Just when you thought you had your finger on the pulse of iPhone 5 rumors, an analyst decides to mess things up, again. Seriously, keeping up with these super-connected analysts is becoming a job in and of itself. Anywho, according to BMO Capital’s Keith Backman, Apple is going to continue to offer a severely discounted iPhone when the new iPhone is released in September, but, instead of pushing the products down the line, the iPhone 4 will be discontinued, and the iPhone 3GS will remain as Apple’s cheap option.
Up until this point Apple has been pushing previous generations down the line and into the discounted bin. When the iPhone 3GS was released, the iPhone 3G was offered cheaply, and then when the iPhone 4 was released, the iPhone 3GS took the iPhone 3G’s place on the list. But that’s where it’s going to end. The iPhone 3GS may be slated to remain in the cheap slot for the time being.
Adding this to the rumor that Apple may be releasing both an iPhone 4S, and an iPhone 5 in the next 6 to 8 months, we could see three iPhones on the market at the same time, which has never happened before.
Currently you can get the iPhone 3GS for $49.00 with a contract, and an iPhone 4 for $199.00 if you’re eligible for an upgrade from your carrier (unlocked iPhone 4s are available for $649.00). We expect that a new iPhone 5 (or maybe 4S, if Apple only releases one phone) would come in at the same price point. Should Apple actually ship two phones, the rumors suggest that the second phone, possibly labelled the iPhone 4S, would come in at $350.00 unlocked.
It seems like a bit much, but it certainly would make sense if Apple’s moving to take on Android head on. Offering up three phones instead of two could help that cause, so long as the iPhone 3GS doesn’t suffer when iOS 5 is released.
TL;DR Apple could have three phones on the market soon: the iPhone 3GS ($49.00 with plan), the iPhone 4S ($350.00 unlocked), and the iPhone 5 ($649.00 unlocked).