Cody Fink, with some thoughts on the entry-level iPhone:
Apple is also currently in the process of making three big transitions. The first is the move to the 4-inch Retina display, which started with the iPhone 5. The second is the move to the Lightning port which also started with the iPhone 5, the Lightning cable being skinner and much easier to use than the previous 30-pin connector found on today’s iPad 2, iPhone 4, and iPhone 4S. The third is the transition to LTE. If Apple is looking to phase in their latest technologies, the best way to do it would be to phase out the glass iPhones by introducing a new entry level model that would give the low end phone the same advantages of the flagship phone. Having a new screen size phased in means good things for developers, and phasing in the Lightning connector at a faster pace means good things for Apple since they only have to produce one cable, and it’s also good for accessory makers targeting the latest iPhone owners. As of right now, the only phone that supports LTE is the iPhone 5. A new flagship phone would have it, but that would leave the iPhone 4S stuck on 3G and HSPDA unless Apple does a quiet internal update.
The press will try to spin the launch of an entry level iPhone as Apple’s way of fighting back against cheaper Android phones, as a way to gain ground over a competitor that’s supposedly winning the smartphone market. I think Apple isn’t interested in this, but rather in making an affordable phone that meets people’s expectations of quality in an Apple product. And if Apple can give you something that’s even better than an iPhone 4 or 4S at the same price, in addition to becoming possibly even more affordable in emerging markets, then that only means good things for consumers.