Fresh off the back of recent rumors again suggesting that Apple is planning on releasing an infamous ‘mini iPhone‘, we have had a new claim emerge from sources within Wall Street Journal. Instead of a ‘Mini iPhone’, they have it on good authority that we’ll see a cheaper iPhone model instead which will be available for purchase before the end of 2013. This is obviously not the first time that we’ve heard such rumors emerge, but there’s no doubt that a cheaper priced iPhone 5 with stripped down features would still be a very attract proposition for a lot of money-conscious consumers.
The big question on our minds though is just how much Apple are planning to strip down their alleged cheaper model, in order to justify a cheaper price for consumers. A reduction in price would obviously be a welcome move in 2013, but consumers wouldn’t want to see drastic changes from the iPhone 5, which could soon be pushed down the pecking order if an iPhone 5S arrives later on in the year.
One such change that is already being discussed is replacing the aluminium housing which is present on the iPhone 5, to a plastic polycarbonate shell instead for the cheaper model. This move would save Apple money on manufacturing thus allowing them to offer a cheaper price to consumers. WSJ’s sources also indicate that Apple may use other parts that have been recycled from older iPhones, whilst obviously still maintaining that polished Apple finish.
As long as the software side of things isn’t changed, it looks like a very clever step by Apple and an ideal way to combat rival handsets such as the Nexus 4, which Google announced with a jaw dropping $299 price for the 8GB version of the handset. We’ve seen over the last month that demand for the Nexus 4 has been sky-high, so it’s only natural for Apple to attempt to win back some consumers with a cheaper smartphone of their own.
At the moment the iPhone 5 is available on the Apple Store for $649 unlocked and without a contract. If Apple could knock $200 off that price just by using cheaper materials, but still with support for iOS 6 and iOS 7 – consumers will have to take notice we feel. Google has changed the game big time with their Nexus 4 shake up and it can only mean good things for the consumer with new handsets being similarly priced, whilst still retaining impressive hardware specs.
What are your thoughts on the revival of the cheaper iPhone whispers? If Apple are really planning on cutting costs, what price would be reasonable for you and what would you expect to be stripped down and retained?