With anticipation growing for Apple's next smartphone to hit shelves, industry watchers on Monday said the company could even roll out two devices: the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4 Plus.
Analyst Mark Moskowitz with JP Morgan said on Monday that the next iPhone 5 will be a world phone with both GSM and CDMA cellular support, but no support for 4G, and a lighter, thinner form factor.
He also indicated the iPhone 5 would be accompanied by another device aimed at downscaled markets.
A second device based on the current iPhone 4 but with some minor improvements could target the midrange and focus on China, Moskowitz told clients. As for the current iPhone 4, we expect it to subsume 3GS as the lower-end offering.
The research reignites debate as to whether the consumer electronics giant will launch a new flagship and use the current iPhone 4 as the low-end offering, and create a new device.
But for Moskowitz, a new, cheaper device makes sense, as it allows Apple to tap into the massive China market without the premium shock.
If penetrated, China Mobile and China Telecom with approximately 600 million and 100 million subscribers, alongside Sprint and T-Mobile USA with 52 million and 33 million subscribers, stand to have an effect tantamount to the big increase in the number of carriers exhibited in the June quarter, he said. We would expect such a big bang if Apple introduces two new iPhones this fall and penetrates the untapped U.S. and China carriers.
As for the rumored iPad 3, the analyst shot that down, echoing the course of others on Wall Street that say given the current dominance of the iPad 2, there would be little reason to upgrade now.
The other tablet entrants have stumbled, Moskowitz wrote. Offerings by MMI and RIM have been the latest disappointments. Also, we had the opportunity to demo Sony's tablet before its launch. We were not impressed.
Indeed, the same analyst noted last week that Motorola Mobility's Xoom tablet had not exhibited much in the way of meaningful market penetration and that Research in Motion said it shipped only 200,000 PlayBook tablets in the August-ending fiscal Q2, fewer than analysts were expecting.
In comparison, Apple shipped over nine million tablets, and is projected to command over 60 percent of the tablet market in 2012.