Apple will release a mid-range handset for prepaid users as well as a high-end superphone come the fall, forecasts Deutsche Bank analyst.
In a note sent to investors Monday, Deutsche Bank's Chris Whitmore outlines his belief that there won't be just one new iPhone come September, but two.
"With Nokia and RIM struggling," wrote Whitmore, "the time is right for Apple to aggressively penetrate the mid-range smartphone market (i.e. $300-500 category) to dramatically expand its [total addressable market] and market share."
In other words, Whitmore is sort of resurrecting the iPhone Nano rumors, only it won't be called the iPhone Nano and it won't be smaller. Instead, he believes the mid-range version will be called the iPhone 4S, and the high-end version will be called the iPhone 5. Where the iPhone 4S will be a lightly revised version of the iPhone 4, the iPhone 5 will be a brand new device.
The idea of an iPhone Nano--a smaller, cheaper iPhone--floated around the Internet for years. The entire reason for Apple to make such a device would be to help it penetrate more markets. By offering a smaller phone that's more affordable, Apple could gain new customers.
The same theory applies to Whitmore's iPhone 4S. This supposedly cheaper device would be a prime candidate for the prepaid market. Whitmore thinks the price would be approximately $349, and the device would be available unlocked. This could help Apple conquer some of the 1 billion people across 98 countries who prefer prepaid services to postpaid.
Speculation of what Apple will announce in September has been rampant for six months or more. This year is the first since 2008 that Apple has broken its annual June refresh cycle for the iPhone. It has been suggested that Apple is delaying the iPhone 4S/5 (or whatever they'll be called) because iOS 5 isn't ready yet. Apple's new system software is prepared to debut this fall. Whatever the reason for the delay, the September launch date has been cited consistently.
What's the potential impact for enterprise customers?
The iPhone 5 is apparently lined up to be the iPhone 4's successor. Businesses that need to arm their mobile professionals with powerful smartphones will likely choose this device, as it will be the more capable of the two when it comes to processing power, wireless technologies, and so on. But that doesn't mean savvy businesses should count out the iPhone 4S. The idea of a slightly lower cost device might appeal to budget-constrained IT departments.
Consider that the full retail price (without carrier subsidies) of the iPhone 4 is $599 or $699, depending on the model chosen. With carrier subsidies--and two-year contracts--the iPhone 4 costs $199 or $299. The iPhone 5 would probably demand similar pricing, but those two-year contracts can be killer. The iPhone 4S, however, at $349 with no contract requirement sounds like a bargain.
Is this how things will play out? Obviously, no one but Apple knows for sure.
Virtual Event: Business Mobility Unleashed. Zero in on the top mobile technologies and techniques to ensure your organization thrives in the wireless world. Learn about strategies and products that offer remote user applications support, Wi-Fi management, security features, and device management. Our virtual event happens Thursday, July 14. Register now.
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security EnterpriseTo learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
2017 State of IT ReportIn today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.