Daniel Amir, a Lazard Capital Markets analyst, describes in a recent research report that Apple will release two distinct new models of the iPhone this June. In the same report, he gives estimates for the number of iPhones shipped in the first and second quarter of this year.
As we all know, analysts tend to be a bit off when it comes to predicting anything within Apple’s realm, so take this with a grain of salt.
Amir reports that the rumored low-end and high-end devices won’t be available to everyone. He states that Apple will be splitting the devices up amongst different geographical locations:
“We believe it is possible that the two phones will be aimed at different regions,” he wrote. “The high-end version is expected in North America and Europe, and the low-end version may be for the BRIC countries [Brazil, Russia, India, and China] or China only.”
The report goes on to say that the high-end iPhone will contain 32GB of storage, video capabilities, and a better camera. The low-end version would then in theory have less storage, no video functions, and possibly no Wi-Fi. Now, all of this actually makes some sense, except for the lack of Wi-Fi. It is hard to believe that Apple would remove this feature especially since many applications depend on it, but it is still possible.
Amir predicts that Apple will have shipped as many as 4 million iPhones in the first quarter of this year:
“Our checks suggest that March iPhone shipments have been much stronger than previously expected and may reach 1.5 million units, which is the highest level over the past five months,” he said. “Total iPhone shipments in [first quarter of 2009] are therefore tracking slightly higher than Street expectations of 3-3.5 million units and could reach 3.8 to 4 million units.”
He then goes on to state that second quarter shipments could go as high as 8 million units:
“April shipments, including both the current and new versions of the iPhone, could increase 40%-50% month-over-month, and be up another 20%-30% month-over-month in May,” he wrote. “Accounting for the new versions of the iPhone shipping in April, total iPhone shipments in [the second quarter] could reach 7-8 million units, which equates to approximately 3-4 times last year’s shipments during the same period.”
So, according to Amir, the new iPhone will be shipping as two separate models. The high-end model will include almost exactly what everyone is expecting, while the low-end would somehow lack Wi-Fi as well as a few other features. Also, a record number of iPhones will be sold in the second quarter even though many users are holding out for the impending release of the new model. Hmmm.
At least we know that June seems to be where it is at. We will just have to wait and see.