Entry-Level iPhone Might Debut Next Year

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A research note put out by a market analysis firm predicts that Apple is going to introduce a new low-cost version of the iPhone in the coming months.

AppleAvian Securities says that sources in Asian-based companies that make components used in Apple’s products have revealed that the entry-level smartphone is in development, but still quite a ways from release.

The research firm’s note to investors reads:

“Our conversations [with component suppliers] also indicate the existence of a lower-spec/lower-priced iPhone in Apple’s roadmap. However, while our contacts have seen the placeholder in the Apple roadmap, they do not yet have insight into specs or production timing. This leads us to believe that any launch is likely a very late 2011 or more likely a 2012 event. As a reminder, Avian has uncovered several data-points in recent months pointing to the existence of a lower-spec/lower-price iPhone.”

A Credible Prediction
Tim Cook, Apple’s Chief Operating Officer, said in an interview last month that his company isn’t making smartphones “just for the rich.” This has caused many to believe that Apple is developing an entry-level iPhone.

There were several unconfirmed reports that said this same thing, even before Cook made his remark. According to one of these, a discount version of Apple’s smartphone might have less storage capacity or a lower-resolution camera, but not a smaller screen because a reduced-size display would make the device too hard to use without saving much money.

Apple’s intent is apparently to get more of its phones sold to pre-paid customers — as it stands now, virtually all iPhones are sold to post-paid customers who have signed a service contract with a wireless carrier. 




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