Apple is set to launch two new iPhone models as it looks to strengthen its position as premium brand while dipping its toes in the fast-growing market for low-cost smarties, a Wall Street analyst forecasts.
Rumours of Cupertino’s apparent plans for a two-tier approach have been doing the rounds for a while now, but industry observers are still at a loss as to whether the phone-maker will actually release both handsets or just one.
However, Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore is adamant it’ll be the former, claiming Apple will release both the iPhone 5 and the rumoured cheaper variant, provisionally dubbed the ‘iPhone 4S’.
According to Whitmore, the bill-of-material for the 4S is expected to be around $150, but the handset will be sold for at least twice margin for between $300 and $350. A significant return on investment, most would say.
He expects the approach to ‘drastically expand’ Apple’s market reach and help it mount a serious challenge on Android in the cheap smartphone stakes.
In a note to investors, Whitmore also predicted that the new iPhone, that is, the iPhone 5, will sport a radical new look, complete with an aluminium unibody casing rather than the glass back cover that features on the iPhone 4.
Other mooted additions include an A5 dual core processor just like the iPad 2, a larger screen, an eight-megapixel camera and a slimmer design.
Recent leaks and rumours suggest Apple is likely to announce the handsets at its Cupertino headquarters on October 4th, with the kit or kits landing in stores on October 14th or 15th.