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
Apple grows 13 times faster than the S&P 500 but trades at a 40% discount ex cash
FORTUNE -- You can add Topeka Capital's Brian White to the growing chorus of sell-side analysts coming to Apple's (AAPL) defense after an eight-week slide that at Friday's intraday low had knocked 28% off its share price and $187 billion off its market cap. (See What's eating Apple?)
"The sell-off," White wrote his clients Monday, "has MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 19, 2012 9:14 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
|GM's recalled Cobalt was a failure from the start|
|Your Internet security relies on a few volunteers|
|Why you should pay off your car loan ASAP|
|Lara Spencer promoted to 'Good Morning America' co-host|
|Americans have fallen in love with real estate once again|