Speculation that claims Apple is set to launch two new iPhones this September doesn’t look like it’s going to die down anytime soon. The latest report, citing information from a previously reliable source, claims that in addition to an all-new iPhone 5 this September, there will also be a low-end device, possibly based on the iPod touch.
The whole idea behind the “low-end” device is that Apple can compete with the cheap Android market, according to the source, which it has yet been unable to do since the iPhone first launched in 2007. Apple’s best attempt at addressing this market is with the iPhone 3GS, which the company continues to sell at a discounted price since the launch of the iPhone 4.
So will the iPhone 4 be the “cheap” device when Apple announces the iPhone 5? Well, Seth Weintraub of 9to5 Mac doesn’t think so. Instead, he believes that an entirely new device will launch based upon the iPod touch.
The iPod touch boasts the same Retina display as the iPhone, but it’s not quite as good — especially with regard to viewing angles — because it doesn’t boast in-plane switching. So it’s safe to assume these displays aren’t as expensive as those packed into the iPhone 4.
The iPhone 4 also packs a better camera, GPS, more RAM, and, of course, data connectivity — all of which the iPod touch doesn’t have — which means it’s nowhere near as expensive. Without contract, the iPhone 4 retails for around $600, whereas the iPod touch starts at just $229.
So, what if Apple was to just take the iPod touch — in its current form — but add in the “phone bits,” Seth says.
By introducing a GPS, 3G connectivity and maybe a better camera, you’re left with an iPhone that’s nowhere near as expensive as the iPhone 4, but with largely the same functionality.
I think Apple changes how it positions this device. It just sells this iPhone like it sells iPods in Apple Stores, at Amazon, in kiosks at Airports. Let the carriers all compete on price and quality of service like case manufacturers do. It works on AT&T but if they aren’t treating you right, you can go hook up with Verizon or Sprint.
It’s certainly an interesting concept, but surely it would be easier for Apple to continue selling the iPhone 3GS, but reduce its price tag even more and open up its availability, as Seth suggests?
What are your thoughts? Do you think this is what Apple’s low-end iPhone will be like, if/when it launches?