Information on the next Apple iPhone is still dubious and only rumors are growing as to when it is going to be released, what is it going to be called and what features will it boast of.
This summer, Apple has broken its three-year trend of introducing the new generation of iPhone every June. The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) that took place in San Francisco early June emphasized only the software and service advancements Apple made – such as the iCloud, iOS 5 and OS X Lion, and no words on the next iPhone were mentioned.
The earlier rumors said iPhone 5, with its amazing and improved features including a radical new design, will come out this September. Some said, no, the improvement will be slight (or possibly even a downgrading) and the device will be called iPhone 4S and have a lower price tag, aimed for global market and people with mid or lower income. And now some rumors are saying that both iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S will hit the market at the same time this fall.
What made some of these analysts come up with such predictions?
Here are some of the rumors and their reasoning behind it:
*(For the sake of consistency, this article has organized the next possible model of iPhones simply into two categories. “iPhone 4S” in this article will refer to a phone with only a small boost, or even a downgrading, from current iPhone 4. “iPhone 5” will refer to the next flagship iPhone model with redesigned hardware and significant spec improvement)
Two iPhones in September
The latest rumors suggest that Apple is planning to offer two models of iPhone this September.
Chris Whitmore of Deutsche Bank Equity predicts that the iPhone 5 will be the typical Apple’s flagship smartphone with impressive improvements from the current iPhone 4. In addition, Whitmore says, Apple may introduce a lower-end iPhone with the prepay option in order to grab the rest of its smartphone market.
“We believe the time is right for Apple to focus on driving penetration into the mid-range smartphone market and drastically expand its addressable market,” said Whitmore.
While Whitmore didn’t cite inside sources and appears to have based everything on his own, there had been rumors since February that Apple has been developing cheaper iPhones.
iPhone 4S in September and iPhone 5 in 2012
Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu has told Apple Insider that the new iPhone in fall will be an “interim upgrade” with faster processor, better camera, and new iOS 5, but it will not be having significant updates, such as 4G LTE service. The new device with beefy spec is “more likely” to come in 2012, according to Wu. The chief reasoning for the delay of 4G LTE is to wait for the network to expand and improve the battery life to support it.
Macotakara has also reported from an anonymous source that iPhone 4S will be available this fall and iPhone 5 will be released 2012 spring.
No iPhone 4S, just the iPhone 5 in September
Ramon Llamas, an IBC mobile analyst, says two-model strategy would pose challenge to Apple and iPhone developers, rejecting the idea of iPhone 4S creation. Llamas has emailed PCWorld, saying that Apple can “concentrate its efforts its efforts on providing just one model and getting all the parts and components for that.” Llamas added that there is no reason for Apple, who is already doing quite well, to take the risk and alter their approach.
And if iPhone 4S is to have a smaller screen than the previous versions of iPhone, as some iPhone 4S advocates claim, Llamas argues that this will create a new dimension of complication for developers.
Some analysts, such as Keith Bachman of BMO Capital, also support the needlessness for iPhone 4S as a low-end phone, since the existing iPhone 3GS does this job.
“We believe that the [existing] 3GS will be the low-end iPhone,” Bachman reportedly said according to Apple Insider.
In the midst of all these rumors, Apple hasn’t made any official statement yet. Could it be that we are just being manipulated by Steve Jobs’ shrewd strategy?
What are your thoughts on this?