Apple has ended all speculation on the new iPhone, with an official announcement about a “Let’s Talk iPhone” event, set to be held at Apple’s campus on October 4. Invites were sent to the media (no we didn’t get one – boo!).
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The invite image leaves much to the imagination and requires some deciphering. In typical “God Is In The Details” Apple fashion, the first icon denotes the day and date of the event – October 4. The second indicates the time – 10.00am. The 3rd shows the location which is the Apple Campus, and the final icon clearly represents one notification. Or is that a clear hint that there will only be ONE iPhone – the iPhone 5? The clever ambiguous “Let’s Talk iPhone” headline also hides a double meaning. ‘Talk’ may refer to the advanced voice recognition system Apple has built into iOS 5.
Sources have previously believed that Apple would release two iPhone models, one targeted at the low-end of the market. Widely believed to be codenamed “N94” from leaked pictures of production parts, the low-end iPhone was supposedly the iPhone 4S, which would be sold side-by-side with the top-of-the-line iPhone 5. A cheaper, more affordable iPhone 4S would help stave off the threat of the growing Android market, boosted through the sheer plethora of hardware choices, many very cheap and affordable.
However, a two prong attack may dilute the premium status the iPhone has enjoyed so far. Desirability and ‘scarcity’ drives demand and creates the illusion of exclusivity. Something Apple products such as the iPhone thrives on. A cheaper iPhone strategy may actually backfire in certain markets, but may on the other hand, thrive in potentially huge markets like China and India, where cost is a barrier (and also where feature phones still rule).
More than likely though, we will see a much cheaper 16GB iPhone 4 at least, being sold alongside the new iPhone 5, a strategy Apple has implemented since the iPhone 3GS. It is expected that the new iPhone 5 will be available for sale through online and various retail channels in Tier 1 markets within 2 weeks.
Regardless, I’m excited about the October 4 event. Are you holding off purchases of a new smartphone until the announcement? I bet you are!