An analyst expects Apple to launch both an iPhone 5 and a mid-range iPhone 4S
For much of the spring, the reporters who cover Apple (AAPL) have been arguing among themselves about what to call the new iPhone they expect the company to introduce in September.
Some call it the iPhone 5, to match the iOS 5 operating system Apple unveiled to developers three weeks ago.
Some, anticipating that the new device will be a sped-up iPhone 4 rather than a major re-design, have been calling it the iPhone 4S, echoing the nomenclature Apple used two years ago when it introduced the iPhone 3GS.
In a note issued early Monday, Deutsche Bank's Chris Whitmore is telling clients to expect both -- an iPhone 5 and an iPhone 4S.
"With Nokia and RIMM struggling," he writes, "the time is right for Apple to aggressively penetrate the mid range smart-phone market (i.e. $300-500 category) to dramatically expand its [total addressable market] and market share."
As Whitmore sees it, an iPhone 4S that is unlocked, priced around $349, and comes with a pre-paid voice plan would "drive significantly greater penetration" into an addressable market that has grown to include 1.5 billion potential customers in 98 countries, two thirds of whom prefer pre-paid plans.
Selling iPhones in the U.S. is pretty simple for Apple. There's only one carrier -- AT&T -- and it only sells them one way: subsidized, with a 2-year contract.
In the rest of the world, it's not that simple. As many as 70% of all mobile accounts worldwide are pre-paid accounts -- in which you buy the phone and pay in advance for a fixed number of minutes. In third world MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jun 23, 2008 12:50 PM ET
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