Apple's iPhone Ban Could 'Sweep Away an Entire Segment' of Products (AAPL)
Many analysts have said that it will not matter if older Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) products are banned from the United States.
These products are old, they argue. In the worst-case scenario, Apple's losses would be barely noticeable.
At best, the company would be able to quickly replace the banned items with newer product releases.
Apple CEO Tim Cook may not agree with this optimistic viewpoint.
According to ZDNet, Apple is asking the U.S. International Trade Commission to postpone the sales ban of four products -- the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 3G, and iPad 2 3G. In the case of the iPhone 4, the ban only appears to apply to the AT&T (NYSE: T) version of the device.
If Apple's request is denied, the ban will go into effect on August 5. Apple hopes that the ITC will delay the ban until a court has evaluated the firm's bid for appeal.
This may only be a stall tactic, as the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 are expected to be retired this year. Both items are still being sold as cheaper alternatives to Apple's primary, current-generation products.
The iPad 2 could be eliminated if it chooses to sell the iPad 4 at a discounted rate once the fifth-generation model arrives in stores.
Similarly, the iPhone 4 is all but guaranteed to be retired the moment the iPhone 5S arrives at retail. When that happens, the iPhone 4S should become the "free" iPhone that is offered to those who agree to a two-year contract with Sprint (NYSE: S), Verizon (NYSE: VZ) or AT&T.
In its plea to the ITC, Apple reportedly said that the ban would "sweep away an entire segment of Apple's product offerings," indicating that the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 would not be retired by August 5.
The iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS and iPad 3G have already been retired.
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ
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