Analysts expect the current iPhone 4 to subsume 3GS as the entry-level offering.
Piggy-backing on a 9to5Mac story from July about two different iPhones in September, FinancialPost reports on a research note from J.P. Morgan which – surprise, surprise – suggests Apple releasing two iPhone models in the coming weeks. One is a major redesign of the current iPhone 4 – the anticipated iPhone 5 – and the other is an inexpensive handset for the masses tentatively named “iPhone 4-plus” (or iPhone 4S, depending on whom you ask).
The latter will re-use most of the components found in today’s iPhone 4, replacing the $99 iPhone 3GS as the entry-level iPhone. Sporting “minor improvements”, iPhone4-plus is said to cater to low-income markets, specifically China whose 1.33 billion population represents an untapped potential for the Cupertino, California firm. J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz:
A device targeting China could add to Apple’s super growth rates recently exhibited in the region.
Of iPhone 5, Moskowitz wrote:
The new iPhone 5 stands to be based on the iPad 2’s A5 processor or a newer A6 version. We also expect 1GB of RAM to increase memory access times. Other improvements are increased battery life due to advancement in battery technologies, the printed circuit board (PCB), the touch screen, and LCD power consumption metrics.
The device should basically be a thinner, lighter worldphone (GSM+CDMA) sans the fourth-generation LTE radio technology (which, it increasingly appears, will debut with iPhone 6). The note also backs up reports of an eight-megapixel camera with LED flash on iPhone 5 and a larger screen compared to the iPhone 4’s 3.5-inch Retina Display.
An iPhone 5 case from a Chinese maker that got it right on the iPhone 4 launch. Thanks, SulfoDK!
The addition of carriers T-Mobile and Sprint in the United States and potential deals with China Telecom and other carriers in China should result in “a big bang” when the two new iPhones launch in September, Moskowitz concludes. China Telecom is reportedly readying a $235 million ad blitz ahead of iPhone 5. Apple currently deals only with China Unicom, the country’s third-largest wireless operator, but frequently China Telecom and China Mobile are being mentioned in relation to the next iPhone. Last week the New York Times joined the craze, re-iterating the blogosphere buzz about two iPhones in September.