Rumor: Cheaper, lighter iPhone could come as early as June

There’s been a lot of hype recently over the prospect of a new iPhone that may or may not be on the horizon. Most of the rumors seem to suggest that any such device will be a variation of the current iPhone 5. Now, investment research company Topeka Capital claims that a cheaper, lighter iPhone could be launched as a soon as June, or even May. Research in December found numerous iPhones with different screen sizes supposedly ready for launch in the first half of 2013.

Throwing around names such as the “iPhone mini” and “iPhone air”, analyst Brian White suggested that such a device would retail at between $250 and $300. This sort of price range would make the accessible to a much wider market looking for a cheaper smart phone solution. It is estimated that Apple missed at least 60% of the smartphone market last year because of the high prices of its iPhone. The smartphone market is expected to grow by around 688 million people by 2016, but most of that growth will probably come outside of the high end market that Apple is currently focused on.

Apple usually favors lowering the price of its current device with the release of a new one, as we saw last year…

A cheaper iPhone would allow Apple to expand in markets with massive potential growth such as China, Russia and Brazil. It’s expected that any such device would probably ship with a less impressive display, cheaper housing, lesser memory, camera and wireless capabilities, and a less powerful processor.

“The case would be an interesting area of cost savings with a lower priced material (e.g., plastic) versus the aluminum unibody casing on the iPhone 5, while adding colors to excite consumers”

I’ve long considered a cheaper iPhone to be a direct contradiction of Apple’s ethos, however White seems rather assured of his claims. Personally, I think that this rumor is no different to the countless other “cheap-iPhone” rumors that roll around every year around this time. That being said, do you think there is a market for a cheaper iPhone? Would it be a better alternative to similarly priced devices already available? Leave a comments below, and be sure to follow me on Twitter @TiP_Stephen

 

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