The next-gen iPhone rumors continue to come thick & fast, and building on the talk of there being two devices in the wild right now – an iPhone 4S to give developers a taste of the Apple A5 dual-core processor, and the advanced iPhone 5 with more groundbreaking specs – there’s now word from analysts to expect both to go on sale. According to Deutsche Bank’s Chris Whitmore, Fortune reports, investors should count on seeing both devices hit the market in September, as part of Apple’s attempt to capture the mid-range smartphone segment.
“With Nokia and RIM struggling, the time is right for Apple to aggressively penetrate the mid range smart-phone market (i.e. $300-500 category) to dramatically expand its [total addressable market] and market share.” Chris Whitmore, analyst, Deutsche Bank
Whitmore predicts an affordable iPhone 4S, priced at around $349, and offered with a pre-paid voice plan. Such a strategy would “drive significantly greater penetration” into markets where contract agreements are less popular. According to earlier rumors, the iPhone 4S is outwardly similar to the existing iPhone 4 but has a faster processor and other upgraded internals.
That would leave the iPhone 5 to take the high-end market, it’s suggested; leaks have tipped a dramatic redesign inspired by the MacBook Air, with a tapering metal chassis, larger display and other enhancements. Nonetheless, it’s worth bearing in mind that the call for a cheaper iPhone – or “iPhone nano” – has been ongoing since Apple announced the first-gen model, and with no evidence to back up his claims this could all just be wishful thinking.
Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty has suggested that Apple will begin mass production of the fifth-gen iPhone in August, AppleInsider reports, ahead of a late Q3 2011 release. Although she makes no specific mention of the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5, Huberty does claim that Apple is expecting a significant iPhone unit increase next year “on the back of new products and potentially lower price points.”