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Apple Will Release Two iPhones in September, Says Analyst

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Come September, what will Apple have in common with HBO's The Wire?

Referring to iPads as WMDs?

Changing the name of Apple's HQ to Cupsterdam after allowing drugs on site?

Employees scattering when Jobs walks down the hallway, yelling, "Steve-o comin'?"

Nope. If analyst Chris Whitmore with Deutsche Bank is correct, Apple may start manufacturing its own set of burner phones.

According to Apple Insider, Whitmore believes the iPhone 5 will have some company when it's unveiled in September. He envisions the rumors will finally be substantiated and Cupertino will target the international pre-paid cell market with a cheaper, mid-range iPhone -- namely, the iPhone 4S.

"With Nokia and RIMM struggling, the time is right for Apple to aggressively penetrate the mid range smart-phone market," Whitmore declared in a note to investors. "It's time for a mid-range iPhone."

With a slashed price of $349, this purported iPhone 4S would be like a "low-end iPod Touch" and would target the vast number of pre-paid users among the 1.5 billion mobile customers worldwide -- roughly two-thirds according to estimates. At that price, Whitmore concludes that the iPhone 4S would boost its corporate gross margin without negatively affecting profitability.

"Apple shipped (about 87 million) units over the past 2 years which suggests it has reached only 6% penetration of its current addressable subscribers," Whitmore said. "Looking forward, we believe Apple has room to run both in terms of greater market penetration as well as incremental carrier additions going forward."

He added, "Using this framework, we believe an 8GB iPod Touch with an RF module could be priced ~$350 (unlocked without a contract) and still generate healthy manufacturing margins of ~53%."

Of course, bear in mind, Whitmore doesn't cite any source or claim to have any inside information on a dual-iPhone September release. While rumors about a pre-paid iPhone for the international mobile market have swirled for some time, to see one -- as Whitmore predicts -- in September would be quite a presentation.

Just the same, it would've been great to see one of the Barksdale crew "jumping numbers" on a touchscreen.

(See also: What's Apple Really Doing to the iPhone 5? and Apple Gets Slammed by Conan O'Brien)

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POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.

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