As the rumors around the iPhone 5 release date heat up, the market for Apple's next-generation smartphone could be well overheated.
Apple's strategy is to pave the way for the glorious throne of the iPhone 5 with more affordable iPhones of the past, hitting every conceivable price range.
While most rumors hinting the iPhone 5 release data as Oct. 7 with preorders beginning on Sept 30, Apple on Monday allowed Best Buy a giveaway of the aging iPhone 3GS as if to add fuels to the superheated expectation for the nearing iPhone 5 launch.
The free iPhone 3GS was available only on Aug. 22, but no need to lament even if you missed it. Best Buy shoppers had to sign a new two-year activation contract or renew a contract due for upgrade for two-more years in order to be eligible for the free iPhone.
Apple had earlier announced that it will expand its market by extending the price range of iPhones.
Market analysts expect a launch of 32GB and 64GB iPhone 5 models for $199 and $299 along with a cheaper 16GB iPhone 4 for $99.
According to company sources, Apple is currently developing a new 8GB budget version of its current iPhone 4 handset.
The new affordable smartphone will reportedly be nearly identical to its high-end equivalent. In keeping with recent rumors, the anonymous source said the only changes planned would see Apple improve the device's touch screen, antenna and camera.
Apple may want to push into the emerging market segment where customers want to switch to low- to mid-end smartphones from high-end feature phones, which usually cost $150-200, said Yuanta Securities analyst Bonnie Chang.
But I think for an 8GB iPhone 4 the price is hard to go below $200, so Apple will still need a completely new phone with low specifications for the emerging markets.
By rolling out various price ranges of the iPhones, Apple's reign in the smartphone market may become unbeatable.
A recent DigiTimes report citing an unnamed Taiwan-based supply chain maker said that Apple is boosting its total order volume for the iPhones by 12 to 13 percent in the second half of 2011, and it is expecting to make more than 56 million handsets.
To temporarily satisfy your hunger for the details of the iPhone 5, while Apple has not even confirmed its existence, TVC Mall, a wholesale cell phone parts distributor in China, has recently leaked a few components of what could be the next generation iPhone.
Among leaked third party components which build up the iPhone 5 are
a battery pack, rear camera and audio flex components. While the parts are definitely distinct from those found on the iPhone 4, they don't offer a clue or indication to whether or not the iPhone 5 will be completely redesigned from its predecessor.
While the parts are distinct, in the case of the battery pack, it may have the same exact power as the iPhone 5. The alleged iPhone 5 battery pack is 3.7v and 5.3Whr while the iPhone 4 battery is 3.7v and 5.25Whr.
The back camera also looks similar to the iPhone 4 with some minor differences in surrounding parts. However, like the iPhone 4, the iPhone 5 will seemingly have embedded camera flash. There were rumors that there could be dual LED flash with the iPhone 5. Another rumor is the iPhone 5 will have an 8 megapixel camera.
The new device is also expected to arrive with a large 4-inch edge-to-edge screen. There are still some doubts about the smartphone's retina display resolution which may or may not be increased with the dpi (dots per inch) count remaining the same. The home button is also said to have disappeared in the new model.