iPhone 5 release date: No price changes despite competition
May 28th, 2012, 11:30 A.M.–One analyst said the iPhone 5, the rumored 2012 smartphone of Apple, will not get a cheaper price tag from wireless carriers despite the upcoming stiff competition.
Apple is expected to launch a new smartphone, the iPhone 5, and sources of various tech sites say it will introduce a new display, a new processor, will include Long Term Evolution (similar to the iPad 3), and new mobile operating system, the iOS 6. Tons of new features if accurate, and one analyst is claiming that wireless providers in United States will might still offer the same $199.99 entry-level price tag possibly for the 16GB model, similar to the iPhone 4S.
According to Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster, the iPhone 5 “will represent the biggest consumer electronics product launch of 2012,” and even with the expected new features, the prices won’t change much. So, no price hikes? Likely.
Aside from the old Apple tradition of controlling and maintaining the prices of iPhones on-contract, wireless carriers here in United States are reportedly “not allowed” to offer cheaper iPhones largely due to their contracts with Apple. In a report posted by All Things D last month quoting CLSA research, present and future iPhone models will continue using the same prices for the “next 18 to 24 months” because the subsidies accounted for $19 billion (2011) of Apple revenue, and even with a slight change, either up or down, the revenue will still climb.
So the competition will continue, but wireless carriers will play with data plan prices and not the actual price tags of the iPhones, including the iPhone 5. If the iPhone 5 will offer LTE, then analysts say Verizon will get a slight edge due to its wider LTE coverage. However, AT&T, especially Sprint, might offer attractive LTE data plans to lure customers. Sprint is currently offering unlimited data plans for its iPhones, while AT&T and Verizon offer tiered data plans.
This year, Apple is expected to compete with highly-spec’d smartphones running Google’s new Android operating system, the Android Ice Cream Sandwich. Google might also offer more devices running pure Android Ice Cream Sandwich phones this year, according to one rumor, and the search giant will reportedly sell the devices through its new Google Play Store. The Google online store, which also offers applications, songs, movies and other content, is currently selling the Samsung Galaxy Nexus with the price tag of $399, with no monthly plan required.
Also, Microsoft is expected to introduce new devices with the help of its partners, and rumors say the upcoming Windows Phone will be powered by the new Windows 8 ecosystem. Nokia will play a major role, starting from its latest high-end phone with LTE, but an inexpensive on-contract price tag of $99.99.
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