An iPhone on steroids
Apple may be cooking up a new iPhone that could rock both the netbook and handset markets.
Such a device would almost certainly broaden the iPhone’s appeal instantly, particularly since the iPhone has had an exclusive U.S. contract with AT&T as its carrier.
Verizon has more than 80 million subscribers to its wireless service in the U.S., and a powerful processor would move the iPhone even closer to being a portable PC replacement.
MacRumors says that the iPhone 3.1 has started to show up in trials. The site reports that the new device could be out by the middle of next year.
A more powerful iPhone could shake up the smartphone and netbook industries. The netbook sector is by far the fastest-growing part of the global PC business. Apple could go after market share in that segment with both an “iPhone on steroids” and a new, small version of the Mac.
A “better” iPhone would also pose a new threat to Research In Motion’s (RIMM) BlackBerry, which still has most of the business smartphone market while Apple has become a dominant force on the consumer side.
Apple has begun to press into RIM’s territory. An iPhone that works on AT&T’s and Verizon’s systems, as the BlackBerry does, should have attraction to business customers. A more powerful iPhone processor will let the handset run a broader spectrum of applications than the BlackBerry can.
The latest iPhone seems to be on its way -- and it may be as much a game changer as the original one was.
Top Stocks writer Douglas A. McIntyre is an editor at 24/7 Wall St.
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