Yesterday, we reported a speculation that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may release a lower-priced iPhone in the near future. Now, Wall Street Journal have reported that Apple has a smaller smartphone in the works and it could debut later on this year.
According to WSJ's sources, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been exploring a smaller iPhone for years now. Naturally, a cheaper iPhone would look similar to the flagship iPhone, only with a different body made from less-expensive materials. Bloomberg echoed the same report. They also added that one of the reasons behind this push is they want to create a smartphone that appeals to customers living in developing nations.
Just how Apple would design the lower-end iPhone remains open to speculatation. It's possible they may use a polycarbonate plastic shell, a major downgrade from the current aluminium case of the iPhone 5.
It's important to point out that Apple could still nix the idea of a low-end smartphone, but that's highly unlikely if the Cupertino-based company wants to top competition. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)'s Android comes in a wide variety of devices, many of which are targeted toward the budget market. The purported phone, which is rumored to retail anywhere from $99 to $149, may be available as soon as late 2013.
The spokeswoman for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has yet to comment on the matter.
A cheaper iPhone model could be just what the company needs to revitalize it's brand and ignite more interest in their smartphones. The company has slid down the popularity scale thanks to the Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) and their flagship phone Galaxy S III.
If Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) releases the low-end iPhone, the company faces a risk losing profit margins. Fortunately, that's not something all analysts worry about. Gene Munster, a key analyst for Piper Jaffray, speculates that Apple won't lose out on profit margins if the device is targeted towards buyers who would not buy a higher-end product. If anything, the release of the iPhone mini has shown us that there is room for a high-end and low-end product in the same market.