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Analyst: Apple To Debut Alternate Version Of iPhone

Ah, the rumor lives on. An analyst has chimed in with his thoughts on Apple's future product lineup. In the mix, you guessed it, is a "lower-cost version of the iPhone." The analyst stops short of calling this device the iPhone Nano, but that's what it's widely believed to be.
Ah, the rumor lives on. An analyst has chimed in with his thoughts on Apple's future product lineup. In the mix, you guessed it, is a "lower-cost version of the iPhone." The analyst stops short of calling this device the iPhone Nano, but that's what it's widely believed to be.Several weeks ago, I wrote that one reason I believe the iPhone Nano is not yet a reality is because no solid sources had emerged from Apple's manufacturing partners in Asia. Looks like that has changed.

Analyst Craig Berger, who works for Wedbush Morgan, issued a note to his clients. In that note, Berger states his belief that, due to checks with Apple suppliers in Asia, a new version of the iPhone will debut some time in the first half of 2009. Whatever this device is called, it will have a lower price point than the existing iPhone products. That could mean that a simplified version of the existing iPhone is in the works, or another form factor altogether.

An excerpt from the note says, "We have incremental checks into the Apple supply chain. First, we see several new Apple products coming in 1H09. Our contacts see a lower-cost version of the iPhone, possibly in mid 2Q. Apparently, Qualcomm is replacing Infineon as the baseband supplier in this device. Some call this device the 'iPhone Nano'; whatever one calls it, we believe this device is on its way." Berger is taking a pretty clear stand with that statement.

What's interesting in that tidbit is that Qualcomm may replace Infineon as the chip supplier. Qualcomm supplies many device OEMs with baseband chips for cell phones. What Berger doesn't speculate about is whether or not this means there will be a CDMA version of the iPhone. Qualcomm is known for its CDMA technology, which Verizon Wireless and Sprint continue to use to operate their cellular networks. Verizon is set to transition its network to LTE technology in the coming years. I'm not sure if such a product makes sense for Apple, but if it were to create a dual-mode CDMA/GSM-capable handset, I could see the possible uses.

In any event, Wedbush Morgan has made its prediction, and it says a different iPhone is on its way some time in the next six months. What do you think?

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