What We Know So Far About the Low-Cost iPhone

Apple is indeed after diversifying its iPhone offering with a cheaper version of its flagship handset. Both the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg have confirmed Digitimes’ earlier report citing anonymous supply chain sources.

Apple has been considering introducing a low-cost iPhone since 2009 as a way to increase its market share and widen its customer base.

According to the Wall Street Journal’s sources, the Apple team designed a low-cost iPhone before the launch of the iPhone 4, featuring a less expensive body. A possible solution for a low-cost iPhone would be a shell made of polycarbonate plastic, and other parts remaining unchanged or recycled from previous iPhone models.

Apple already has some experience working with plastic cases – just consider the iPhone 3 or 3GS ,but we bet on their use of new materials instead of the plastic used with the aforementioned models.

The low-cost iPhone is expected to retail at between $99 and $149, according to Bloomberg’s sources.

Next, there is Apple’s position in the global smartphone market. Let’s face it, the company did a very good job retaining about 15% of worldwide smartphone shipments (IDC data covering the third quarter of 2012), but Samsung is poised to distance itself from Apple this year, with a projected 35% growth.

Apple tried to grab the lower-end market by cutting the prices of older models after the launch of the iPhone 5, so there are currently three generations of iPhone available in the Apple Store: the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, and iPhone 4 at reduced prices respectively.

Selling a cheaper iPhone would mean a strategy shift for Apple, as the iPhone has been Apple’s main revenue driver, accounting for 48% of the company’s revenue in the quarter ending in September. With a less expensive iPhone comes the risk of lower profits, but it could compensate Apple by attracting new iPhone owners who decided not to purchase the high-end device.

[via: The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg]

Image courtesy of Ars Technica.

Written by Istvan Fekete, edited by Michael DeLisi.