Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Analyst Expects Two New iPhones from Apple Soon

The next-generation iPhone 5 from Apple will go into production late this summer, and two versions of the trend-setting handset may hit the market soon after, reports suggest. A Morgan Stanley research note advises that the Cupertino, Calif.-based computer Relevant Products/Services and mobile Relevant Products/Services-devices giant will begin assembling the iPhone 5 in late August.

Low-End iPhone?

"Talk is it will be launched in September with high-end and low-end versions [that would have] prepaid contracts, which would be an exciting development given that Android and RIM have dominated that segment of smartphone Relevant Products/Services offerings," said J.D. Power and Associates wireless Relevant Products/Services analyst Kirk Parsons. Parsons said there are reports that a version of the iPhone for Sprint Nextel customers may also be in the works.

Apple has launched a new iPhone every June since 2007, but didn't do so this year after rolling out a CDMA version of last year's iPhone 4 in February for Verizon Wireless. Component shortages or complications due to the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan may have also delayed the refresh, although that scenario has been dismissed by some analysts.

After visiting Taiwan last week to meet with sources about Apple's supply and manufacturing operations -- iPhone maker Foxconn is based in Taipei City -- Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty told clients that "Apple's next iPhone will begin production in mid- to late August and ramp aggressively" with general release sometime around September, according to AppleInsider.

While the overall forecast for iPhone sales this year, 72 million units, won't change as a result of the delay, Huberty said, about two million of those sales could happen in the fourth quarter rather than the third.

She also has heard that Apple is likely working on a TV set powered by its iOS operating system that could mean another $19 billion in annual revenues for the already cash-flush company.

'Time Is Right'

Deutsche Bank has predicted that Apple will launch a fully updated iPhone 5 as well as a 4S version aimed at emerging markets that would sell for $349. "With Nokia and RIM struggling, the time is right for Apple to aggressively penetrate the mid-range smartphone market (i.e. $300-$500 category) to dramatically expand its [total addressable market] and market share," said Deutsche Bank's Chris Whitmore in a note obtained by Fortune magazine. The name 4S seems to have stuck because Apple named the model after its third-generation iPhone, the 3GS.

Huberty said the boost in iPhone sales would be "on the back of new products at potentially lower price points," as quoted by PC Relevant Products/Services Magazine.

Her research note didn't offer specs on the new iPhone, or address what may be the biggest question for iPhone fans: Whether it will support Long Term Evolution 4G data Relevant Products/Services speeds.

But there are some details floating around: Bloomberg news said last week the iPhone 5 will sport the snappier A5 processor currently powering the iPad Relevant Products/Services 2, as well as a camera that is up three megapixels from the current five-megapixel iPad 2.

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