The iPhone 5 could soon have a lot more in common with the original iPhone, which was first released in 2007. Apple is expected to retire its current handset by the end of next month. When this happens, the iPhone 5 would become only the second handset retired after just one year on the market, according to AppleInsider.
According to Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, Apple is planning to pull the iPhone 5 once it releases the so-called “iPhone 5S” in September. This model will be joined by the “iPhone 5C,” which is now expected to become Apple’s “mid-range device,” not the low-cost option as once believed. That distinction will soon belong to the iPhone 4S, which was first released in 2011.
The change, which Apple hasn’t confirmed, will also mean the end of the iPhone 4, which first arrived in June 2010.
According to the report:
Kuo’s claims run contrary to some recent rumors, which suggested that the “iPhone 5C” could replace both the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4. The logic behind that line of thinking was that Apple wanted its entire iPhone lineup to feature larger 4-inch displays and the new Lightning connector, completely removing the legacy 30-pin connector from the company’s product lineup.
First released in October 2012, the iPhone 5 is the first model with a 4-inch display. Prior to this, Apple only released handsets with 3.5-inch displays.
The iPhone 5S is expected to be largely identical to the current model – at least on the outside. It is likely to include a fingerprint sensor under the home button, plus a dual LED flash component for better low-light photos.
Here are the product life cycles for each iPhone produced, as of Sept. 10, 2013:
Personally, I think that the iPhone 5 deserved better. The iPhone 4S is the model that should go away. Nonetheless, Kuo’s analysis makes a lot of sense.
Retaining the iPhone 4S lets Apple keep a 3.5-inch model around. Besides, it would probably prove difficult to sell the iPhone 5C with a lower-priced iPhone 5 sticking around.
We’ll continue to follow this story. In the meantime, see: Now Is The Best Time To Sell Your Old iPhone, and Apple All But Confirmed To Go For Gold With Next-Generation iPhone.
Note: We’ve used an “end date” for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 of Sept. 10 since that is the day Apple is expected to hold its 2013 iPhone event. Most likely, however, these models won’t officially be pulled from the market until later in the month.