or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Analyst casts doubt on reports of next-gen 'low-end' iPhone
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Analyst casts doubt on reports of next-gen 'low-end' iPhone

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Another analyst has countered recent reports that Apple plans to release a cheaper iPhone for the pre-paid mobile market, stating instead that the iPhone 3GS will continue to serve as the company's "low-end" handset.

BMO Capital's Keith Bachman called into question Monday's chatter over a lower-priced next-generation iPhone in a note to investors, Barron's reports. "We believe that the [existing] 3GS will be the low-end iPhone, he wrote.

The analyst also lowered his estimates for Apple's iPhone shipments during the September quarter from 18 million to 17 million, citing a later launch than he previously thought. By comparison, Apple sold 18.65 million iPhones in the March quarter.

Bachman's position takes the opposite side of Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore. Whitmore sparked speculation of an iPhone priced aggressively for emerging markets early Monday with a much-discussed note predicting Apple will release both an iPhone 4S and a fifth-generation iPhone. He believes such a device could be priced at $349 and be sold contract-free.

Several other analysts have chimed in on the prospect of a more affordable iPhone. Katy Huberty of Morgan Stanley issued a note on Sunday also suggesting that Apple may release new iPhones with "potentially lower price points." She sees the company's next iPhone as going into production in mid to late August ahead of a presumed launch near the end of the September quarter.

Meanwhile, FBR Capital Markets analyst Craig Berger agrees with Bachman that a low-price iPhone is unlikely. The analyst's sources have indicated "no near-term plans for a low-end iPhone for emerging markets, or a new iPhone in a transparent case." He also believes Apple's next handset will be an evolutionary upgrade and will be marketed under the iPhone 4S name.

Media reports have also asserted that Apple is working on a cheaper iPhone. In February, The New York Times said Apple has looked into a cheaper handset. The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg have also suggested Apple will introduce a cheaper device, though the publications differ on whether it will also be a smaller model.
post #2 of 23
No kidding. There is never going to be a 'low-end' iPhone. Why water down the device when it is selling so well.

The last gen iPhone becomes the 'low-end' iPhone. Why change?
post #3 of 23
If Apple releases a cheaper device, it'll have less memory, slower CPU, lower quality screen, and an all plastic body. In other words, the iPhone 3GS.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #4 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleZilla View Post

No kidding. There is never going to be a 'low-end' iPhone. Why water down the device when it is selling so well.

The last gen iPhone becomes the 'low-end' iPhone. Why change?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

If Apple releases a cheaper device, it'll have less memory, slower CPU, lower quality screen, and an all plastic body. In other words, the iPhone 3GS.

I agree.
post #5 of 23
I just cannot see Apple using the name iPhone 4S regardless of how revolutionary or evolutionary the fifth-generation iPhone is. Whether it's called iPhone 5 or something entirely different is unimportant.

iPhone 4S suggests to million of consumers who are easily convinced by Apple of a new, amazing device, that it's simply another 3GS style upgrade and then that the seventh generation will be merely an evolution to iPhone 6 and so on... It's not a trend they will want to engage in.

No matter how 'different' the next iPhone is, I just cannot see Apple using such a horrid name. And remember, iPhone 3GS was in fact the THIRD GENERATION iPhone so it made sense to keep a 3 in there, but this one will be the undisputed fifth generation to the iPhone line. No need to keep a 4 and especially to make associations with an S.

Oh and then what? We have iPhone 4S as the premium offering, and iPhone 3GS as the 'developing' low-end option? Marketing wise, that's awful!
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleZilla View Post

No kidding. There is never going to be a 'low-end' iPhone. Why water down the device when it is selling so well.

The last gen iPhone becomes the 'low-end' iPhone. Why change?

This has been my thinking all along. But there seems to be a raft of people that believe the "pre-paid market in China" will need a low-end iPhone.

As for emerging markets, there is definitely no need for a low-end iPhone. You just need to supply them with enough product particularly iPhone 5 (iPhone 4S with iOS 5 sounds weird, IMO). These markets where BlackBerry has shown growth also have very low *supply* of iPhone 5. When I say supply I also mean adequate service and support.

I am in an emerging market right now and the useless telco made me wait ONE MONTH for a replacement iPhone 4 due to a flakey Home button. Apple Premium Resellers here were selling iPhone 4 contract-free at full retail price, and with plans, but have more or less stopped since they only get 5 units or so a WEEK at random times.

Now of course the Apple-telco relationships are complex, but my point remains, emerging markets do not need this "low-end" iPhone 5. Just give them the darn iPhones at a reliable, steady rate and ensure the telcos sell and support them sensibly and adequately.

The "pre-paid market in China" is the best rationale for a low-end iPhone but my gut feeling is this is the last thing Apple wants to do while having to create/modify models for China Mobile's proprietary TD-CDMA and TD-LTE nonsense.
post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakevin. View Post

I just cannot see Apple using the name iPhone 4S regardless of how revolutionary or evolutionary the fifth-generation iPhone is. Whether it's called iPhone 5 or something entirely different is unimportant.

iPhone 4S suggests to million of consumers who are easily convinced by Apple of a new, amazing device, that it's simply another 3GS style upgrade and then that the seventh generation will be merely an evolution to iPhone 6 and so on... It's not a trend they will want to engage in.

No matter how 'different' the next iPhone is, I just cannot see Apple using such a horrid name. And remember, iPhone 3GS was in fact the THIRD GENERATION iPhone so it made sense to keep a 3 in there, but this one will be the undisputed fifth generation to the iPhone line. No need to keep a 4 and especially to make associations with an S.

Oh and then what? We have iPhone 4S as the premium offering, and iPhone 3GS as the 'developing' low-end option? Marketing wise, that's awful!

By many indications, it might be mostly an upgraded iPhone 4 in the same vein as the 3Gs was an upgraded 3G (largely a much faster CPU and a better cam), so why such a strong objection to a name that would suggest that very thing?
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakevin. View Post

I just cannot see Apple using the name iPhone 4S regardless of how revolutionary or evolutionary the fifth-generation iPhone is. Whether it's called iPhone 5 or something entirely different is unimportant.

iPhone 4S suggests to million of consumers who are easily convinced by Apple of a new, amazing device, that it's simply another 3GS style upgrade and then that the seventh generation will be merely an evolution to iPhone 6 and so on... It's not a trend they will want to engage in.

No matter how 'different' the next iPhone is, I just cannot see Apple using such a horrid name. And remember, iPhone 3GS was in fact the THIRD GENERATION iPhone so it made sense to keep a 3 in there, but this one will be the undisputed fifth generation to the iPhone line. No need to keep a 4 and especially to make associations with an S.

Oh and then what? We have iPhone 4S as the premium offering, and iPhone 3GS as the 'developing' low-end option? Marketing wise, that's awful!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

If Apple releases a cheaper device, it'll have less memory, slower CPU, lower quality screen, and an all plastic body. In other words, the iPhone 3GS.

Voices of reason. My take:

iPhone 5 will be iPhone 5. However iPhone 3GS may become iPhone 4S - same form factor, etc. with A4 chip.

iPhone 5 is premium and outrageously desirable with iOS 5, A5 chip, 512MB, Retina Display, better camera, dual-led flash, etc.

iPhone 4S is an upgraded iPhone 3GS with iOS 5, A4 chip, 256MB, standard display, possibly better camera with 720p HD recording. This is the "low-end" iPhone for contract-free, prepaid bundling, whatever.

iPhone "3GS" and below is never heard from again.
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

By many indications, it might be mostly an upgraded iPhone 4 in the same vein as the 3Gs was an upgraded 3G (largely a much faster CPU and a better cam), so why a long winded objection to a name that would suggest that very thing?

Four words: "Server Grade Hard Drive" and "Final Cut Pro X". Apple can call it the "iPhone 10 X Enterprise-Class Pro" and get away with it.
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Four words: "Server Grade Hard Drive" and "Final Cut Pro X". Apple can call it the "iPhone 10 X Enterprise-Class Pro" and get away with it.

That's not what I'm talking about though. I really don't think 4s is such a toxic designation. In fact, I'm more inclined to believe that it's a possibility they'll go with it. When I see an Apple fan get *that* adamant that Apple would not do such a thing, it seems like they often do it. Apple fans thought that they wouldn't make the fat nano because they looked ugly in the spy photos. Some thought the "tall screen" nano wouldn't be done because it's a UI disaster (I understand the argument, but Apple did it anyway). The tiny nano got similar objections, many valid arguments, but Apple did their own thing anyway. Someone claimed the leaked photos of aluminum Apple keyboards was just someone's stupid Photoshop mock-up.
post #11 of 23
I think the analysts are just making this stuff up. They might just as well be predicting unicorn powered starships.

but i hope they're right about a lower cost unlocked model! And smaller would be good too.
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Voices of reason. My take:

iPhone 5 will be iPhone 5. However iPhone 3GS may become iPhone 4S - same form factor, etc. with A4 chip.

iPhone 5 is premium and outrageously desirable with iOS 5, A5 chip, 512MB, Retina Display, better camera, dual-led flash, etc.

iPhone 4S is an upgraded iPhone 3GS with iOS 5, A4 chip, 256MB, standard display, possibly better camera with 720p HD recording. This is the "low-end" iPhone for contract-free, prepaid bundling, whatever.

iPhone "3GS" and below is never heard from again.

I agree with you on the iPhone 5 being the Premium offering with the features you described but with 1GB of RAM instead of 512MB.

As far as a lower-cost iPhone for the pre-paid market what would be desirable to see is basically the iPod Touch with cellular / 3G chip, 512MB RAM, 3 or 5 megapixel photo camera with 720p video recording, A4 chip running at around 1.2Ghz & with 8GB or 16GB options. I can't see why Apple would have any problem selling this for $299 (8GB) / $399 (16GB) without contract. I would be all over that. For someone that just needs the iPod, texting, voice, app functions this would serve themwell
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

This has been my thinking all along. But there seems to be a raft of people that believe the "pre-paid market in China" will need a low-end iPhone.

You do realize that Apple is still having trouble meeting demand for iPhone 4's at full unlocked price in China today?

Why would they want to split their resources for a lower margin phone?
post #14 of 23
So now the rumors have turned into low-end propaganda.

The people that can keep the secret hold all the cards, not the media. In case they have forgotten, the iPhone 3G is the low end.
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleZilla View Post

No kidding. There is never going to be a 'low-end' iPhone. Why water down the device when it is selling so well.

The last gen iPhone becomes the 'low-end' iPhone. Why change?

Lots of people think you're wrong. Dalrymple and Gruber, both of whom obviously have sources. Oh and somebody named Tim Cook. Not sure who he is though...

http://www.loopinsight.com/2011/02/2...repaid-iphone/

http://daringfireball.net/linked/201...er-two-iphones

What I don't understand is why the iPhone 3GS isn't being offered unlocked while the iPhone 4 now is in the US. I wonder how much that would go for off contract.
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadash View Post

What I don't understand is why the iPhone 3GS isn't being offered unlocked while the iPhone 4 now is in the US. I wonder how much that would go for off contract.

The iPhone 3GS is still sold in the Hong Kong Apple store along with the iPhone 4.

The iPhone 3GS is $115 cheaper than the iPhone 4.
post #17 of 23
Yep. 3GS or 90% 3GS with localized modifications for radios. Small spec bump possible but unlikely. Maybe a drop to 4GB in flash memory, but 8 is probably going to be it. It's still a stand up phone. I have one and the 4.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

If Apple releases a cheaper device, it'll have less memory, slower CPU, lower quality screen, and an all plastic body. In other words, the iPhone 3GS.
post #18 of 23
Strata. Buy in points etc.

iPod only. Then mini/nano. Then shuffle. Then up the chain, Touch while reducing the buy in points for the other models.

All the brackets from 49 to 299.

If you think Apple will stick with one iPhone or even two you are not looking at how they do it.

You want everyone to choose iPhone. $49, $99, $199, $299 on contract ($0 in aus and other markets). Unlocked range also. Then a product for prepaid market also in a range of prices.

None need be smaller physically.
you only have freedom in choice when you know you have no choice
Reply
you only have freedom in choice when you know you have no choice
Reply
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Voices of reason. My take:

iPhone 5 will be iPhone 5. However iPhone 3GS may become iPhone 4S - same form factor, etc. with A4 chip.

iPhone 5 is premium and outrageously desirable with iOS 5, A5 chip, 512MB, Retina Display, better camera, dual-led flash, etc.

iPhone 4S is an upgraded iPhone 3GS with iOS 5, A4 chip, 256MB, standard display, possibly better camera with 720p HD recording. This is the "low-end" iPhone for contract-free, prepaid bundling, whatever.

iPhone "3GS" and below is never heard from again.

This is a possibility. What I don't believe we'll see is an "iPhone nano" with a smaller screen, or a "voice only" iPhone, because neither of those things would be an iPhone.
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalMacRat View Post

You do realize that Apple is still having trouble meeting demand for iPhone 4's at full unlocked price in China today?

Why would they want to split their resources for a lower margin phone?

That's what I'm saying. I don't think it is a smart nor likely move for Apple to create a specific "low-end" iPhone. A lot of people are saying it... I'd wager an updated iPhone 3GS is this "low-end phone", if it happens.
post #21 of 23
Andy Rubin just tweeted this morning that Android activation is occurring 500k times per day (http://bit.ly/ierNOe). Rubin tweets once in a blue moon. Kind of defensive, eh?
post #22 of 23
Wow, we have analysts claiming both that there will be a low-end iPhone and that there won't be a low-end iPhone... Logic dictates that one of them is right. Reality as we know it is about to collapse!
I've accomplished my childhood's dream: My job consists mainly of playing with toys all day long.
Reply
I've accomplished my childhood's dream: My job consists mainly of playing with toys all day long.
Reply
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by ranReloaded View Post

Wow, we have analysts claiming both that there will be a low-end iPhone and that there won't be a low-end iPhone... Logic dictates that one of them is right. Reality as we know it is about to collapse!

I remember when there was a lot of clamor over Apple making a mini iPhone to offer a version that's a bit down market. They offered the previous model at a lower cost instead. I think that was a better solution.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPhone
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Analyst casts doubt on reports of next-gen 'low-end' iPhone