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Apple is reported to be releasing two new iPhone handsets in September. The handsets will be known as the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4S respectivey.

The iPhone 4S, says the report, will be a ‘mid-range’ device of the $300 to $500 variety.

The claims come via Deutsche Bank's Chris Whitmore, according to Forbes, who issued a note on Monday telling clients to expect both an iPhone 5 and an iPhone 4S handset in September.

With Nokia and RIMM struggling," says Whitmore, ‘the time is right for Apple to aggressively penetrate the mid range smart-phone market (i.e. $300-500 category) to dramatically expand its [total addressable market] and market share.’

It’s a compelling line of thought and we can’t for the life of us fault his logic. But does this really mean that Apple is about to release two brand new iPhone handsets?

It’s certainly possible and would go a long way to explaining where this ‘iPhone 4S’ rumour originally came from. Plus, it would almost certainly improve Apple’s sales – two handsets are better than one, after all.

Apple is expected to announce the new iPhone(s) in August with a release date scheduled for September. At present, there’s no official word on whether or not this is gospel truth but it’s the best current estimate based on reports and leaked information from manufacturers.

Here’s BGR’s take on the iPhone 5’s release date:

‘Following a series of meetings in Taiwan,’ says BGR, ‘Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty issued the new production timeline in a note to investors on Sunday.’ It read: ‘Apple’s next iPhone will begin production in mid to late August and ramp aggressively.’

Unfortunately, Huberty neglected to mention anything about the mythical iPhone 4S.

So why would Apple make a cheaper iPhone handset – doesn’t that go directly against its ethics? In a word: yes. But then there’s the potential money that Apple could make from a mid-range iPhone.

According to Whitmore, there are 1.5 billion people in 98 countries who prefer to use pre-pay phones and, as you’d expect, cannot afford to buy an iPhone. If Apple went after this market with a mid-range handset it could almost certainly deliver a deathblow to Nokia and RIM.

Having said that, budget Apple products are likely to be the same price as high-end Nokia and RIM products. So its success, if Whitmore is right and Apple does decided to go down this route, will be dependent on how it prices the iPhone 4S.

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