Will Apple Release a $200 iPhone?Dale Wright
Today we have a new rumour to report: experts are starting to wonder if a new, cheaper iPhone could be on the cards. If it is, one US analyst thinks it will cost less than $200.
Although Apple manufactures lots of different gadgets, the company currently makes the most profit from the iPhone. However, the high retail price is a problem in enormous markets like China and India. That’s because mobile phone networks don’t tend to give away free or discounted phones with a contract in those countries – unlike in the US and the UK.
Because iPhones are so expensive without a contract, cheaper devices have been selling well around the world. Android and iOS currently hold 90 per cent of market share according to IDC, but Android sales now account for 75 per cent of all smartphones bought worldwide.
Apple is now in a minority position, which is bad news. If Android continues to gobble up market share, app developers might start to prioritise Android app development over iOS apps. That will make iOS a less attractive option for consumers, and it could mean people don’t see any reason to invest in an expensive Apple device – even if they can afford one.
Gene Munster, a prominent IT analyst and Apple expert, has predicted that Apple will launch a cheaper iPhone – some kind of ‘iPhone mini’ or ‘iPhone nano’ – within the next two years. According to his estimates, it could cost less than $200 (£125) without a contract. That would help to make iOS affordable in countries where mobile phone networks don’t contribute towards the cost of the phone. It could also mean that we have two different iPhone models to choose from in the UK.
In his presentation, Munster also predicted that Apple could be about to launch a radio service alongside a new product (perhaps the Apple television set). And, in line with rumours we’ve already seen, he predicts that a retina iPad mini is likely to be released if Apple are going to compete with Android devices like the Nexus 7. However, we’ll probably have to wait until next Autumn to get our hands on one.