A few weeks ago I wrote an article stating my belief that if Apple did launch the budget model with a 4-inch display, it made little sense for the company to keep the iPhone 4S. My reasoning was that the 5C would become the free-on-contract device in the States, leaving little point for Apple to keep on selling the 3.5-inch model at the same price. But I didn’t consider one other alternative.
Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst for KGI Securities reports on his belief that instead of replacing the iPhone 4S that it would replace the iPhone 5. So, the lineup in his mind would be the iPhone 4S, 5C and 5S. He believes that the iPhone 5C would cost somewhere in the region of $400-$500 SIM-free. Going against the common consensus that it would more likely cost between $300-$400. If his prediction is correct, it’ll mean the end of the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5.
Personally, I’m not buying it.
The only reason Apple needs to release a new mid-range model is because, currently, the $300-$400 mid-range market is almost devoid of any sort of real competition. Samsung virtually has it to itself. Hence why its sales and revenues are growing so fast. It’s that market that Cupertino has to aim for, and it’s the only one that makes sense.
And then comes the idea of replacing an elegant, aluminum and glass iPhone 5 with a bright, cheerful and cheap, plastic phone. It’s completely the wrong move. For years, dropping the last year’s model down to a cheaper price when a new model is launched has been fantastic for buyers. Especially when it looks and feels almost exactly the same as the new one. For those looking to save a little money, it’s enabled consumers to buy a brand new device at a lower cost than the latest device would.
In short, I’d take this speculation with a massive pinch of salt. The iPhone 4S is too old, it used a 30-pin connector which no other current Apple product uses and has a 3.5-inch screen which no other iDevice will have come September. It’s the end of the line and it surely cannot last another year.