$99 Apple Cellphone Inevitable, Analyst Says

The Kaufman Bros.—technology market analysts, plumber aficionados, and part-time acrobatic artists—are arguing that the $99 Apple-branded cellphone is going to happen, echoing what Charlie Wolf already said. Really. One of these days:

While we are not sure of exact timing, we think a $99 Apple-branded cell phone is inevitable. As we mentioned in our initiation report, we believe one of the key things Apple needs to do to drive broader iPhone adoption is to build a more complete product line like it has done with the iPod.

The reason being the price of the hardware that customers pay is not the big driver of economics. It's really about the subsidies, revenue share and royalties.

We said this before and we are saying it again: Basically, the Zamboni Bros. argue that Apple is going to change the strategy they have kept in place since Steve Jobs came to Apple: Upgrade products, keep the same prices, maintain profit margins. And keep grabbing money from the carriers and the applications store.

Maybe Apple will release a new $99 iPhone, just like they did the same with the iPod. One day. But unlike the Brothers Grimm, I find hard to believe that Apple will go the same route Motorola took with the RAZR. But who knows, one day it may happen, but for now, it's just vague speculation. [Apple Insider]