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Analyst: Cheaper iPhone comes

Posted: 05 Jan 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:iPhone production  base band 

Unofficially dubbed the "iPhone Nano," a lower-cost version of Apple Inc.'s popular iPhone may be available by the second quarter of 2009, according to Craig Berger, an FBR Capital Markets analyst, in a research note published on December 31.

Berger said contacts within the electronics component channel see several new Apple products coming in the first part of next year, including a less expensive MacBook and a new, smaller version of the iPod Shuffle.

According to the analyst, channel checks indicate that Qualcomm Inc. has apparently replaced Infineon AG as the base band supplier to the iPhone. He also revised his prediction for fourth quarter iPhone production, saying he now expects it to be down 53 per cent from the third quarter. He expects iPhone production to decline 8 per cent further in the first quarter of 2009.

However, Berger said checks indicate that the magnitude of production cuts for all Apple products is lessening and that order patterns among component suppliers may begin to stabilise somewhat compared with the past few months.

These checks are slightly positive news for Apple PC chip suppliers like Intel Corp., Marvell Technology Group Ltd., LSI Corp. and Nvidia Corp., Berger wrote. The news is neutral for iPhone chip suppliers like Broadcom Corp., Marvel, Linear Technology Corp., National Semiconductor Corp., Triquint Semiconductor Inc. and Skyworks Semiconductor Inc., Berger wrote.

Berger called the fundamental risk/reward dynamics for these stocks attractive for intermediate-term investors and said FBR believes a fundamental bottom for them may form in the fist half of 2009. Distributors may replenish component inventories sometime next summer, he said.

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