updated 01:45 pm EDT, Tue July 10, 2007
Gartner analyst chimes in
Yesterday JP Morgan analyst Kevin Chang, based in Taiwan and perhaps gaining access to manufacturing channel sources, speculated that Apple plans to build a $300 iPhone akin to the iPod nano. The rumor is backed up by a patent filed July 5th, which details telephone and text entry interfaces for a cellular-capable device via a click-wheel. Other analysts have now chimed in, saying that the speculation makes sense. Gartner analyst Hugues de la Vergne told MarketWatch that offering a $300 phone would give Apple the ability offer a product with a price premium above the core iPod nano product, but with a more reasonable price than the current iPhone. Vergne said that $199 is really the "sweet spot" of the market, with the RIM Pearl, Samsung BlackJack currently being offered at that price point. "This is what Apple has done with previous product launches," he said in an audio interview. "Apple has to adapt to the pricing of the market."
Meanwhile Apple's shares are currently up more than $2 on the cheaper phone rumor.