Amit Daryanani of RBC Capital Markets issued a note to investors on Friday in which he said he’s received word that Apple plans to launch “multiple new phones” in the June-July timeframe this year. Specifically, he expects Apple to launch a next-generation flagship handset, a so-called “iPhone 5S,” as well as a more affordable handset.
”The low-end iPhone will have the same 4-inch form factor as the iPhone 5, but will have a plastic casing and no Retina display,” he said. “With a lower price point, AAPL will be able to target a growing and important part of the smartphone market (sub-$400 price band).”
Apple hasn’t had a non-retina phone since the 3GS and even the iPod touch now has a retina display. I can’t see any reason at all why they’d now decide to go back a generation on the screens just for the sake of breaking into the bottom of the market.
Analysts seem to think that Apple need to have an entry-level smartphone because Android devices are dominating that area. The problem with that is those types of smartphones are used by people who just want a phone and don’t care what it does as long as it’s free on a monthly plan. Why? Because smartphones are the only phones on the market now, there isn’t this divide of “phones vs. smartphones”. We’re at the stage now where saying “smartphone” is redundant, in the same way most people don’t continually say “HDTV” – they’re all HD so we just go back to TV.