News Analysis: Reports suggest that Apple will release two versions of the iPhone 5. But that seems unlikely, given the company's recent history to sticking to the high end of the market.
June 27, Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore sent a note to investors,
claiming Apple will be launching not one, but
two iPhone 5 models in September
. One version, he said, will be the logical
follow-up to the iPhone 4, delivering a high-end experience to consumers and
other option, however, will be a less-capable version Apple will call the
iPhone 4S. Whitmore believes that version will be ideal for the prepaid market
that Apple thus far hasn't capitalized on.
there is a possibility that Whitmore is correct in his prediction-after all,
with Apple, anything can happen-the chances of that happening seem slim. For
years, Apple has followed the same basic strategy in the smartphone market by
releasing one major device each year, and that won't change this time around.
important as the prepaid market is, Apple has a strategy that doesn't
necessarily encompass that. Looking at the company's track record, the
Cupertino, Calif.-based firm will be far more likely to release one blockbuster
on to find out why
Apple will release only one version of the iPhone 5 this year
1. History must be the guide
Apple has been known to change things up from time to time, the company is
predictable. Over the years, it has released a new smartphone each year, its
Macs come out at around the same time, and its level of secrecy has been
constant over the last decade. Simply put, Apple is more predictable than some
think. Realizing that, the company won't release two iPhone models this year.
It has seen success with one version of its device, and the chances of it
moving away from that strategy seem rather slim.
2. Apple only competes in the high end
there is anything that defines Apple,
it's the company's commitment to the high end
. The iPhone 4 is considered
one of the most advanced and sought-after smartphones on the market. The
company's Macs are high-powered and expensive. The same can be said for its
iPad 2. Apple competes in the high end and leaves the rest of the market to all
others. That won't change with the iPhone 5.
3. It still has the iPhone 4
belief that Apple will release two iPhone models this year fails to acknowledge
one important fact: Apple already has the iPhone 4. In previous years, Apple
has sold the prior iPhone model at a discounted price. The iPhone 3GS, for
example, can be purchased for $49 right now. AT&T has even offered a free
iPhone 3GS to current customers who commit to a new two-year contract. Whitmore
believes one of the models Apple releases will appeal to those on a budget. But
considering Apple's penchant for getting more out of its old models, wouldn't
it make more sense if the company released one iPhone 5 model for the high end
and kept the iPhone 4 on store shelves to appeal to budget-conscious shoppers?
4. The iPhone Nano rumors have been
comments in the note to investors dovetails on previous rumors that Apple will
eventually announce an iPhone Nano that's smaller and thinner than its larger
counterpart. Whitmore says that the iPhone 4S won't actually be smaller, but
will be a redesigned version of the iPhone 4 that will seemingly cut back on
features to differentiate it from the more-expensive iPhone 5. Rumors of Apple
following such a strategy have been swirling for years, and Apple hasn't
followed through. It won't follow the strategy this year either.