WSJ: Apple prepping less-expensive iPhone

“Apple Inc. is working on a lower-end iPhone, according to people briefed on the matter, a big shift in its corporate strategy as its supremacy in smartphones has slipped,” Jessica E. Lessin reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“The cheaper phone could resemble the standard iPhone, with a different, less-expensive body, one of the people said,” Lessin reports. “One possibility Apple has considered is lowering the cost of the device by using a different shell made of polycarbonate plastic; in contrast, the iPhone 5 currently has an aluminum housing. Many other parts could remain the same or be recycled from older iPhone models. Apple could decide not to move forward with the device.”

Lessin reports, “Apple has been considering a less-expensive iPhone since at least 2009 to grab market share and hook people on the brand, said people familiar with the efforts… Gene Munster, an analyst with Piper Jaffray, said that a less expensive iPhone won’t necessarily hurt Apple’s overall profit margin if it attracts buyers who haven’t bought iPhones before and not those who would have been willing to purchase the higher-end device.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Jax44” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Apple to launch low-cost iPhone with 5-inch display for emerging markets in 2H13, sources say – January 8, 2013
Barclays: Cheaper iPhone for emerging markets ‘key’ for Apple – December 4, 2012


            1. Maybe in the past. But they do care about the emerging market going forward. How could they not? Margins will have to come down for Apple products someday. You don’t have to make a lot on every product that you produce. But those products help you keep your foot in the door. That is what is important. Can you say China and India? So can Apple.

            2. Nothing in Apple’s history since Steve Jobs return in 1997 supports this..

              Everything product Apple makes is of high quality, and extremely high margin, regardless of market share.

              Based on that philosophy they’ve become the largest company in the world. i don’t see that changing anytime soon.

      1. The article above says nothing about prepaid or about emerging markets. So not sure what all the hostility is about.

        The article above said Appple was considering making a low cost iphone to “hook people on the brand”. I was just pointing out that Apple is currently doing that with a free ( yes I know subsidized) iphone 4.

    1. iPhone 4 without a contract, a phone two generations old, costs $450 to buy unlocked.

      Carriers in emerging markets generally don’t subsidize phones.

  1. makes zero sense. And Jessica is a liar. OR her “people” are. The fabled “people” who she blindly listens too. Or made up, more likely.

    Iphone supremacy has slipped? By what metric, Jessica?

    It’d be awesome to see a group put together class action lawsuits on analysts and financial journalists who give out false rumors.

  2. Again, Apple already had cheap plastic-case iPhone — it stopped selling it just few months ago; it was iPhone 3Gs.

    Of course, this does not prohibit to Apple to develop new cheaper iPhone. But this going to be really serious change of strategy, if it will happen.

  3. “according to people briefed on the matter”

    Yes, Apple invited people to share in their product roadmap. Showed them their innermost secrets. You know, just because.


    1. Nah. See, I met this guy in an upscale bar on Pagemill and he said he was with Apple and he had this new prototype iPhone he was testing…so I decided to use this as the basis for the article in the WSJ.

  4. Hasn’t Gene been fired yet? Are these the same sources that told him an Apple TV would be released last year. Hey Gene! As soon as your name is mentioned in an article we know its bogus.

  5. Heck, the fancy casings I can live without. My loyalty is not so superficial. If they can offer the same iPhone in a less expensive case, I think me and the majority of consumers would take that one instead. Not just developing countries. Especially if it is also offer with a 5″ screen.

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