updated 05:55 pm EDT, Fri May 15, 2009
Apple pushes iPhone share
Apple executives have disclosed several strategies aimed at expanding the company's market share with the iPhone and Mac products. In comments made to Oppenheimer analysts, company officials noted the potential for significant growth of the Mac brand in international markets, which have shown a five-percent revenue growth in Europe while domestic shipments slid by eight percent.
To company considers the iPhone to be "still in its early days and could gain share by: providing more functionality; lowering prices; growing geographically; or segmenting the market with different models," wrote Yair Reiner, an Oppenheimer analyst.
Reiner confirmed that the comments originated with Apple's employees "[T]hey are not saying they will necessarily do all of these," the analyst told AppleInsider. "This is basically the menu of options."
A number of analysts have expected the company to introduce a lower-priced iPhone alongside the flagship device. Mark Abramsky of RBC suggests the new model could omit 3G and GPS functions, along with limit on data usage, but with a $100 price tag and a cheaper data plan.
"Apple said that one thing would be a constant: iPhone will remain a software centric device," Reiner noted. The company appeared to be "particularly excited" about prospects in China, a market that would clearly benefit from a lower entry price.
Many predict Apple will launch an updated iPhone or new models sometime in June or July. Although several reports suggest the announcement will occur during the WWDC keynote, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster expects the company to hold a surprise media event sometime later.