Though Apple is tight-lipped about the profitability of its individual products, a court filing in the company's ongoing lawsuit with Samsung has revealed that the carrier-subsidized iPhone has margins north of 50 percent, nearly twice as high as the iPad.
Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said Tuesday he believes that if his company continues to strive to make the best smartphone in the world, carriers will remain motivated to provide the iPhone to their customers.
Users of the iPhone 3GS, a handset first released by Apple in 2009, may have access to the new Shared Photo Streams and VIP Mail features after all, as support has been added in the third beta release of iOS 6.
When Apple launches iOS 6 this fall, iPhone 4 users won't be able to use turn-by-turn directions or Flyover in the new Maps application, as that functionality is limited to the iPhone 4S, iPad 2, and third-generation iPad.
Instead of being discontinued later this year, the iPhone 3GS, first released in 2009, may stay in production for Apple to sell contract-free in developing markets, where prepaid smartphones are popular.
Investors on Tuesday expressed concern that iPhone activations at AT&T had dropped 43 percent quarter over quarter, but one analysis notes that iPhone activations in the U.S. have historically dropped the quarter after a product launch.
Apple's current iPhone models were the three best-selling smartphones in America in 2011, with the iPhone 4 beating out the legacy iPhone 3GS and new iPhone 4S to become the biggest seller of the year.