Low-cost iPhone could launch soon; Apple execs hope to settle patent disputes

RBC Capital analyst Mike Abramsky recently sat down in a meeting with Apple’s chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer and chief operating officer Tim Cook to discuss a range of topics, from Apple’s patent battles to the possibility of a budget-priced iPhone. “Apple’s primary criterion for launching a lower-end iPhone is an innovative, category-killer experience,” Abramsky wrote in a recent note to investors. The execs said that the components sector is currently a “buyers market,” which means it has the upper hand when it comes to negotiating for parts. In addition, Abramsky said Apple is interested in settling a number of patent lawsuits against Android phone makers such as Samsung and HTC, in an effort to strike favorable agreements in countries like China that have less firm patent protection. We recently reported exclusively that Apple has plans to launch a $350 contract-free iPhone, which could very well be the iPhone 3GS. Apple is expected to unveil its next-generation iPhone in the coming months for a September or October launch.

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