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Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS

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Apple is reportedly talking with wireless carriers about pricing for its upcoming iPhone, but not about reinvigorating a stalling smartphone market by lowering prices, instead about raising the cost of its top-of-the-line handsets.

"Our checks indicate Apple has started negotiating with carriers on a $100 iPhone 6 price increase," investment banking firm Jefferies analyst Peter Misek wrote in a research note, reports the Investor's Business Daily

"The initial response has been no," Misek continued, "but there seems to be an admission [by wireless firms] that there is no other game-changing device this year."

Due to that lack of competition – which apparently includes Samsung's Galaxy S5 – Misek believes that Apple might be able to squeeze at least some of that price boost out of carriers – and, likely, consumers. Doing so, he reasons, would help Apple's projected iPhone 6 gross-margin slide, and by doing so counter some of the stock-price pressure that Apple is currently undergoing.

When Apple reported its most recent quarterly results in late January, the Wall Street moneymen spanked its stock price due to Cook & Co.'s relatively tepid revenue forecast. If Misek's "checks" are correct, Apple believes that the best way to boost those numbers is not to sell more cheaper phones, but to raise the prices of handsets that have been proven to have a high rate of customer loyalty when it comes to upgrade time.

Although Apple is far from being the global marketshare leader in smartphones – that honor goes to Sammy – its share of the smartphone profits is impressive. "Since the launch of the iPhone," writes Horace Dediu of Asymco, "the net profits earned by the collection of [smartphone market] protagonists shown was $215 billion. 60 per cent has been earned by Apple."

Apple is widely rumored to have two iPhones in its product pipeline: one with a 4.7-inch display that's said to be on tap for a fall release, and a 5.5-inch follow-on. Although Misek wasn't specific about the display size of the iPhone that Apple is shopping around to carriers, we'd bet that it's the smaller of the two.

After all, a 5.5-inch handset would venture into phablet territory, and we'd imagine Apple would want a higher premium for that bruiser than a mere hundred bucks. ®

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