At this point, I don't think new markets can get Apple anywhere near 10 million by the end of the year. It has already hit the biggest potential markets. Talks with Chinese carriers haven't really started. And I doubt China would provide a huge market for the iPhone anyway. The iPhone is too expensive for China and, besides, it has already got a bunch of iPhone counterfeit clones for Apple to compete with.
I also don't think new pricing will do the trick, although I am willing to predict that Apple will drop iPhone pricing this year. The cheapskate holdouts aren't going to out-buy the rabid Apple fans and gadget freaks who already own iPhones.
The most likely scenario is that Apple will unveil a new iPhone this summer, or fall at the latest.
This is interesting because to date we have no way to estimate how often Apple plans to refresh the iPhone line with new versions. The iPod Nano is the only Apple player to be refreshed every year like clockwork. The other models vary from 20-month cycles for the Shuffle to the subyear cycles of the Classic.
A new iPhone is likely to offer goodies like 3G, GPS, more software flexibility and fixes for the many small annoyances that some current users complain about.
The only way Apple could possibly feel "confident" of reaching 10 million units by the end of 2008 is if the company were to sell more iPhones during next year's holiday season than it did during the 2007 season. And the only way to do that is to sell to existing users. And the only way to do that is to come out with a new iPhone.
New iPhone coming this summer?
Posted on Thursday, Jan 31 2008 @ 08:31 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck