Apple plans to launch two new iPhone models this fall according to a new report: an iPhone 5 and a new “simplified iPhone 4.” In a note to investors on Wednesday, Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White cites a Chinese-language report from Sohu.com in stating that Apple and China Telecom have reached a preliminary agreement. The site reports that the leading Chinese carrier will launch two distinctly different iPhone models beginning as early as the end of October — an iPhone 5 and a retooled, less expensive iPhone 4. According to White, the new iPhone 4 model could be “a more economical version of iPhone to target a broader customer base in developing countries such as China, allowing for an expanded market opportunity.” In fact, a new high-end model and a less expensive iPhone 4 could combine to create a long-term $68 billion opportunity through China Telecom alone, the analyst wrote. White reiterated his Buy rating on Apple stock, and he maintains his 12-month price target of $666.
In a note to investors on Monday, Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi said that Apple is looking to expand its smartphone market share by addressing the cost of its handsets. Apple doesn’t want its products to be “just for the rich,” Apple COO Tim Cook reportedly told Sacconaghi in a meeting, a possible indication that the company is looking to offer a less expensive iPhone option or even work with carriers to offer better rates. Cook is also said to have told the analyst that Apple will be doing “clever things” in the prepaid market. Cook noted that Apple will continue to focus on the tablet market as well, where it has seen huge success. Sacconaghi believes tablets could soon end up being a $60 billion to $100 billion business for Apple, whose iPad currently owns the majority of the tablet market. More →
The recent resurgence of “iPhone nano” rumors has Wall Street analysts working overtime. They already love Apple, which has basically been printing money lately, and rumors of Cupertino cooking up a smaller, cheaper iPhone could certainly send Apple’s mobile profits even further skyward. In fact, one analyst thinks a cheap version of Apple’s iOS-powered smartphone could expand its addressable market by a whopping 600%, therefore potentially giving iPhone profits a 250% boost. Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi thinks Apple needs either needs a cheaper iPhone or more carrier agreements in order to increase its smartphone market share — a notion that borders on the obvious. The former option, a cheaper iPhone, could be achieved by building a smaller phone with a smaller display panel. But Sacconaghi loses us entirely when he pitches another possibility that Apple might address new customers by offering an iPhone that doesn’t require a data plan. Apple has more muscle than any other cell phone maker right now, no doubt, but carriers would never sell an iPhone that didn’t help them reel in the dough on precious data plans. More →