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Analyst: the cheap iPhone will be a free 3GS


Analysts really want Apple to enter the low-price smartphone market. So much so, they can't stop talking about this rumored cheap model. The latest analyst to chime in on this topic is Mike Abramsky of RBC Capital. He predicts Apple will release a cheap iPhone model when the iPhone 5 debuts. It won't be a new model, though. Instead, he expects the iPhone 3GS to be offered for free. Apple will also drop the price on the iPhone 4 to US$99, says Abramsky.

Earlier this week, Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore kicked off this rumor again when he proposed the idea of a mid-range iPhone 4S that will launch along with the iPhone 5. Toni Sacconaghi of Sanford Bernstein also called for Apple to release a lower priced iPhone, but did not mention an iPhone 4S. Keith Bachman of BMO threw a monkey wrench into everyone's predictions by dismissing the idea of a cheap iPhone and predicting a single, full-featured model - the iPhone 4S.

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