updated 03:30 pm EDT, Wed April 1, 2009
Regional iPhones coming?
A second iPhone model is under construction, but not the one that has traditionally been rumored, claims Lazard Capital Markets analyst Daniel Amir. Some reports have proposed that in addition to a mainstream iPhone, Apple is also preparing a cheaper one with stripped-down features. Based on checks, Amir suggests that the second phone will start production this month and ramp into full-speed manufacturing in May, before an announcement in June; rather than selling everywhere, however, it may be directed explicitly at countries such as Brazil, Russia, India and China, or simply China alone.
The high-end phone, following a similar schedule, will allegedly have new video functions, a superior camera and a maximum 32GB of storage. The companion version is said to have reduced storage and none of the new video capabilities; a possibility is thought be non-existent Wi-Fi, which would severely limit the functionality of the phone but shrink its cost and make it legal for China. Outside of Europe, North America and Japan, Wi-Fi is also less common than wired or cellular Internet connections.
Shipments of the iPhone 3G are meanwhile said to be healthy, and may reach as high as 3.8 to 4 million for the first quarter of 2009 due to unexpectedly high March numbers. As many as 1.5 million phones may have been produced last month, which would represent the highest quantity in five months. Some 8 million iPhones may arrive in the second quarter, Amir argues, though only 5 million of these would be iPhone 3Gs.