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iPhone trifecta rumored for 2009

Increased bling level

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Three new iPhones will appear in 2009, according to an analyst with the Canadian research firm Canaccord Adams.

According to a report on Seeking Alpha, analyst Peter Misek identifies the most lavish of the three as a 32GB iPhone 3G that will be available in multiple colors - an iPod Nanofication of the iPhone's bling level, in effect.

The remaining two projected 'Phones are less fashion-forward. The first would be a rebirth of the original iPhone "targeted for China and India." The original iPhone, as you'll remember, had no GPS circuitry - a limitation that some observers believe would be required by the security-conscious Chinese government.

The third and final new iPhone would be a low-cost device "about one-third the size of the 3G iPhone," according to Seeking Alpha. That's significantly smaller than the much-rumored iPhone Nano, for which Shenzhen, China, case maker XSKN is already selling cases on its website. Our guess is that someone at Seeking Alpha mistook "one-third smaller" for "one-third the size of."

Misek believes that any low-cost iPhone, such as the one he predicts, would not be a voice-only device. We agree. The iPhone is a platform, not a mere phone-call machine, and as such it's a gateway into the continuing revenue stream that's the iTunes App Store.

And as King Gillette discovered with his disposable razor, and as inkjet printer manufacturers have perfected, one secret to success is to offer a product with a price that's a low barrier to entry, to be followed by continuing sales of must-have supplies.

And while the iPhone - unlike a safety razor or printer - will function without follow-on purchases, it's not nearly as much fun without them. ®

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