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Next iPhone to match 3GS in price; CDMA built in August?

updated 08:10 am EDT, Thu May 13, 2010

Apple may boost price back up on 2010 iPhone

Apple is likely to bring the cost of materials back up to where it was a year ago when it releases the next iPhone, according to an early estimate. While making a 16GB iPhone 3GS has dropped to about $156, the new model is expected by UBM TechInsights to go back up to between $169 to $175, or about as much as the previous phone did when new. The phone's biggest price hike would come from a higher resolution screen that could cost $25, or $9 more than it does now.

The analysts believe that the screen would still be 3.5 inches but would move up to 720x480. An upgrade of the sort would maintain the same aspect ratio as the 480x320 screen today, but another has suggested a 960x640 display that would be an industry first. Some sources for the researchers support notions the phone might be called iPhone HD due to support for 720p video playback, even if the resolution won't be high enough to play the video at full detail.

Other factors would also contribute to the cost, but in less conspicuous forms. The custom-designed A4 would cost $16, or $3 more than the 600MHz Samsung ARM Cortex-A8 chip used in the iPhone 3GS. A 5-megapixel camera and the front camera could add a total of $6, and the combination of aluminum as well as a possible toughened ceramic back could boost the cost of the enclosure to $20.

Much of the final cost could depend on flash memory pricing, which could create an unusually wide gap in the capacities Apple can sell. While a 16GB version of the new iPhone has already been spotted and would likely cost about as much to make as the 3GS did, drops in the cost of flash memory production could leave a 64GB model costing just $250. Apple charges carriers significantly more but usually subsidizes the price to just somewhat higher than the raw manufacturing cost.

The GSM version of the phone is commonly thought to be shipping in June. A update on contracting rumors, however, has Pegatron manufacturing a new CDMA version sometime in August or September, as Apple would only start paying for assembly of the new handsets at the same time. The clarification is consistent with talk of a Verizon iPhone built in the fall.

Apple's expectations may be cautious, as part producers reportedly understand that the company will make about 10 million CDMA iPhones in a year. AT&T currently activates more per quarter, suggesting that the estimate if real doesn't expect many customers to defect from AT&T. It also wouldn't be a large enough volume for Apple to be selling the CDMA edition outside of the US, as sales at other significant CDMA carriers like China Telecom or KDDI could easily demand more units.


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By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. jdonahoe

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2006

    +4

    Low defection rate from AT&T?

    I don't buy that. The rate might be low initially, but if Verizon's network appears to keep up with demand, the defection rate should go up, way up. The reasoning would be that if the price is the same, but the service is better with Verizon, who's going to stay with AT&T?

  1. youngjm

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2010

    +1

    defection rates

    If one were to buy the new iPhone from ATT before a Verizon version is out/announced, the defection rate will be low since the cost of exiting ATT will include not only the purchase of a second 4th Gen iPhone from Verizon but also the $175 for the ETF.

    What we may see is a slow take-off of the new iPhone while some wait to see if Verizon does come to fruition. And if we do not see a Verizon version and folks then go to ATT to purchase the new iPhone's, the renewal dates on all those who wait could cause timing issues with subsequent iPhone releases and their eligibility to purchase them at the discount.

    JAT

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +1

    Re: defection rates


    If one were to buy the new iPhone from ATT before a Verizon version is out/announced, the defection rate will be low since the cost of exiting ATT will include not only the purchase of a second 4th Gen iPhone from Verizon but also the $175 for the ETF.


    That's on some big assumption that all these existing iPhone users will be rushing out for the new version. So far, there hasn't been much said about the next gen iPhone to warrant getting one right away. And with the rumors abounding, people who are already waiting for the new iPhone will have no problem waiting longer to see if Verizon does get one. Not everyone drools every time Apple rings the "New Product" bell.

    That's where the "All these rumors are just great publicity for Apple!" people get into trouble. Rumors are great, assuming they're true or close to it. But if Apple has no plans for a Verizon phone, letting the rumors percolate is only going to cause delays in purchases from those people waiting for it.

    Oh, and there are a lot of people who actually would have no problem paying an ETF to be able to get an iPhone that will work on a "reliable" network.

    the renewal dates on all those who wait could cause timing issues with subsequent iPhone releases and their eligibility to purchase them at the discount.


    Yes, because that is what most phone buyers think about. Not about getting the exciting new iPhone, but how my purchase of this phone will impact my ability to buy the next phone.

  1. WaltFrench

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2003

    +1

    CDMA?

    Regards the rumor: has anybody who's looked closely at the "liberated" new phones been able to discern the radio chip? Were both GSM?

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