The world’s biggest technology company has another trick up its sleeve. Making a slight shift from its one iPhone per year schedule, Apple will unveil two iPhones this year. According to our source, along with its customary brand new iPhone, Apple will refresh the iPhone 5, adding a colorful touch. The refreshed iPhone 5 and the new iPhone will be announced at a September 18 event, a date previously reported by CE: The Magazine. Update: First reported by AllThingsD, multiple sources have indicated the event date is September 10.
Instead of adding another iPhone to its lineup, Apple has decided to refresh the soon-to-be mid-range iPhone 5 with a selection of colors and a reduced build cost, thanks to some well-placed plastic. The widely reported plastic iPhone will not be a standalone addition to the iPhone roster, but will provide an update to last year’s model, and assume the familiar subsidized (with a two-year contract) price of a second-year iPhone at $99. Refreshing the iPhone 5 with a selection of plastic parts in lieu of an additional iPhone model will alleviate part constraints on the upcoming iPhone, which is expected to match the physical design of the current iPhone 5, while keeping the number of iPhone models concurrently being assembled at three (iPhone 4S, refreshed iPhone 5, new iPhone).
In an effort to combat Google’s domination of the smartphone market share through Android, Samsung’s burgeoning growth, and to give consumers a more attractive lower-priced offering, Apple has chosen to take seriously the challenge of producing a true lower-cost iPhone that can contend with the attractive, low-priced options provided by its competitors better than “last year’s iPhone.” Dependent on the unsubsidized price, an iPhone 5 with a reduced build cost could increase Apple’s margins, as sales of lower-priced iPhones have increased over the last two years.
Update: The refreshed iPhone 5 and the new iPhone will be announced at an Apple event on September 10.