According to Appleinsider, Apple execs visited with a Royal Bank of Canada analyst. The analyst came away with nothing to add about new products but did say that Apple will address the low-end market with an "innovative, category-killer experience". And until Apple can do that, there will not be a low-end iPhone.
Obviously, that does not say much. But let me take you back a bit to a couple of years ago. Apple was faced with a similar situation with other mobile products but the same sets of inquiries.
Once upon a time, Apple executives was quizzed about why they're not in the netbook market and what they plan on doing about it. And in another lifetime, Apple was asked about what they plan on doing to address the $500 segment of the laptop market.
And in addressing the netbooks, Steve Jobs sheepishly said the iPhone was Apple's answer to the netbooks. Okay, if you think long and hard, I guess you can make that case. And of course, Apple also had the iPod touch too.
And when asked about the $500 laptop, Steve Jobs said Apple could not make a $500 laptop that wasn't crap. And Apple's eventual answer was the iPad in 2010.
So, back to 2011. Apple's executives, minus Steve Jobs who is on medical leave, basically conveyed to the RBC analyst the same thing. It is iPhone 3GS? Maybe. It's hard to say that what Apple's low-end device is and how low they are willing to go to address it? You can get a prepaid Android for as low as $150. There is no way Apple will go that low.
I think Apple's idea of low-end could mean $300 in the pre-paid market. Such a device can be free for the customer with carrier subsidy.
And while the iPhone 3GS could possibly be this device, it is not an ideal solution. I don't know if Apple will release the device this fall or not. The only thing we can be sure of is that Apple will let us know. And we'll know it when we see it.