iPhone Mini Launch Coming Soon

Apple is taking its next step forward with its iPhone products, hoping to unveil a $330 iPhone mini as early as this summer, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty.

The low-cost iPhone will presumably add additional revenue in its international market, specifically China, expecting to draw in a 20 percent increase from the 10 percent it already claims in the country, due in large part to the iPhone 5. With smartphone prices starting to stabilize in China, it appears that there will be room for a inexpensive iPhone option, the analyst said.

Unfortunately, Huberty believes there is still one road block for Apple to overcome. According to the analyst, the tech giant would need to strike a deal with China Mobile, the world’s largest carrier (over 800 million subscribers) to gain some traction on foreign ground. Currently, Apple is only selling through China Telecom and China Unicorn.

“We believe Apple could launch iPhone Mini at $330 (about Rmb 2,000), in-line with flagship products in China from Lenovo, Huawei, ZTE, and Coolpad,” Huberty said in a note to investors on Tuesday morning. “Even ina scenario of low 40 percent gross margin and 1/3 iPhone cannibalization rate (flattening legacy iPhone shipment growth), which we view as conservative, the iPhone Mini adds incremental revenue and gross profit dollars.”

According to Huberty, the iPhone is eyeing an unlocked price of $330 in China and hopes to build a base in other emerging markets. It is, however, still unclear whether the iPhone mini will launch in the U.S. or Europe, where Apple already enjoys plenty of success.

Initially, rumors started to swirl around a new, low-cost iPhone in January, when both Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal reported that the company was in the works of building such a device. But with iPhone mini reports emerging, many analysts expect it to make waves in the international market, a place where it has yet to gain footing against its rival Samsung.

[per: www.cnet.com]

image credit: www.gizmag.com