Apple is slated to release two new iPhone’s this year, with one aimed down-market, according to industry watchers.
“Our checks confirm that two versions of iPhones will be introduced this year,” Daniel Amir, semiconductor analyst, Lazard Capital Markets told clients today. “Production of the new phones should start at the beginning of April and will ramp in May.”
The iPhone has become the benchmark touchscreen phone since it was introduced. Mike Abramsky of the Royal Bank of Canada doesn't see iPhone-3G-like explosion of attention or growth like Apple enjoyed last year, however.
“We believe it is possible that the two phones will be aimed at different regions. The high-end version is expected in North America and Europe, and the low-end version may be for the BRIC countries [Brazil, Russia, India, and China] or China only”—Amir, Lazard.
The Cupertino, California-based company had already sold about 13.7 million iPhones over the past four quarters, more than quadruple Palm’s shipments over a comparable period. RIM shipped about 6.7 million BlackBerry’s in its latest quarter alone.
The new iPhone’s are expected to be launched in June, at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, as shares rose to $4.32 to 3.97% at $113.01 in the early trading today.