Analyst: Lower-Cost iPhones Expected in June | Cult of Mac

Analyst: Lower-Cost iPhones Expected in June

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The iPhone 3GS. Creative Commons-licensed photo by Fr3d: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fr3d/2660915827/
The iPhone 3GS. Creative Commons-licensed photo by Fr3d: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fr3d/2660915827/

Apple could unveil a lower-cost iPhone in June, a handset designed to address the two major barriers to adoption: cost of hardware and cost of the service plan, one analyst said Friday. The cost of iPhone hardware stops 85 percent of people, while the service plan is a barrier for 66 percent.

“We expect Apple to launch new iPhones in June that offer both a lower total cost of ownership and new functionality, potentially including gesture-based technology,” Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty told investors.


Such a cost reduction could give Apple 15 percent of the handset market and a $200 average carrier subsidy, catapulting stock to $358 per share, Huberty said.

When Apple introduced the iPhone in China last year, a major obstacle was cost. Millions of Chinese either buy gray-market iPhones able to operate on any network or a pre-paid handset. Apple announced Thursday plans to open 25 stores in China over the next two years.

Huberty released a rather bullish projection for iPhone sales in 2010, predicting 6 million iPhones for the calendar year, higher than the 3 to 4 million average expected by Wall Street.

The analyst also forecasts 6 million sales for the iPad in 2010, prompted by “better than predicted demand” for the gadget. Apple’s tablet device, expected to ship in March will hurt sub-$800 notebook sales, a 120 million unit market globally and 30 million unit sector domestically.

Huberty, once known as being negative about Apple pricing, now considers the Cupertino, Calif. company the “clear winner in the battle over the mobile Internet.”

[Via AppleInsider and Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech]