Apple could release a new iPhone in early 2021 that looks a lot like the iPhone 12 with one major feature missing

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  • Apple could release a cheaper 4G version of its expected iPhone 12 in early 2021, according to a new report from Wedbush Securities.
  • Apple is expected to release several new iPhone models in the fall that will all support 5G connectivity.
  • If Apple released a cheaper iPhone 12 4G next year, it would come after the tech giant heavily leaned into more affordable products to boost its iPhone business.
  • Apple typically releases its new iPhones at the end of September, but the company said it expects to receive a supply a few weeks later than usual this year.
  • Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.

Apple’s annual fall iPhone launch regularly approaches, but that might not be all the tech giant has in store for smartphone launches in the coming months.

Apple could release a cheaper version of the iPhone 12 with 4G connectivity instead of support for 5G networks, says a new research note from Wedbush Securities written by analysts Daniel Ives, Strecker Backe and Ahmad Khalil.

Wedbush initially expected Apple to launch a mix of 4G and 5G versions of its iPhone 12 this fall. But the company has revised its forecast after its most recent supply chain checks in Asia, now saying it expects to see several 5G iPhones in the fall and a cheaper 4G model in early 2021.

Apple did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

Apple could launch this 4G-only variant around February, Ives told Business Insider. This version of the iPhone 12 is also expected to be cheaper than the 5G models launched in September. Other details about the device aren’t clear, but Ives predicted that Apple could price the non-5G iPhone at around $ 800.

He also said that Apple is not at risk of raising the price of iPhones this year, even for models that include 5G. The company is likely to launch some 5G models for under $ 1,000 and others that are similar in price to the iPhone 11 Pro, echoing predictions it made last month.

“Pricing will be aggressive as Apple will target its expanded customer base,” Ives said. “Especially in times of recession, in the context of COVID-19, they need to make sure they hit all price categories. ”

If Apple releases a cheaper 4G iPhone in early 2021, it will come as the company increasingly focuses on more affordable devices to boost its smartphone sales.

Last fall, for example, it launched the iPhone 11 for $ 700, which is $ 50 less than the iPhone XR’s starting price of $ 750 when it debuted the year before. The iPhone 11 was the world’s most popular smartphone in the first quarter of 2020, overtaking the iPhone XR, according to market research firm Omdia.

More recently, Apple launched the $ 400 iPhone SE in April, a bet that is already paying off for the tech giant. Apple attributed the growth of its iPhone division in its fiscal third quarter to the positive reception of the iPhone SE, among other factors, the company said in its recent earnings call.

Apple is expected to release four versions of the iPhone 12 this fall, all of which are reported to come with 5G connectivity. According to reports from TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Bloomberg, Apple may introduce new size options and a refreshed design that is more like the iPad Pro.

Apple typically unveils its new iPhones in mid-September and starts selling them later that same month, but the company has said it expects delivery of its next-generation iPhone to arrive a few weeks later than usually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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