According to a Deutsche Bank analyst, we might soon see two new iPhone models as soon as September. Chris Whitmore recently issued a note to his clients describing to them the strong possibility of Apple designing one altogether new iPhone 5, for the high range of smartphones, as well as an iPhone 4S, a simple incremental upgrade to the iPhone 4, to try and gain ground on consumer-level mid-range smartphones, where Android rules uncontested.
The analyst at Deutsche Bank stated that “With Nokia and RIM struggling, the time is right for Apple to aggressively penetrate the mid range smart-phone market (i.e. $300-500 range) to dramatically expand its [total addressable market] and market share.”
What to expect in the new iPhone models
He adds that an iPhone 4S, with lower specs but good App support and a pre-paid voice plan, would be key to Apple’s success in this market region. Although in the US, carriers release their phones contract-only, covering the phone costs with the monthly bills, in many countries, consumers would rather buy a phone with money upfront and use a pre-paid SIM card, making such high-end products such as the iPhone 4 a hard product to purchase.
However, with a price rolling around $350 for an iPhone 4S, Apple could gain more followers in places such as Asia or Africa.
While Whitmore’s projections are reasonable, another analyst had a different opinion.
According to Mike Abamsky, working for RBC, Apple may not bother releasing a mid-range product, but make the iPhone 3GS free with a carrier contract. While the principle that something free is more attractive than something cheap is not a completely faulty one, there are two main problems with this prediction.
Firstly, a carrier contract-phone would indeed be useful, as it would provide easy means to assess the success of the operation, and give the chance to many consumers who simply want a basic phone, but acknowledge Apple’s sounding success in this field. However, it would not address the problem mentioned earlier, with many consumers around the globe preferring to buy a phone with cash.
Secondly, the iPhone 3GS is hardly a desired product in this day of age. Sporting antiquated software and specifications, inferior to many free smartphones currently on the market, it would only find consumers that want to buy an iPhone, but can’t yet afford a big monthly bill. While I am sure there are people in that situation, I would gather there are more people who are neutral to Apple and would rather buy a smartphone with a higher specification and greater app support within the same contract.
Recently, we’ve shared with you a teardrop design that the iPhone 5 could have. Can it be that the iPhone will have a totally different design while the cheaper version will continue using the same aspect?
All in all, although Chris Whitmore’s prediction is the most sound out there, without any real confirmation for the California-based company, it will remain a simple prediction.