If you’re worried about not seeing a new iPhone this year, you really shouldn’t be. Apple is almost surely going to unveil a brand new smartphone soon. In fact, chances are that the Cupertino giant will introduce two new iPhones before the end of 2011.
According to Fortune, which quotes Deutsche Bank director / analyst Chris Whitmore, “the time is right for Apple” to launch a cheaper iPhone, alongside a new high-end model.
The cheaper handset should be the iPhone 4S – presumably a slightly redesigned iPhone 4 (pictured below – in the improbable case you don’t know what it looks like). This should have some new / enhanced capabilities, and could be sold for about $350 off contract, thus easily luring users in emerging markets into the iOS realm.
The higher-end new iPhone, which may be called iPhone 5, should be Apple’s response to the current and future dual-core Android smartphones (and, why not, also to the upcoming Windows Phone Mango handsets). I’d say the time is right for Apple to also change that 3.5 inch screen with a larger one – and the iPhone 5 could certainly have a larger screen, while the iPhone 4S could keep the 3.5 inch format (this way, compared to the iPhone 5, the 4S would be an iPhone Nano).
Of course, this isn’t based on actual facts: Deutsche Bank’s man doesn’t seem to have any concrete inside info on Apple’s plans. What he is saying is based only on studying the current global smartphone market. So an iPhone 5 & iPhone 4S duo may not be introduced this year after all.
In any case, at least one new iPhone may become available as soon as September. Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty has reportedly visited Taiwan, and contacted various sources there – this allowed her to declare that “Apple’s next iPhone will begin production in mid to late August” (and yes, it isn’t the first time we’re hearing this).
According to the graph below, Apple could produce almost 20 million new iPhones in the fourth quarter of this year.
Assuming they’re both released this fall, the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 will run iOS 5, which brings a boatload of new features, including a improved notification system, Newsstand, reminders, improved Twitter integration, and faster camera software.