New sales policies
Several industry watchers said that a multi-carrier strategy is likely to arrive in tandem with relaxed sales and pricing policies. We have already seen traces of flexible pricing when O2 in the UK and T-Mobile in Germany slashed the price of the 8 GB iPhone. Expect more such discounts, depending on region and carrier, most likely in countries with more than one iPhone carrier.
What about the U.S.? MacRumors speculated that even AT&T might offer a subsidy on the upcoming 3G iPhone with up to $200 in rebates. Technology Business Research analyst Ezra Gottheil agreed that it is not impossible that AT&T sits down and thinks "Hey, it’s worth it for us to pay Apple the full price for the iPhone, plus give a piece of change to the consumer."
The new sales policy is a logical step in the right direction. Gizmodo claims that the iPhone has clearly "solidified its position as the cellphone to beat during last twelve months," concluding that the handset will "most probably be integrated in the usual marketing systems of carriers, with point-based trade-ups, discounts for carrier switchers, and other service-based subvention packages."
3G iPhone will generate higher sales
Increased sales that are expected from the 3G iPhone are unlikely to originate from organic growth as Apple expands iPhone into new geographies. A multitude of other factors could be working in Apple’s favor. A ChangeWave Research 21% of existing iPhone owners complained about the EDGE network speed and 17% were not happy that they weer forced to use AT&T as their carrier. However, a related ChangeWave report reveals that more people are switching to AT&T than to Verizon because of the iPhone, although AT&T’s service is considered inferior. ChangeWave predicts that Apple can capture more than a third of smartphone sales within the next 90 days.
The hidden, untapped potential for the iPhone apparently is pricing. "Our polls have found that as soon as Apple was willing to drop the price, there would be a huge leap in demand," says ChangeWave director Paul Carton. "I don’t think that has anything to do with the iPhone, but is all to do with the worsening economy. People are much more price conscious now than they were several months ago," Carton said.