Not long after T-Mobile decided to drop the price of its Apple iPhone 3Gs in Germany, rumors have surfaced that O2, a carrier in the United Kingdom, is planning to do the same.
The rumored price cut comes on the heels of growing evidence of a new iPhone coming to market. T-Mobile’s, and, if true, O2’s price cut could be based on the carriers wanting to get rid of inventory to make room for the new model. T-Mobile dropped its iPhone 3G price in January.
O2 is expected to drop the price of the iPhone 3G in May, just in time for Apple’s rumored new iPhone to hit the shelves in the summer, the U.K.’s Mobile Today reported. Apple’s 16GB iPhone is currently free to consumers who pay $105 a month and the 8GB model is free for consumers paying $63 per month.
A Carrier Decision
In December, O2 confirmed that it would cut the price of the iPhone to $235 as part of a limited offer. The reduction on the 8GB model began in December and is expected to run until June. The 16GB iPhone was not included in the 2008 offer.
“Will we see price cuts or not? It’s a carrier-level decision,” said Michael Gartenberg, vice president of strategy and analysis at Interpret. He said any cuts would be depend on the service agreement and the carrier involved, and the arrangement and the country it is being offered in. He doesn’t think a price drop equates to a new iPhone coming to market.
“I don’t see anything in particular that is indicative of any coming price cuts,” Gartenberg said. “Typically where we have seen this is in the past when inventory is hard to get.”
Last spring there was a period when it was difficult to purchase a first-generation iPhone before the launch of the 3G.
St. Patrick’s Day Surprise
While there are always rumors about Apple’s many moves and business decisions, some rumors may come to fruition Tuesday at Apple’s iPhone OS 3.0 invite-only media event. The event is focused on the new iPhone software development kit, according to Apple. And the company is expected to give the media a peek at its OS 3.0 software.
“I’m expecting Apple to announce some details of the OS and SDK,” Gartenberg said. “People have all sorts of wish lists of what Apple might or might not announce. I would expect Apple to not announce a new phone next week. It is typically not something they have done in the past (at these kinds of events).”
Speculation, however, is that a new iPhone is expected in June or July and will be a mid-range device that will be less expensive with a lesser camera, screen size, or memory, sources told Mobile Today.
Apple will most likely not take away any features like the screen size or camera, according to Gartenberg, but it’s more probable that there will be other devices.
Apple Still Moving
“People have been speculating that over time the iPhone might emerge into a series of devices with different capabilities,” Gartenberg said. “Apple’s challenge is simple — delight the consumer, spark their imagination, and move the bar up.”
What is interesting is that even with CEO Steve Jobs on medical leave, Apple is still moving ahead with products and announcements.
“Next week will be the fourth week Apple has taken the stage,” Gartenberg said.