By Chris Velazco
Déjà vu, much? Like Apple’s original strategy for the aging iPhone 3GS, a new report states that Apple is working on an 8GB iPhone 4 to be sold at a discount while the iPhone 5 will sell at a higher price with contract.
According to Reuters’s sources, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has contracted a Korean firm to manufacture the discount iPhone’s flash drive. Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) was previously one of Apple’s vendors of choice for flash memory (the other being Toshiba) but it’s possible that recent patent unpleasantness may have soured that relationship.
The device, which is expected to launch within the next few weeks, is being looked at as Apple’s attempt to capture customers looking to transition into their first smartphone. Given the amount of mileage that Apple has gotten out of the 8GB iPhone 3GS that launched alongside the iPhone 4, such a device would probably give Apple some extra traction among first-time smartphowners.
The anonymous sources also come bearing news of the iPhone 5: it is reportedly slated for a late September release, but sans the cosmetic changes early renders and case designs have alluded to. The device is said to pack “a bigger touch screen, better antenna and an 8-megapixel camera,” but would otherwise look identical to the current model. Hon Hai and Pegatron, the two companies outed as working on the new iPhone, have been told to be ready to produce a total of 45 million units — nothing to sneeze at, for sure.
Summer is almost over, and the rumors are swirling at a faster pace than ever. The closer we get to the iPhone 5′s supposed launch, the more I hope some unrefutable evidence trickles out, but the scenario outlined above may well be what Apple has planned for the weeks to come.