The debate has been raging for months: Will the next iPhone be a full-blown, fifth-generation device; a souped-up, less expensive version of the iPhone 4 commonly referred to as the iPhone 4S or both? Put Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White in the last options camp.
China Telecom will reportedly offer not only the iPhone 5, but also what a Chinese website is calling a simplified iPhone 4.” It’s said to be coming to the carrier in October. That gave Ticonderogas White the confidence to issue a note of his own to investors, as reported by Apple Insider, backing up what weve been suspecting for a while now that Apple will make two new iPhones available sometime in the next couple of months.
We told you last month that Apple and China Telecom were wrapping up a deal to bring the iPhone to that countrys third-largest carrier. We didnt know then that it might be two phones both new, at that.
If indeed there is a launch of a pared-down iPhone 4 in China, will it be available in the U.S.? China Telecom has what White calls a high-end subscriber base” of between 13 and 15 million a group that would be a good target for the iPhone 5. But if Apple can offer the iPhone 4 at a significantly lower price, the opportunity with China Telecom could be much larger,” he wrote. How much larger? A difference of $70 billion for just an iPhone 5, and $200 billion for both, he said.
The two-phone philosophy is one that would be interesting to watch. There are many emerging markets and parts of the world that might embrace a less expensive version of a year-old iPhone vs. paying full price for one that is brand-spankin new. Its even something that might appeal to American consumers, both enterprise and general.