According to a new report from Kaufman Brothers analyst Shaw Wu, Apple and AT&T are discussing a tiered data plan for their customers. Wu believes that the current economic crisis is making customers less willing to pay the additional $30.00 for data.
“Our sources indicate what’s holding up new iPhones are not technology issues but rather fine-tuning of its go-to-market strategy,” Wu wrote. “Due to fear of lower profits, [AT&T] is more open to developing tiered data plans that fit more in line with today’s environment.”
Wu doesn’t give any examples of what AT&T’s possible tiered plans would be.
Wu also believes that Apple will follow the same path that it created with the iPod, offering more choices for customers. According to his supply chain checks, he believes Apple has three iPhone models waiting in the wings.
“Apple, along with AT&T and its carrier partners, is in the midst of figuring out how to position a second and potentially even a third iPhone model that would be complimentary and minimize cannibalization with the current 3G iPhone,” he wrote.
This of course goes against what Tim Cook had stated last month, that Apple has no intentions of competing in the low-end mobile phone market, but this is the same Shaw Wu who stated a $99 iPhone would be available at Wal-Mart before the end of 2008. Basically, it’s hard to believe anything that is coming out of his reports.
Many analysts, for whatever reason, don’t believe Tim Cook was telling the entire truth about a low-end iPhone but analysts haven’t been able to predict many Apple trends in the past.