Why rush the next-generation iPhone when older iPhone models are still selling well? On Monday, the research firm NPD revealed that the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 helped Apple increase its smartphone market share in Q2 of 2011. While Google's Android grabbed 52 percent of sales in the U.S., Apple still had two of the best selling phones so far this year. Proving there is no need to flood the market with new devices on a daily basis. However, the same report revealed that one in five new phones sold in Q2 were on a prepaid plan, and that the prepaid phone market is still emerging.
On Tuesday, Reuters dug the iPhone 4S out of its rumor grave, by claiming Apple is working on a new flash drive for a lower-priced 8GB iPhone 4 which will be released in a few weeks. While Apple fanboys and tech bloggers have their eyes glued to the iPhone 5, and the new rumored October 7 release date, does Apple plan on sneaking out their "affordable" iPhone in September?
Splatf pointed out that a new iPhone didn't help Apple increase its market share in Q2, but an aging discounted iPhone 3GS and introduction of the Verizon iPhone did. Even though Google's Android is gobbling up a bigger piece of the pie by releasing a new device every week, Apple's older models are still in the top 5 selling phones. Basically, a revamped iPhone 4 may not be exciting news, but it could help Apple boost sales.
Reuters also seems to be sticking with earlier rumors of a bigger better next-generation iPhone and September release date.
"In addition to the launch of the smaller iPhone 4, Apple is targeting an end-September launch for the next-generation iPhone 5. The new iPhone, which some call the iPhone 4S because of its largely identical appearance to the existing iPhone 4, will have a bigger touch screen, better antenna and an 8-megapixel camera."
Either Reuters is late to the rumor game, or other tech blogs were too quick to jump on dreams of a slimmer, redesigned iPhone 5. Reuters is still referring to the iPhone 4S, which has seen several facelifts over the recent months. It has gone from being the next-generation iPhone to the inexpensive new Apple model. While it seems the rumor mill is coming full circle, the picture is still quite unclear.
You can either choose to believe that Apple will release a revamped 8GB iPhone 4 along with the iPhone 5 in September, or you can wait for the sleeker iPhone 5 to be launched in October. If you mix up all the reports, leaks and rumors; Apple could quietly release a new iPhone 4 model in September, the new-look iPhone 5 in October and start giving the iPhone 3GS away for free.
Mix-and-match your favorite iPhone rumors to see what new scenarios you can create! It will help you keep busy until Apple actually makes an official announcement.