Wedge analyst says Apple will only release iPhone 4S this year

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
In a note to clients, Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair states that Apple will only release an updated iPhone 5 model and new 3G-enable iPod touch, and will not produce a significantly new iPhone 5 alongside an iPhone 4S model, as many are anticipating.



In a note obtained by AppleInsider, the analyst wrote, "We expect the focus of the new iPhone will be iOS 5, a speedier A5 processor and a higher resolution 8 MP camera with a small possibility of a larger 4 inch screen. We believe the casing will be largely similar to the iPhone with some particular modifications to the antennae."



Blair's description of a moderately new iPhone 5 fits in with details reported by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who told AppleInsider last week that he expected a revised iPhone 5 model that looked largely the same as the current iPhone 4 design.



In a separate listing of expectations, Blair said the new iPhone 5 would offer a dual-mode CDMA/GSM baseband chip build by Qualcomm, and that "Apple could have a software-based solution for switching carrier networks that mimics the functionality of a handset with multiple SIM card slots. This would give users in emerging markets who frequently switch between carriers (using handsets with 2 or 3 sim card slots) the freedom to move between carriers easily."



A new model may sport a larger 4 inch screen, but called a rumored rectangular Home button with support for swiping touch gestures "unlikely."



However, Blair added, "We don?t expect a second, dramatically different iPhone to accompany this as we don?t think Apple needs to have 3 models in the market to address the high end, mid-tier and low end since the iPhone 4 (with memory lowered to 8 GB) will drop to $99 and effectively attack those markets."



Shoring up his analysis, Blair explains that, were Apple to introduce a new iPhone 5, it would make little sense to also bump up the processor of the iPhone 4S, "if the goal is to sell it into the pre-paid market at a lower cost."







Instead, Blair noted that "the [existing] iPhone 4 price should drop to $99 and while Apple will initially clear inventory at slightly reduced prices, the company will continue to sell an 8GB version into the global market for $99 this year, followed by a drop to $49 in the 2012. We expect this iPhone 4 to continue to be a strong seller and believe it could make up 20 -30% of overall global iPhone units over the next year."



He added, "a 4S would simply cost more and a 4S itself wouldn?t create a mid-tier market unless it was priced at $99 and the iPhone 4 went to $49 with the new iPhone at $199. We see this scenario as unlikely.?



As for iPods, Blair predicts Apple will discontinue the hard drive-based iPod classic while offering a updated iPod touch with an improved camera offering 2-3 megapixels rather than the current VGA resolution suitable only for FaceTime chats. The iPod touch is also expected to be sold in white and offer 3G data service plans similar to 3G iPad models.



Blair estimates Apple will sell 24-25 million iPhones in the third calendar quarter, with shipments growing to 27 million in the final quarter of 2011. That would result in sales of around 91 million iPhones for 2011, growth of 92 percent over the previous year.



The iPhone 5 announcement will also make Sprint a new carrier for iPhone 5, and Blair estimates that the carrier will drive significant volumes over the next year, adding between 4-5 million additional sales.



In China, Blair wrote that he expects Apple will add China Telecom (122 million subscribers) to its existing partnership with China Unicom (193 million subscribers) , but that it will not officially partner with China Mobile, the largest carrier in the world with 647 million subscribers (only 8 million of which have EDGE data service).







Apple has continued to sell iPhone 4 and the iPhone 3GS (originally released in 2009) in the face of a variety of new Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7 and webOS devices, and despite being relatively ancient in comparison to other smartphone models now being sold, Apple's two phones are still the first and second most popular among consumers.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    Bring on the 3g ipod!!! Data only plan with voip!!!
  • Reply 2 of 33
    BOO!!! HISS!!!



    I really hope this guy couldn't be more wrong.
  • Reply 3 of 33
    what kind of garbage report is this? even Al Gore said apple is coming out with multiple iphones..
  • Reply 4 of 33
    Ughhh, I've been holding out for the iPhone 5 and I fear that my 3GS isn't going to cut it for another year.



    I just want October 4th to come and go so we can put these conflicting rumors/reports to bed.
  • Reply 5 of 33
    muppetrymuppetry Posts: 3,328member
    It looks like all he is disputing is the major appearance redesign (which didn't seem to be a certainty anyway) since he is predicting a new camera, A5 chip, antenna, and maybe a larger screen. That doesn't seem out of line with many of the rumors for the iPhone 5.
  • Reply 6 of 33
    It's BGR. They have never been right.



    For heaven's sake, people.
  • Reply 7 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by muppetry View Post


    It looks like all he is disputing is the major appearance redesign (which didn't seem to be a certainty anyway) since he is predicting a new camera, A5 chip, antenna, and maybe a larger screen. That doesn't seem out of line with many of the rumors for the iPhone 5.



    iPhone 5 by any other name (like iPhone 4s) is still the same...



    I think the key question is whether Apple will deviate from their current product strategy - which is:

    a) New model with better specs (maybe no big change in design like 3G and 3Gs) with 16GB and 32GB at $199 and $299, plus

    b) Old model with 8GB priced at $99.



    Whether they call the new model iPhone 4s or 5 is immaterial.



    But, are they going to introduce other model(s) for other market segments? Maybe a voice only phone with Wifi - no 3G. Or, something very low price for the pre-paid market and developing countries.
  • Reply 8 of 33
    29922992 Posts: 202member
    just bring it here at once, so we can start rumoring about next iPhone.



    PS: My CC is ready, and in the mean time my iP3G is dying a slow death (thanks to iOS4).
  • Reply 9 of 33
    The branding/naming of iPhone 5 will be reserved for the LTE network. iPhone 4S will come out in October and will be the iPhone 4 that should have been (minus Mark Papermaster's mistakes and careless attention to detail - he got fired over screwing up iPhone 4 antennae designs) and of course with some nice enhancements.....8MP camera and iOS 5. Don't expect too much people.....its not a game changer, but its gonna be awesome!
  • Reply 10 of 33
    This is a stupid rumor. I doubt very seriously that Apple waited 3 more months to release only an incremental change to the iPhone 4.
  • Reply 11 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by governor View Post


    The branding/naming of iPhone 5 will be reserved for the LTE network.



    "Hey guys, I have a GREAT idea! Let's reserve the name 'iPhone 5' for when we add FOUR G telephony! Makes PERFECT sense!"







    Quote:

    the iPhone 4 that should have been







    Quote:

    he got fired over screwing up iPhone 4 antennae designs



    So where does it say that?



    Quote:

    nice enhancements.....8MP camera



    Because you and I both know that the only thing that I could ever want is images that take long to process, more RAM to view, and waste more space on my hard drives.



    Obviously.
  • Reply 12 of 33
    you guys have no freaking clue.
  • Reply 13 of 33
    This useless report was made for one reason, to lower the stock price.
  • Reply 14 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by un_plug View Post


    This useless report was made for one reason, to lower the stock price.



    *checks posted time*



    *check's Apple' stock plummeting*



    Everyone at BGR needs to be jailed. Then everyone in Wall Street who believed them needs to be jailed.
  • Reply 15 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    It's BGR. They have never been right.



    For heaven's sake, people.



    BGR is wrong or the analyst is wrong? \ Seems to me BGR does the same thing that AI does. They simply report on rumors and analyst statements so the fault wouldn't be with them. By the way, BGR's very next story has their other main blogger stating the opinion that Apple will come out with TWO phones. I guess they have their bases covered.
  • Reply 16 of 33
    irelandireland Posts: 17,522member
    BGR, himself, has since wrote contradictory opinion piece.



    http://www.bgr.com/2011/09/21/apple-...and-heres-why/
  • Reply 17 of 33
    eh..this is how Brian Blair looks like. And you believe his words?



    Brian Blair
  • Reply 18 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jman2u View Post


    Seems to me BGR does the same thing that AI does. They simply report on rumors and analyst statements so the fault wouldn't be with them. By the way, BGR's very next story has their other main blogger stating the opinion that Apple will come out with TWO phones.



    Then it should't have been reported at all. The analyst's reason for coming up with this tripe is to crash the stock to make a sale.
  • Reply 19 of 33
    In North America the cost of the phone is insignificant compared to the cost of the voice/data plan. The total cost of ownership for a $199 is only a few percentage points higher than for a $49 phone.



    Here in Canada the lowest cost iPhone plan is $50/mo for 3 years. Add fees, taxes, etc. and even a free iPhone would cost more than $2000.



    For the same reason Apple will never truly succeed in the pre-paid market if their only phones are this year's model at $699 and last year's model at $599.



    Perhaps a 3G enabled iPod touch (or iPad mini) is their answer. I guess we'll all find out on Oct. 4.
  • Reply 20 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bregalad View Post


    For the same reason Apple will never truly succeed in the pre-paid market if their only phones are this year's model at $699 and last year's model at $599.



    Nor in the United States where there IS NO pre-paid option at all, yet the phones would still cost that much if you just bought one.
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