Apple could develop a cheaper version of its iPhone handset within the next two years, according to business analyst Gene Munster.
Speaking with Emirates Business, Munster has predicted that Apple will bring out an unsubsidised iPhone model costing about $200 (equivalent to £125). However, it will most likely be aimed at developing markets in China and India. That’s because the western business model of mobile network operators subsidising the cost of high-end smartphones and recouping the money through relatively costly monthly data plans doesn’t really work in those territories.
The biggest selling smartphones in these newer markets are cheaper Android-based devices, and there could be billions of potential users who have yet to upgrade to any kind of smartphone.
That’s why Munster believes that Apple will make a less expensive iPhone in 2014. It’s just a theory, but it’s an interesting one that also makes sense if Apple is to gain much share of the growing and potentially huge smartphone market in Asia.
Whether a ‘cheap iPhone’ would simply be an older model or a newly designed cut-price version is open to debate. On previous form, Apple isn’t the kind of company to dilute its line-up with budget hardware. However, such a phone could help it fight back against Android, especially with the likes of the Google Nexus 4 doing well in the US and UK at a low up-front price without a mobile carrier’s subsidy.