RBC Capital analyst Mike Abramsky, a research note, suggests that Apple may drop the price of the 8GB iPhone to $99 with contract, according to a Barrons report.
In a research note this morning, he notes that the company is widely expected to unveil updated iPhones at the Worldwide Developers Conference on June 8. Expectations are they will keep price points at $199 and $299, with 16 GB and 32 GB models. Abramsky thinks even an evolutionary upgrade will drive a healthy upgrade cycle; he estimates 20% of the 21 million iPhone installed base will upgrade within the first year.
But he also says that the company could leverage its component and manufacturing efficiencies by offering an 8 GB version of the phone at $99, down from $199 currently. He thinks the result could provide a major lift to unit demand, with 5 million additional iPhones in FY 2009, and 22 million in FY 2010.