“A Piper Jaffray analysis of global unlocked smartphone prices solidifies the firm’s expectation that Apple will launch a low-cost iPhone later this year, with the new handset purpose-built to compete in the untapped market estimated to be worth $135 billion in 2013,” Mikey Campbell reports for AppleInsider.

“Analyst Gene Munster on Tuesday reiterated his stance that Apple is likely to release a more affordable iPhone targeting developing regions like China and India,” Campbell reports. “‘We believe a lower priced iPhone will be a positive for AAPL shares for two reasons,’ he writes. ‘First, despite its lower margin, it should accelerate gross profit growth given the size of the low-end market (we estimate $135B in 2013); second, investors have historically bought into AAPL ahead of major new product releases.'”

Campbell reports, “He notes that the lowest priced iPhone, the iPhone 4, is still 133 percent more expensive than the global average for a low-end smartphone, suggesting Apple is only skimming the top of the market.”

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