Could we see three iPhones in 2013?

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from Kansas City, MO
Published: January 31, 2013

Rumor mills are at it again with talks of Apple possibly planning to release more than one iDevice this year. Whether it’s true or not is impossible to tell at this point but many news reports across parts of Asia have started talks about three possible iPhones to be released this year from the tech giant - two of which could be available by the end of June.

The first device with a probable (and most likely) release would be the iPhone 5S, which would follow suit with the past four generations of the iPhone. The “5S” would probably feature software changes and would keep the exact same housing, much like other “S” devices released in the past; the “S” version of an iPhone tends to outsell its previous model (which is part of the reason why I think the iPhone 5 didn’t fare as well as Apple had hoped – why buy an iPhone 5 when a better version of the phone will most likely come out a year later?). While an iPhone 5S is something we all at least expect to see, the second device rumored to make an appearance may not.

Alongside the iPhone 5S, rumor has it that Apple very well may be releasing a “cheaper” iPhone. I once wrote an article asking whether you thought Apple could benefit from manufacturing a cheaper iPhone, but most of the feedback I saw was hoping that instead of Apple focusing on a cheaper iPhone they would push forward with something more, you know, innovative. Personally, I think the business model they run now where the previous models of their iPhones drop $100 in price or so is fair enough. I still think a $99 iPhone 4S is a great deal, but maybe that’s just me. Purposefully manufacturing a cheaper iPhone probably wouldn’t fare that well in the United States, but perhaps there’s a higher demand for such a product in other areas of the world.

The third and final device that’s being talked about is an “iPhone 6”, which may or may not go by a completely different name (some say it would be called the iPhone Math, but I hope not as Annas and equations don't mix well) and would allegedly feature a 12-megapixel camera and a “larger screen”. They say this device would be released in December of 2013, which I think would be a bad move that would make a lot of potential iPhone 5S customers angry. Personally I don’t think that Apple would do this, but since we’re only talking rumors here it can’t hurt to address what could happen if Apple made such a move.

Apple has made it a “thing” to release only one new iPhone a year; while this worked for them to an extent; it’s no secret that their fame is slowly succumbing to the rise of Android. However, unleashing a horde of iPhones in one year probably isn’t the answer to their problems.  You have to take a look at what makes Android so successful: customization, of course, but other than that you just have a lot of options when it comes to how many variants are offered. Yes, the Galaxy S III and the Galaxy Note II are extremely popular and receive an overwhelmingly popular response, but those two devices are not the only Android devices on the market. There’s only one iPhone that comes out at a time, manufactured by one company. Based on that fact alone, they’re actually doing pretty well for themselves. No, they’re not doing as good as they used to, but with a business model like that trying to compete with Google’s business model regarding Android you’re most likely not going to stay on top forever.

While I definitely think some changes are in order for Apple to keep on keeping on, releasing two additional versions of the “iPhone” brand in the same year is probably not going to fix it. I could be wrong, though. Who knows? More importantly, what do you guys think? Should Apple broaden their horizons by releasing more iPhones? How do you think Apple could better themselves, if anything? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!


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