Thompson's rationale for an LTE and non-LTE iPhone 5C? "It's unfathomable to me that Apple would not sell the iPhone 5C in subsidized markets such as the United States," he wrote today. "I expect the iPhone 5C to become the free-with-contract phone at most post-pay carriers."
In other words, the iPhone 5C would replace the iPhone 4 in Apple's current line-up world-wide, where the iPhone 5 is the priciest, 2012's iPhone 4S is offered for $99 with a two-year contract, and 2011's iPhone 4 is given away.
Most analysts believe Apple will retain the three-tier pricing structure this fall by ditching the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, both of which rely on a smaller screen and the older 30-pin charging connector, in favor of a more unified line-up of the iPhone 5S, iPhone 5 and iPhone 5C. All three of those devices would sport the same-sized 4-in. display and the newer Lightning connector.
Apple will probably unveil its 2013 iPhones on Sept. 10, or in less than three weeks, and start selling the new devices on Sept. 20 in the U.S., Europe and other markets.
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