Rumor: Apple to use Snapdragon SoC processors in upcoming low-cost iPhone

“According to a new report straight out of China, Apple plans on to ship the new low-end [iPhone] with a Snapdragon chipset, as opposed to the A6 and A6X devices currently used on all of the Cupertino company’s recent iOS devices” Goncalo Ribeiro reports for Redmond Pie.

“The Snapdragon chipset sound like perfect candidates to make their way onto Apple’s low-end smartphone: indeed, they come packed with an on-board cellular modem, WiFi and Bluetooth,” Ribeiro reports, “all essential parts of any iOS device, although delivered at a much lower cost than Apple’s current solution.”

Ribeiro reports, “Some Snapdragon chips offer the bonus of 4G LTE connectivity, although Apple is reported to stick with 3G-only for now, since the new device is said to be aimed primarily in developing markets where LTE coverage is currently scarce.”

Read more in the full article here.

19 Comments

  1. If this low cost iphone actually becomes reality, it is seriously going to shoot aapple in the foot. People will realze they have been paying too much for basically the same device.

    1. There is only one Porsche 911, the Boxter is not a replacement for it. It just does not come anywhere near the same standard/power/looks as the 911. Some will buy the cheaper Boxter, but there are enough that prefer the more expensive 911 Turbo.

      Same applies to Apple.

      1. Except Wall Street doesn’t consider the iPhone analagous to a Porsche. Wall Street considers the iPhone to be merely an overpriced high-end Toyota. In other words, there is no high-end smartphone market. From what I’ve noticed, all smartphones are considered pretty much equal. There’s no difference in selling a $300 smartphone or a $600 smartphone. It’s more important to sell 60 million $300 smartphones than to sell 50 million $600 smartphones. That’s why Samsung is praised for selling more smartphones than Apple even if there’s a high mix of cheaper smartphones included in Samsung’s sales numbers.

        1. So it’s more important to sell $18B worth of low margin, cheap phones than it is to sell $30B worth of higher margin phones? And if it costs $10B to make that many cheap phones, and $20B to make that many higher end phones, then losing $2B in profits is a GOOD thing? Oh, now I get it! This is why AAPL is priced where it currently is. This is how the analysts do math.

          1. Who said the scenarios are mutually exclusive? Let me give you a third scenario: it is better to sell $30B worth of higher margin phones *and* $18B worth of low margin, cheap phones. This scenario raises more money and puts the hurt on your competition.

  2. I doubt this will happen. They may have tested some, but an A5 or A6 seems more likely. I also think if the phone is real, it will be sold in the US as well. This will unify all products with featuring the lightning connector. There will be some canablization, but the impact on the competition will be greater. The plastic will be a key differentiator; and it will solidify the concept of plastic = lower end.

    iPhone 5S: $199
    iPhone 5: $99
    iPhone X: $0

    1. IIRC, the chip isn’t that big a part of the total cost of the iPhone. Going to a different chip may not save that much money, and will cause problems and expense in developing and maintaining new software configurations, etc.

      1. That is the first comment on this article that is on target. The Apple ARM-derived CPUs don’t cost that much, particularly in the volumes that Apple consumes. It would cost a lot more to adapt to a new CPU for one product rather than just leveraging the design engineering and component lines that already exist.

        Goncalo Ribeiro is a buffoon for not even questioning the logic or credibility of this rumor. Too much BS is getting printed these days.

      2. Since Snapdragon’s are based on the ARM instruction set, the amount of software reconfiguration needed could be somewhat minor.

        On the other hand, kingmel is right that an incredible amount of BS is printed these days.

    2. pfff. This may not be suffice to be affordable for many.
      It is the contract that determines most of the cost.
      Free subsidized phones turn out not to be cheap.
      I myself spend about €5/mo for 100GB/mo and €5-10 for phone calls on a prepaid card. In the form of a 7.5€/mo contract that would amount to €180/2yrs.
      Granted, to pay for a subsidy of €270 for a cheap iPhone model, you would be looking at a 19€/mo contract.

      Also don’t forget that in the mean time other brands are also pushing prices down.
      With a minimal €20/mo contract, viable prices then would be
      iPhone 5S: $199 + €250=€449
      iPhone 5: $99 + €250=€249
      iPhone X: $0 + €250=€249
      Franklin, I am telling you, I’d rather pay the full price up front and shop for the most reasonable prepaid solution.
      Here in Europe cell phone price wars have just begun. The EU is liberating the phone market at an enervingly low pace.

    3. Apparently, you have missed the fact that the phone prices you quote are subsidized. The point of this article is the ‘real’ cost of the phone that has to be paid by the telco and the consumer. Apple cannot make money selling a phone for $0. Think about it for a little while.

  3. Well I can see it happening IF Apple is reducing orders from Sammy. It kinda makes sense if they are ramping up with another supplier for the A series.
    I think we can forget ‘cheap’ as a selling point – its not Apple’s MO. More likely would IMO be a new smaller form factor to counter the ‘bigger’ meme.
    iPhone Sleek or Svelte anyone?
    (OK…maybe not sleek > rhymes with weak)

  4. I don’t like the thought of a cheap iPhone, it takes a little shine off of Apple. Stay premium I say.
    Perhaps to set themselves further away from the competition, having a configurable iPhone, like the with Macs on the apple store. You can pick the baseline model, or go crazy and pack it with the latest and greatest chip, more memory, etc…
    That way, perhaps the baseline model could be more affordable to the average consumer and the gives option to configure your dream phone.
    To accomodate interchangeable parts and options on the phone would cause manufacture/supply issues though. – Unless it was completely redesigned with this in mind.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.