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.
Buy the news, sell the rumor.
FORTUNE -- Tuesday was another strange one for Apple's (AAPL) beleagued shares.
With the caveat that it's always dangerous to attribute reason to something as irrational as the stock market, this is how it looked to me:
The stock opened strong -- despite a wishy-washy Goldman Sachs note and a bizarre Jim Cramer rant -- on news that Tim Cook's apology to China seemed to have done MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 2, 2013 4:43 PM ET
The Apple faithful are getting restless for new products.
By Kurt Wagner, reporter
FORTUNE -- As if a plunging stock price, slowing earnings growth, and customer-service woes in China weren't enough, Apple hasn't released a new product since October, when it released the iPad Mini. In three of the past four years, Apple has held a signature new-product event in March, but not this year. Were the company to wait until MOREApr 2, 2013 7:23 AM ET
Jefferies' Apple specialist flew in from Asia with a sack full of predictions
FORTUNE -- There's a lot to digest in Peter Misek's note to clients Monday. Just back from a visit to some of Apple's (AAPL) Asian suppliers, Jefferies' managing director has a lot to say about the rate at which current products are being manufactured and what future products -- including the iPhone 6 -- are floating around in prototype MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 10, 2012 12:14 PM ET
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