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Piper Jaffray: Budget iPhone Could be Feature Limited, Replace iPhone 4S as Base iPhone

Piper Jaffray: Budget iPhone Could be Feature Limited, Replace iPhone 4S as Base iPhone

Piper Jaffray analyst, Gene (Not Eddie’s Father) Munster, in a research note to investors on Monday predicted Apple may make iOS 7 a little less feature rich on the rumored budget iPhone, perhaps deactivating features such as Siri on the low-end device. He also thinks the new “iPhone 5C” could take the place of the iPhone 4S on the low end of Apple’s handset lineup.



Recognizing recent rumors of a Sept. 10 iPhone announcement, Munster took the chance to update investors on his Apple product pipeline predictions for the rest of the year and into 2014.

Munster basically followed the leader in his predictions for the “iPhone 5S,” mentioning the fingerprint sensor in the home button, which he believes will be limited to user authentication, and the usual “S” upgrades, such as improved processor, battery life, memory, and other “bumps.”

It’s the iPhone 5C where Munster veers from the well worn path of other analysts. While he goes along with the predictions of plastic casings, a 4-inch display, and such, he goes a bit off-road, saying he believes Apple will cripple some of the features in iOS 7 on the device, including omitting Siri functionality.

Munster believes “it may make sense” for the company to discontinue the iPhone 4S instead of continuing to offer the model as a free-on-contract device. The analyst says this would bring parity to the lineup, with the iPhone 5S, current iPhone 5 and iPhone 5C all having similar designs and screen sizes.

In his vision, Munster sees the iPhone 5C selling for around $300.

In his final remarks, Munster agrees with the September iPhone launch date rumors, and sees a new iPad and iPad mini launch in October. He’s hanging in there with his Apple TV product prediction, saying a new one will be introduced before the end of 2013. He then joins in on the larger-screen iPhone chorus, predicting a mid-2014 date for both it and the much-rumored “iWatch.”

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