Before WWDC in June of 2008, when Apple announced the iPhone 3G, supplies of the original iPhone (now called 2G) began to dry up. Apple killed the iPhone 2G rather than allow two versions of the device to be on the market at the same time.
So why is every internet rumor and it's quotable analyst predicting Apple will once again introduce a low-end $99 iPhone this spring/year/at Walmart? Why do they think Apple will bring back the iPhone 2G? (which is essential what a cheap, 4GB, EDGE, non-GPS iPhone would be). Sure, the still-ongoing economic problems are a concern to every consumer electronics maker. Granted, non-subsidized markets like India have been difficult for the premium iPhone to penetrate. Okay, Steve Jobs said they wouldn't leave an umbrella beneath the iPhone for competition to try to exploit. FINE!
But here's the thing: Since when has Apple done "cheap" anything? Aren't these the same analysts that have been "predicting" an iPhone nano? An Apple Netbook? A bargain basement MacX mini-tower?
There are some markets Apple chooses not to participate in. And Apple doesn't know how to make cheap products that aren't crap.
Sure, maybe they'll re-introduce the iPhone 2G. Maybe they'll make a Netbook. Maybe Steve JOBS will appear on Dancing with Stars. Maybe I'll look really stupid when all of the above happens this year. Maybe not.
My guess? If Apple introduces new hardware like they're expected to this summer, maybe this time they'll let the iPhone 3G hand around as an 8GB lower-end model. We'll see if supplies start drying up around the May/June time frame.
Meanwhile, instead of breaking out my magic 8-ball again, I'm going to ask YOUR opinions. What do you think? Will Apple bring back the iPhone 2G? Will they go cheap?
(Thanks to Mike for sending in yet another analyst prediction, prompting this question).