Despite being released just under three years ago, the iPhone 3GS is allegedly going to maintain its position within Apple’s lineup of smartphones. Instead of dropping the iPhone 3GS when the next-generation iPhone launches, Apple is apparently going to reprice the handset to better suit emerging markets that prefer pay-as-you-go plans.
According to Piper Jaffray analyst Peter Misek, Apple is planning on lowering the price of the iPhone 3GS to between $250 and $300, down from its current contract-free price of $375. Apple will be collaborating with “a leading distribution and logistics company” to increase sales of the iPhone 3GS in emerging markets.
In a research note published Sunday night, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek asserts that Apple has signed an agreement “with a major global distributor” which will look for ways to penetrate the pre-paid and developing markets. He thinks the phone will be repriced (at the wholesale level) from $375 down to the $200 to $250 range.
It’s unclear if Apple will continue releasing software updates for the iPhone 3GS, since iOS 6 could be deemed too slow to run on the three-year-old smartphone. If the iPhone 3GS isn’t going anywhere, Apple’s iPhone lineup could consist of the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and sixth-generation iPhone. Otherwise, Apple might opt to drop the iPhone 4 from that lineup because of its similarity to the iPhone 4S.