Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore believes that Apple will release an iPhone priced between $300-500 without requiring the customer to become restricted to the 2-year contract.
“It’s time for a mid-range iPhone,” Whitmore said. The expert said the mid-range iPhone might be called iPhone 4S and may be set for launch in September together with the next generation iPhone 5, which will boast of major software and hardware improvements, including A5 processor, 8-megapixel camera, SIM-less design, curved glass display and iOS 5. iPhone 4S will support the same design as iPhone 4 with modest update.
With iPhone 4S, Apple will target the requirements of just about 1 billion mobile customers, who are on prepaid plan. Except in the united states & Canada (8 %) and the Middle East (41 %), the number of prepaid users are more in Europe (51 percent), Latin America (66 %), Asia Pacific (85 percent) and Africa (96 percent).
According to Whitmore, Apple “shipped about 87 million units over the past 2 years which suggests they have reached only 6 % penetration of its current addressable subscribers.”
Whitmore forecasts that Apple could sell iPhone 4S at $349 – a price which supports Apple increase its corporate gross margin without adversely impacting profitability.
Whitmore is not only in thinking that Apple will launch iPhone 5 as well as iPhone 4S in September.
Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty in the note to clients stated on Sunday that Apple’s iPhone is actually set to “begin production in mid- to late August and ramp aggressively” and would start selling “iPhone 5″ by the end of the third quarter i..e. by end of September.
The analyst said Apple will experience a ‘large” bump in iPhone units sold in 2012 particularly “on the back of new services and potentially discounted points.”
If the predictions, especially about a mid-range iPhone, come to be accurate, it will undoubtedly help Apple grab a march over its competitors being a cheaper iPhone would considerably lower the entry barrier for prepaid smartphone customers.