Speaking with an insider at one of the UK’s largest chain of stores last month, we were told that during a meeting with Apple, the store was setting up for the iPhone 5 launch on 23rd September. Looks like Jobs is still fit enough to do a little shimmy and shake. KitGuru looks to tie down the real launch plans.
Blackberry has made a fortune by creating the amazing/solid 9700 and then flogging weaker/cheaper models in the mass market. By and large, Apple has avoided that kind of tactic. The iPod Touch was pushed as an enhanced iPod – rather than a crippled iPhone.
But, overall, people only want to carry one device with them. While the tiniest iPods will always be popular with joggers, sales of the iPod Touch have plummeted from a peak of around 23 million units in the first quarter of 2009, to around 8 million on the second quarter of 2011.
Cancelling the iPod Touch and producing a slimmed down, cheap version of the iPhone – launching around the 1st of October – would give Apple a strong sales boost into the market of ‘people who’d love an iPhone but don’t want to spend £500’.
It is a strategy that has worked really well for Blackberry. Developing the low cost Curves from the (then) market-leading Bolds, was a smart move and gave a whole new generation of kids access to low cost, totally secure Blackberry Messaging Services [Wonder what they will use that for ? – Ed].
It looks like this slimmed down phone will go on sale for the Christmas/New Year season – reflecting the global downturn in the economy – with the show case items iPhone 5 and iPad 3 launching in March 2012. We’re hearing that major stores have been told to move their ‘major launch promotion’ from 23rd September to 1st October.
The flagging iPod Touch does everything you’d expect an iPhone 4 Lite to do – except the basic phone call. So what if Apple just adds phone functionality to the same kind of look/feel product?
KitGuru says: Giving the iPad 2 and iPhone 4 (white) around 1 year in the market to maximise return on investment, makes sense. Offering kids and those on lower incomes the chance to join Apple’s ‘let’s all look alike’ revolution would seem to fit in with Steve Jobs’ hippy ways.
Comments below or in the KitGuru forums.