According to Chris Whitmore, an analyst at Deutsche Bank, we won’t see a new iPhone this September, but two: a lower-end one, known as the iPhone 4S, and an iPhone 5. Could Apple be looking to target customers with lower budgets?
According to Whitmore, Apple may be trying to capitalize on the demise of older smartphone platforms, such as Blackberry, in order to win over a different range of customers:
With Nokia and RIMM struggling, the time is right for Apple to aggressively penetrate the mid range smart-phone market,
While the iPhone 5 would be the direct successor to the iPhone 4, the iPhone 4S would meet the needs of lower-end customers. Instead of being monetized through a contract, the 4S would be a prepaid phone priced at $350, with plans similar to those found on the iPad today, allowing users to only pay for the data or calls they need, when they need it. The upfront price would be higher, but the lack of commitment could be seen as an advantage to some users.
How likely is an analyst supposed to be right? If they don’t have any inside sources, not much, since they only rely on existing reports to make their judgments. Whether that’s the case with this report or not, it’s indeed in line with previous speculation over what Apple’s next iPhone is expected to look like.
Over the last few months, reports of a next-generation iPhone have been confusing, at best. While some sources pointed to a smaller update with upgraded hardware but with the same casing, other predicted a whole new redesign. Just last week, a rumor surfaced, allegedly from a “trusted source”, alleging that the next iPhone would indeed include a new casing, less than 24 hours before being contradicted by another source.
Back in February, Apple COO Tim Cook hinted at a prepaid phone or more precisely a less expensive iPhone, explaining that Apple understood the needs of all customers, “not just the rich” and that the company wasn’t willing to give up any market.
If this analyst’s view is based on actual sources, it could explain why reports have been so contradictory, maybe more than ever. We likely won’t know for sure until the next-generation iPhone is actually announced, which is expected to happen at Apple’s annual music event, in the first half of September, most likely along with refreshed iPod models and the final version of iOS 5.
(via Business Insider)