Google-Lenovo Deal to Prompt Earlier iPhone 6 Release Date, with Cheaper Price Tag Too – Analyst

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By Erik Pineda | January 31, 2014 12:42 PM EST

Apple could be forced to advance its planned iPhone 6 release date this 2014 and to make the device a consumer magnet, prices would be lowered from the previous models.

Twitter/JohnnyPlaid
iPhone 6 concept

Such scenario would be prompted by the $3 billion Google-Lenovo deal that will see ownership of Motorola Mobility change hands anew. But what could spark alarms for Apple is the ensuing consolidation of the Android world, further heightening threat to the tech giant's iPhone business, JP Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz said in a report.

Moskowitz told CNET that possibilities abound once Motorola's transfer to Lenovo has been finalised. The most worrisome, as far as Apple is concerned, is the emergence of two solid Android players as formidable challengers to Apple's stranglehold of the smartphone market.

Samsung, already a major headache for the iPhone maker, will likely be joined soon by Lenovo as key Android device maker, backed by the Motorola brand it is set to acquire and its supposed closer ties with Google.

Moskowitz is convinced that Google's agreement with Lenovo, currently the world's biggest PC maker, has more to do with the Internet search giant's expansion plans for Android and its other services.

It is no secret that Lenovo already enjoys a good grip on China, which is a lucrative market that Apple is eyeing to invade. So with Google being cosy with Lenovo, the likelihood is Android will have easier time increasing its presence on a nation that counts hundreds of millions as potential smartphone users.

Such spectre would put more pressure on Apple to innovate - not only in introducing fresh iPhone features but also in packaging the device, in ways that would lure Chinese consumers that soon would be overwhelmed by Android alternatives, the JP Morgan analyst said.

With the coming consolidation that the Google-Lenovo deal would unleash plus the Android maker's improving relationship with Samsung, Apple would be hard-pressed to act quickly, decisively and possibly review its iPhone pricing model.

Soon enough, it would be hardly surprising to see affordable and decent Android phones swamping China and the rest of the world, CNET said on its report.

"With more budget-friendly phones coming from Samsung and Lenovo, Apple may need to rethink its resistance against a low-cost iPhone," the tech site observed.

In the absence of a budget iPhone, the best option for Apple in the near term is lower the iPhone 6 price points, which is not impossible at all if reports prove correct that the tech giant is prepping two variants - a premium and mass-geared model.

And to effectively stave off the mounting aggression from Android, Apple can elect to jump the gun on its opponents and rollout the iPhone 6 ahead of schedule.

Release date of the iPhone 6 is rumoured to take place between June and September 2014 but with tightening competition staring at its face, Apple may just have to push for an earlier touchdown while making sure that the device is laced with impressive specs and killer features.

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(Photo: Twitter/JohnnyPlaid / )
iPhone 6 concept
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