Free El Cinco arriving September 7?

Okay. Find a salt shaker. Unscrew the cap. Drink all the salt. NOW you can read this item.

CNET is reporting on a brace of new rumors that Apple will roll out a whole bunch of products on September 7th. There will be some new iPods but the big moment would be TWO iPhone 5s. The regular one and a cloud-based stripped down model that would be essentially free with a two-year contract from Verizon or AT&T.

From CNET:

C> iting information from three independent sources "all connected to Apple in different capacities," AppleNApps says the new phone would combine iOS 5 and iCloud to use Apple's new cloud-based service more so than local storage to house data. Cannibalizing parts from the iPhone 4 and using less flash storage, the iCloud iPhone would be cheaper to produce than the full iPhone 5 and ultimately be free to consumers who sign up for the typical two-year contract.

It's been long speculated that there's no practical or financial reason why Apple shouldn't make the iPhone free to consumers with a new contract. Mostly it's come down to branding. Apple wants to have the perception that what it offers always has direct value. And historically, Apple has seemed a lot less worried about big percentages of market share, it would rather have loyal customers paying a premium.
But heck, how many people would jump to the iPhone if they heard it was free (along with a contract that would cost many hundreds of dollars).

About the author

John Moe is the host of Marketplace Tech Report, where he provides an insightful overview of the latest tech news.

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