* Apple to launch 8GB iPhone 4 within weeks - sources
* Flash drive for light version of iPhone 4 being made by
* Apple, Samsung decline to comment
* Apple also targets end-Sept launch of iPhone 5-source
* Cheaper iPhone 4 may help to boost share of emerging
By Clare Jim and Kelvin Soh
TAIPEI/HONG KONG, Aug 23 Asian suppliers to
Apple Inc (AAPL.O) have begun manufacturing a lower-priced
version of its hot-selling iPhone 4 with a smaller 8 gigabyte
flash drive, according to two people with knowledge of the
The flash drive for the 8GB iPhone 4 is being manufactured
by a Korean company, one of the people said on Tuesday,
declining to name the company. Apple currently sources its flash
drives from Japan's Toshiba (6502.T) and South Korea's Samsung
The sources declined to be identified because the
information has not been made public.
Apple, which demands high levels of secrecy and security
from suppliers and employees, declined to comment. Samsung also
declined to comment.
The existing iPhone 4 was first launched in June 2010 with
16 GB and 32 GB versions, with a white version added to the
lineup in April. The 8GB version is expected to launch within
weeks, the sources said.
Some analysts said the cheaper 8GB iPhone 4 could help Apple
boost sales in emerging markets.
"Apple may want to push into the emerging market segment
where customers want to switch to low- to mid-end smartphones
from high-end feature phones, which usually cost $150-200," said
Yuanta Securities analyst Bonnie Chang.
"But I think for an 8GB iPhone 4 the price is hard to go
below $200, so Apple will still need a completely new phone with
low specifications for the emerging markets."
IPHONE 5 BY END-SEPT?
In addition to the launch of the smaller iPhone 4, Apple is
targeting an end-September launch for the next-generation iPhone
5, one source said, confirming earlier reports on Apple follower
blogsites and industry websites.
The new iPhone, which some call the iPhone 4S because of its
largely identical appearance to the existing iPhone 4, will have
a bigger touch screen, better antenna and an 8-megapixel camera,
one of the people said.
The iPhone 5's two manufacturers have been told to prepare
production capacity for up to 45 million units altogether, the
source said. The phone will be made by Hon Hai (2317.TW) and
Pegatron (4938.TW), the person added.
Apple sold 20.34 million iPhones in the second quarter
versus an expected 17 million to 18 million, and is increasingly
looking to Asia to boost future earnings.
The company's COO Tim Cook said in July the company is
particularly optimistic about Greater China.
"I firmly believe that we are just scratching the surface
right now," Cook said about China. "I think there is an
incredible opportunity for China there."
Asia-Pacific -- which accounts for about one-fifth of its
total revenue -- and Greater China in particular, helped Apple's
revenue surge 82 percent to $28.6 billion in April-June.
Overall, Asia-Pacific revenue more than tripled to $6.3
billion in the quarter.
(Additional reporting by Poornima Gupta in SAN FRANCISCO, Roger
Tung in TAIPEI and Miyoung Kim in SEOUL; Editing by Lincoln
Feast and Muralikumar Anantharaman)
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