Check out our review of the Apple iPhone 5C smartphone.
Rumor has it that Apple’s rumored budget iPhone might not be such a good deal, after all, according to an analyst known for starting Apple rumors.
In a research note released to investors on Monday, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster says he believes Apple plans to exclude its Siri voice assistant feature from the cheaper new iPhone, allegedly dubbed the iPhone 5C.
“In terms of the phone itself, we expect the cheaper phone to have a plastic casing, 4-inch display, and lower end internal specs (processor, camera, memory, etc.) than the 5S/5 line up,” wrote Munster. “Additionally, we believe that Apple may exclude some software features, such as Siri, which we note was not an option on the iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4 upon launch.”
In other words, the so-called iPhone 5C, which is expected to retail for an unsubsidized price of $300 (which would make it free on contract), may have a bigger screen, but still have fewer features upon launch than the two-year-old iPhone 4S. Speaking of which, Munster also believes Apple should scrap the 4S entirely, to help boost sales of the Siri-less iPhone 5C.
The omission of Siri in any new iPhone would be an odd move by Apple, which has spent years promoting its voice-activated digital assistant and added substantial upgrades to the feature in the forthcoming iOS 7 mobile operating system. Add to the fact that even the fifth-generation iPod Touch has Siri, and Munster’s analysis seems nothing short of clueless. Remember, folks, this is the same guy who has been predicting the release of Apple’s fabled iTV for years without getting it right.
As for the higher quality iPhone 5S, Munster predicts that it will in fact include a fingerprint scanner on the Home button, but the Piper Jaffray folks “do not believe the sensor will be built into iOS 7 enough to introduce a feature like secure payments.” That feature, Munster says, will be “a key feature of the next version of iOS in 2014.”
Whatever the next iPhones have in store, we’ll reportedly find out all about them on September 10.
(Read all our iPhone 5S and 5C rumors here.)