Will Apple Discontinue the iPhone 5s When the iPhone 6 Launches?

Probably not this year.

Jul 15, 2014 at 8:00PM

When Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) held its annual iPhone product launch last September, it did something that it had never done before. Instead of making the prior-generation iPhone 5 available at a $100 discount to the new iPhone 5s, it discontinued the iPhone 5 and in its place launched the iPhone 5c. Will Apple do the same thing this year, or will the iPhone 5s continue on as the "cheap" iPhone?

What Apple is likely to do
Looking at Apple's product stack today, you'll see that it consists of the following:

  • iPhone 4s (8GB) – free with contract.
  • iPhone 5c – starts at $99 with contract
  • iPhone 5s – starts at $199 with contract

With Apple allegedly planning to launch two iPhone models – the 4.7-inch iPhone 5s replacement and the 5.5-inch model that will presumably sit atop the 4.7-inch model in the pricing stack – the lineup could look as follows:

  • iPhone 5c – free with contract
  • iPhone 5s – starts at $99 with contract
  • iPhone 6 – starts at $199 with contract
  • iPhone 6L (the "L" stands for "Large") – starts at $299 with contract

With this product lineup, Apple addresses the full spectrum of smartphone users. Want a premium 4.7-inch handset? Apple's got it. Want a "phablet"? Apple's got that too. Prefer a smaller – but still high-quality – smartphone? The iPhone 5s is still great. Even the 5c, which was widely panned for being too expensive, suddenly becomes a much better deal with such a pricing scheme.

What does this mean for investors?
Although all of the excitement is -- understandably, of course -- centered around the upcoming iPhone 6 model(s), it's important not to lose sight of the fact that not everybody is going to be buying phones at the $199 unsubsidized price point. Having a compelling product line up at as many price points as possible is going to be key to bringing as many users into the iOS ecosystem as possible.

Interestingly enough, the product stack above could be the "first" in Apple's history. Not only will the company have a legitimate answer to parts of the high end that Apple hadn't really addressed previously (perhaps seven driving a net ASP uplift with the iPhone 6 models), but pushing the 5s and the 5c down will start to erode the value propositions of some of the lower-end Android phones.

In short, Apple is casting a much wider net.

Foolish bottom line
Quite frankly, it will be exciting to see what Apple's market share in the smartphone market looks like post-iPhone 6. Not only will Apple now have available to it the Android users that have been eagerly awaiting a larger iPhone to switch back, but Apple will be able to offer extremely high quality products into the lower end of the segment. 

Oh, and to answer the title of this article, it seems unlikely that Apple will discontinue the iPhone 5s following the iPhone 6 launch, as it just makes far too much sense to keep it as part of an expanded product portfolio. 

Leaked: Apple's next smart device (warning, it may shock you)
Apple recently recruited a secret-development "dream team" to guarantee its newest smart device was kept hidden from the public for as long as possible. But the secret is out, and some early viewers are claiming its everyday impact could trump the iPod, iPhone, and the iPad. In fact, ABI Research predicts 485 million of this type of device will be sold per year. But one small company makes Apple's gadget possible. And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!

Ashraf Eassa has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

©1995-2014 The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. | Privacy/Legal Information