Analyst: Apple to build two iPhone models for September release

Speculation about Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) next iPhone kicked into a higher gear with a new batch of analyst reports predicting Apple will release at least one and possibly two new models in September, as recent reports have indicated.

Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore wrote in a research note that Apple will release both a new high-end model as well as a cheaper model for the prepaid market. Whitmore said that, with both Nokia (NYSE:NOK) and Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) struggling, "the time is right for Apple to aggressively penetrate the mid-range smartphone market (i.e. $300-500 category) to dramatically expand its [total addressable market] and market share."

Bloomberg reported earlier this month that Apple is busy finishing a cheaper version of the iPhone aimed at developing countries, something Apple COO Tim Cook hinted at in February.

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.

Adding more grist to the rumor mill, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty--recently back from a trip to Taiwan--wrote in a research note that Apple will begin production on the next iPhone in mid to late August, and will "ramp aggressively" into the fourth quarter. As a result, she cut her estimates for iPhone sales in the third quarter due to customer anticipation of the new model. Interestingly, Huberty also said Apple is forecasting a "large" iPhone shipment increase in 2012, "on the back of new products and potentially lower price points," which is another indication that a cheaper model may be coming. 

For more:
- see this Fortune article
- see this Forbes article
- see this paidContent article

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