Investment Bank Topeka Capital Markets has released a research note according to which Apple is pushing forward with its (rumored) plans to release a low-end version of the iPhone bearing an attractive price tag.
Analyst Brian White told clients in a research note today, “In late December, our research uncovered iPhones in different screen sizes for potential launch in May/June, allowing Apple to better bifurcate the market and pave the way for a lower-priced iPhone.”
The analyst said Apple would release the device in June, the earliest, adding that it might be called “iPhone Air,” or “iPhone mini.”
There’s no shortage of speculation when it comes to Apple’s future products. Half the time the hardware doesn’t even exist, but that’s not stopping analysts from pouring prediction after prediction (until they finally get it right).
Speaking on behalf of his firm, White noted that the “iPhone Air” is likely to have a $250 / €186 to $300 / €224 price point, which is “58% below the $649 price point for an unlocked 16GB iPhone 5,” White said.
“A $250-$300 price range would also be competitive with China-based Xiaomi that offers a high-end phone experience at a mid- range price of ~$320 in Chinas,” the analyst added.
Topeka elaborated on its theory, noting that Apple has been unable to address roughly 60% of the smartphone market last year, including the feature phone market, because of the iPhone’s high selling point.
White added in his research note that the “iPhone Air” will sport cheaper everything, from the enclosure, display, and camera, to the processor, memory, and wireless chips.
This low-end "iPhone Air" sounds pretty surreal (although I'll admit the dubbing is more attractive than "mini" or "nano). It is also worth noting that Apple sells a “cheaper” version of the iPhone already. It’s called the iPhone 4, and it goes for $0 with a two-year carrier contract.
You can get it unlocked for what some may consider relatively expensive. But anything cheaper than that wouldn’t be an Apple product, now would it?