iPhone users continue to download applications in massive quantities. The latest figures indicate that there have been 300 million applications downloaded since the Apps Store debuted in July. On top of that, analysts are speculating that Apple may re-introduce the 4-GB iPhone at a $99 price point.The numbers were revealed discretely in recent advertisements that were seen in The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. The ads, which tout how cool some of the latest iPhone apps are, had some fine print at the bottom revealing that there are in fact 10,000 applications that have been downloaded a sum total of 300 million times.
That's a whole heck of a lot of applications.
On top of that, comes news that Apple may resurrect the 4-GB iPhone and sell it through Wal-Mart at the $99 price point. According to Apple Insider, "While we are not sure of exact timing, we think a $99 Apple-branded cell phone is inevitable," analyst Shaw Wu wrote. "As we mentioned in our initiation report, we believe one of the key things Apple needs to do to drive broader iPhone adoption is to build a more complete product line like it has done with the iPod."
What's most interesting about Wu's comments is that he indicated there could or should be a range of iPhone products. Right now, the only thing differentiating the two iPhones currently retailing is the amount of internal storage (8 GB and 16 GB). A range of devices would include an entry-level iPhone, a midrange one, and a high-end one.
We have to assume that the $99 price point would be for the 4-GB model with an otherwise-similar feature set when compared with the iPhone 3G. My guess is that the midrange iPhone would be what we see for sale today.
That means Apple would have to bow a more advanced iPhone to serve as the high-end model. It could do this easily. Bumping up the camera quality, and adding a flash and video capture alone would make for a major improvement.
Apple also could add features such as an FM radio, stereo Bluetooth, and upgrade the 3G chip to a faster version of HSPA. To top it off, 32 GB of internal memory wouldn't hurt, either. That's all speculation on my part.
MacWorld is but a month away. Though Steve Jobs' keynote hasn't been confirmed, many are expecting Steve to introduce the next generation of iPhones. Will that include a new low-end model and a new high-end model? Only time will tell.