Apple (AAPL) - Get Report is widely expected to unveil a new iPhone (Stock Quote: AAPL) when it hosts its Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday in San Francisco, with a special appearance from CEO Steve Jobs also likely, according to reports.
Products rumored to be debuting at the show include a cheaper model of the iPhone, as well as models with more storage featuring a better camera that can capture video, a faster processor, a magnetometer, and possibly a front-facing videochat camera.
(AAPL) - Get Report A new $99 iPhone model is almost a certainty, according to several reports. Last week, The Financial Times reported that Apple plans to introduce a cheaper version of the iPhone at the show, citing people familiar with the initiative. The report quoted Morgan Stanley analyst Kathryn Huberty, who argued that a $50 price cut could increase demand by 50% and a $100 cut by 100%.
Also last week, TheStreet.com's Scott Moritz reported that some analysts expect a new iPhone, but not until July. Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster and Oppenheimer's Yair Reiner issued notes Thursday warning investors not to expect the new iPhone to be the centerpiece of Apple's presentation.
(AAPL) - Get Report However, The Wall Street Journal said Friday that not only is new iPhone hardware expected Monday, but also that Steve Jobs would do the public unveiling. Jobs, a survivor of pancreatic cancer, went on medical leave in January. He had said his medical leave would run until the end of June.
(AAPL) - Get Report If that wasn't enough, All Things Digital reporter Walt Mossberg wrote last week in his review of Palm's (PALM) new Pre handset (Stock Quote: PALM) that "the new iPhone to be unveiled next week will have lots of added features."
(AAPL) - Get Report (PALM) Larger storage capacities are also likely if a new iPhone model is introduced. While the rumored $99 version is expected to have either 4 gigabytes or 8 gigabytes of memory, tech blog Gizmodo reports that the highest amount of storage could be bumped from 16 gigabytes to 32 gigabytes.
(AAPL) - Get Report (PALM) Gizmodo also reported on the first purported screen images of a new iPhone, which suggest the new hardware will include a magnetometer for a compass application, as well as an autofocus for a new and improved built-in camera.
Apple shares were down 1.9% to $141.97 about three hours before the start of the conference. After the 2008 WWDC, when Jobs introduced the first iPhone 3G, Apple shares rose about 2% before finishing the week down 7%.
(AAPL) - Get Report (PALM) On the other hand, when the original iPhone was first announced at the January 2007 MacWorld conference, shares jumped 8.3% on the day of the unveiling and finished the week more than 11% higher.
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Rumor: Apple iPhone for $99?