Apple planning to launch a larger, low-cost iPhone later this year… for as low as $99 (no contract)?


Rumors of Apple launching a low-cost version of the iPhone have been around for quite some time now, but  they’ve always focused on the device being smaller than its original counterpart — an iPhone nano, if you will. Digitimes, however, is reporting that we might see the exact opposite of that: a low-cost version of the iPhone but with a larger screen.

Apple will roll out a low-cost version of the iPhone for China and other emerging markets in the second half of 2013, according to supply-chain sources.

Some sources claimed that they have seen the sample of the low-cost iPhone, which will come with a larger display, meeting the prevailing trend for the adoption of 5-inch displays for high-end models. They added that the low-priced iPhone will also have a brand new exterior design.

With all the rumors we have of the next from Apple so far, it looks like we might be seeing multiple screen sizes being offered this time around. But with Apple having just transitioned from the 3.5-inch display of the iPhone 4/4S to the 4-inch screen of the iPhone 5, are they really going to fragment their phone ecosystem again so soon? Only time will tell.

Oh, and if you are wondering how low is “low-cost”, get this. Bloomberg estimates the price of the “cheap iPhone” to be between $99 and $149 USD. $99. Without contract. What in the world? Only when pigs fly. …Right?

[via MacRumors, Digitimes, Bloomberg]

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  • mukhi

    low cost ipad (aka ipad mini) = outdated ipad
    therefore, low cost iphone = outdated iphone

    unless you want an apple, you better choose an alternative that gives you an updated system.

  • Grantwhy

    let me make a couple of guesses:

    “China and emerging markets” would be where Android smartphones dominate the market?

    and the rumoured price would be competitively priced with the popular Android smartphones in “China and emerging markets”?

    At a guess, Apple have decided to grow their world wide market share and believe that the ‘full priced’ iPhone is too expensive for China and emerging markets + it is getting hard to increase their market share in their current markets = need for a cheaper iPhone for their ‘new’ markets.

    As long as Apple can get new customers into their OS/ecosystem then it probably will work financially.

    ps: I’d love to know how much of Apple’s income (gross and net?) from the iPhone is from sales of handsets and how much from sale of Apps? While the rumoured low cost iPhone may not be as profitable per handset* as the full priced iPhone, Apps sales could make up the difference?

    * a high volume of sales could however make a low cost iPhone more profitable, yes?

  • Enrique

    @Anson Khoo: Thanks for pointing that out! So many numbers in that sentence ;)

  • Anson Khoo

    Hi, i think the typo in the size of the screen for iPhone 5, should be 4-inch instead of 5-inch in the article.

    And it good to heard such rumour on Apple to manufacture lower cost iPhone.

  • Enrique

    @Mike: That’s what the rumor says anyway, but if this does happen, why wouldn’t they offer it in other places as well? I think it could do well in all their current markets, as well give people a low cost alternative.

  • Mike

    Sounds nice . . . but only for “China and emerging markets.”