Apple iPhone 5C Removes Siri Assistant, Replaces iPhone 4S
By Chloe Albanesius for Ziff Davis
With almost a month until Apple’s reported iPhone event, the rumors show no sign of slowing down, with one analyst suggesting that a low-cost iPhone will drop Siri and ultimately replace the iPhone 4S.
In a Monday note to investors, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster suggested that Apple would “exclude some software features, such as Siri” on its budget iPhone, dubbed by some as the iPhone 5C.
Siri debuted on the iPhone 4S and has since extended to the iPhone 5 and iPad. Munster did not elaborate on why Siri might be on the chopping block, though it might be necessary if Apple goes with a lower-power chip.
Ultimately, “we believe it may make sense for [Apple] to discontinue the 4S product altogether and use the 5C as the lowest end phone in the product line,” Munster said.
During a recent earnings call, however, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the iPhone 4 was quite popular during the quarter among first-time smartphone buyers. With carrier subsidies, many people can get the older iPhone for free. Munster suggested the low-cost iPhone will retail for $300, though that is likely the unlocked, unsubsidized version.
When it comes to the newest iPhone, currently referred to as the iPhone 5S, expectations are “minimal,” Munster said. There will probably be a fingerprint sensor as well as a boosted mobile payments experience, plus an upgraded chip, battery, and memory. But overall, “we expect the 5S to be largely the same as the iPhone 5.”
By early to mid-2014, however, Munster predicted that Apple will unveil a larger iPhone with a 4.5- to 5-inch screen, for a simplified product line of good (iPhone 5C), better (iPhone 5), and best (iPhone 5S).
Like it did last year, Apple will likely hold a second event in October to reveal new iPads, Munster suggested. That will probably include a higher-resolution iPad mini to compete with the new Nexus 7.
Munster, meanwhile, is known for his predictions about the Apple TV – none of which have come to fruition. He acknowledged that Piper Jaffray has “talked about the TV for several years,” but now puts its arrival in the first half of 2014.
“We don’t see the current Apple TV as intuitive for the masses,” he wrote. “We believe the Apple television could solve the problem of too many remotes.”
As for an iWatch, Munster put the chances of the wearable gadget hitting the market in 2014 at 60 percent.