It is likely that Apple will access the untried segment of cheap prepaid handsets because this way it will surpass the long standing hegemony of Samsung.
Consequently, Apple is working at designing a cheap device that will be available to the emerging markets in the second half of this year, according to our sources. This smartphone might be released once with the new iPhone 5S or 6.
What’s interesting is that what the media has nick-named the iPhone Mini is anything but small. Rumors in Asia have it that this new device will be targeted at China and other emerging markets where Apple suffered serious defeats against the assault of inexpensive Androids and local brands.
The supply-chain sources of DigiTimes which is considered by most analysts as being somewhat reliable:
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.
All of this seems to be true as the success rates of huge Android phones is skyrocketing. Therefore it’s rather obvious that what Apple needs isn’t a much smaller iPhone (which from it’s usability perspective makes little or no sense at all), but a way cheaper prepaid device. Apple’s cheapest iPhone is the 8GB iPhone 4 which retails for $450 contract-free. But the iPhone 4 will be retired once Apple releases the new iPhone 5S or 6, most likely.
As most analysts have shown, this cheaper iPhone is the best way for Apple to gain some ground against its competition and access the consumer groups which lie below the high-end of the markets.
DigiTimes also noted that Apple’s “impetus” try to push strong iPad mini sales in China may serve as a way to roll out a low cost iPhone.
The new dual-core MSM8960 and the quad-core APQ8064 Snapdragon-branded silicon for low-cost handsets made by chip maker Qualcomm provide the opportunity for Apple implement this technology into the rumored iPhone mini.
Same sources mention that Apple prepared version of the iPhone that could function in China’s TD-SCDMA network. The world’s largest wireless carrier, China Mobile boasts in having no less than 703 million subscribers.
Since China is the largest telecom market on the Globe with an astounding 1.1 billion mobile phone users at the end of 2012, Apple has made it one of its top priorities for the incoming future.
Evercore Partners analyst Rob Cihra warned that since China Mobile doesn’t include iPhone yet, its 3G shares suffered as a result, dropping by seven points reaching 37% since 2011; consequently China Telecom and China Unicom both of which carry Apple’s device, grew their 3G share during the same period.
Despite its recent success in beating Android in the United States, the lower markets were (probably until now) harder to tap because of the lower Android prices. Long story short Apple seems forced to to recognize the untapped segment of inexpensive prepaid handsets, an area that could boost it beyond its chief rival Samsung.