Could Apple be working on two new iPhones? One analyst who spoke with Fortune thinks that the company may be working on both an iPhone 5 and an updated version of the iPhone 4 to be labeled “iPhone 4S” to release in September.
In a note to clients issued today Deutsche Bank’s Chris Whitmore is telling clients to expect an iPhone 5 and an iPhone 4S.”With Nokia and RIMM struggling,” he writes, “the time is right for Apple to aggressively penetrate the mid range smart-phone market (i.e. $300-500 category) to dramatically expand its [total addressable market] and market share.”
Whitmore expects the 4S to be sold unlocked at a price point around $350, allowing it to be used as a prepaid handset. Many customers, especially those in foreign countries, prefer prepaid plans to the contract-based calling plans currently available. Apple is already offering the iPhone 4 unlocked (although at a considerably higher price point-$650) so it’s not out of the question to think it might offer the updated version of the handset unlocked as well.
Whitmore in an analyst. While their job is to look at the market and try and determine what’s next, he also does not have any inside information that leads him to believe the two phone theory.
Personally I think the idea is a solid one. Apple has offered two models of the iPhone for some time. If it does release a faster handset in September it will at the very least still offer the iPhone 4 for sale for some time. With the release of a new phone I think we’ll at the very least see a drop in price of the unlocked iPhone 4, if not an updated iPhone 4S.
What do you think? Do you think Apple will release an iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 in September? Will it offer one or both of the phones unlocked for prepaid customers?