What Is the Future of the iPhone 3GS?

Matthew Panzarino:

I think it’s safe to say that, even three years later, the iPhone 3GS still has a draw, especially for ‘free’. And Apple is still very much looking to tap into the pre-paid phone market. Here’s a thought: what if Apple were to cut the iPhone 4 from the lineup, instead of the iPhone 3GS?

The iPhone ‘next’ would be the flagship, the iPhone 4S would offer Siri and take the place of the 4 in the pricing lineup, and the 3GS would remain ‘free’ on contract. But, if the prices were right, Apple could expand the 3GS from a contract device to an off-contract pre-paid model that might finally give the company a horse in the developing nations race.

My guess is that if the 3GS stays around, the lineup would work like this: new iPhone at the top of the market, the 4S slides down to $99 on contract, the 4 slides down to free with a contract, and the 3GS is sold around the world as a low cost (by iPhone standards at least) pre-paid device. So AT&T wouldn’t even carry the 3GS anymore, they’d just have the 4 as their “free” iPhone, where the word free gets wrapped in dick quotes because it’s only free with an expensive two-year contract.

The big thing to remember about the iPhone 4 is that it’s the first CDMA iPhone. No way it’s going to disappear from the lineup, because now Apple could offer a “free” iPhone on Verizon and Sprint, too.

Thursday, 19 July 2012