012 earnings, he was reiterating the 12-month price target he had set the previous July: "Apple crushes even the most optimistic expectations," he wrote. "$666 here we come."
Two days later, Ticonderoga closed up shop.
On Monday White resurfaced at a new firm, Topeka Capital, with a MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 2, 2012 11:33 AM ET
Prospered in last year's economic storms, prepared for even rougher weather ahead
"During 2011," writes Ticonderoga's Brian White in a note to clients Tuesday, "Apple was the best performer in our universe of twenty companies, rising by 26%."
Yet despite Apple's (AAPL) recent gains -- and what he expects will be "rougher" waters head -- White is again recommending the stock as his top pick for 2012. Among his reasons:
His expectation that MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 3, 2012 8:18 AM ET
Rumors of a slowdown in iPhone 4S sales called "off base." iPad may be a different story
[UPDATE: As several readers pointed out, Apple's share price was also hit Wednesday, along with the rest of the market, by the news out of Europe, and by the end of the day had suffered less than the NASDAQ, which fell 3.88% to Apple's 2.7%. Thursday, however, was a different story. By early afternoon, MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 9, 2011 10:56 AM ET
Bodes well for Friday's launch in 15 countries -- and maybe mainland China by December
Ticonderoga's Brian White, who has been keeping as close tabs on Apple's (AAPL) prospects in China as any Western analyst, reported Monday that pre-orders for the iPhone 4S ended almost as soon as they began in China last Friday.
According to his checks, pre-orders were sold out in Hong Kong 10 minutes after Apple started taking them. MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 7, 2011 10:24 AM ET
An analyst looks at Apple as an investment opportunity today and likes what he sees
"We would rather own Apple than any other tech company in the current environment."
So writes Ticonderoga's Brian White in a note to clients issued Monday, the day before Apple's (AAPL) Oct. 4 iPhone event.
White has taken a look at the performance of Apple shares over the past two weeks and come to the same conclusion Bullish Cross' MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 3, 2011 9:08 AM ET
Research in Motion's loss is Apple's gain, as the stock closes at $400.50 for the day
Apple's (AAPL) shares jumped Friday morning in reaction to Research in Motion's (RIMM) earnings report the night before. The iPhone 5 will "steamroll" the new BlackBerry 7, wrote Ticonderoga's Brian White in a morning-after note to clients. "We believe it is only a matter of time before the iPhone and iPad challenge RIMM's enterprise dominance."
Apple MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Sep 16, 2011 12:33 PM ET
Greeted with long lines and stock outs when it arrived in Hong Kong this week
In a note to clients Friday, Ticonderoga's Brian White reported that the new MacBook Air -- which was launched in the U.S. more than four weeks ago -- was greeted with long lines and stock outs when it finally arrived in Hong Kong this week.
Not only did stores run out of certain MacBook Air models, but MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 26, 2011 7:40 AM ET
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