Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair suggests that Apple may only be introducing a single new iPhone model on October 4th, reports BRG, the “iPhone 4S” (a beefed-up iPhone 4 variant with an A5 processor and 8MP camera), despite an abundance of claims to the contrary.
Blair cites Apple supply chain, which he suggests shows no sign of a redesigned iPhone 5 arriving any time soon, agreeing with other analysts who have made this observation, but contradicting numerous media outlets and other sources. Blair had the following comments to offer on the matter:
“…The focus of the new iPhone will be iOS 5, a speedier A5 processor and a higher resolution 8 MP camera with a small possibility of a larger 4 inch screen…We believe the casing will be largely similar to the iPhone with some particular modifications to the antennae [sic]. We don’t expect a second, dramatically different iPhone to accompany this as we don’t think Apple needs to have 3 models in the market to address the high end, mid-tier and low end since the iPhone 4 (with memory lowered to 8 GB) will drop to $99 and effectively attack those markets.”
There has so far been a complete lack of physical evidence for a redesigned iPhone 5, which has led to serious questions about the device’s impending release, but it’s also possible that Apple is putting significant effort into concealing the device and its details to avoid a situation like last year’s iPhone 4 leak by Gizmodo.
While it’s true that the iPhone 5 could easily become Apple’s low-cost entry into the market, introducing a new model that reflect only a moderate boost in specs would significantly disappoint many customers, and a lack of innovation in the hardware might cost Apple a renewed competitive edge against high-end Android devices.
Also of note in Blair’s comments is that he suggests that Apple will release multiple new devices in October, such as a 3G-enabled iPod touch, but only one of them will be an iPhone.
It does seem odd, however, that Blair would mention a 3G-enabled iPod touch, as the parts necessary to build such a device would be very similar to those required to build an iPhone 5. According to Blair, the iPod’s cellular data option will work like the iPad, giving users the option to purchase data plans on a month-to-month basis with no contract.