Analyst Predicts Apple Will Release A Cheap iPhone In 2014

According to Business Insider, Gene Munster, an analyst from Piper Jaffray & Co who covers tech companies like Apple, thinks Cupertino is planning to introduce a low-cost iPhone by 2014. The phone is predicted to cost $200. If you’re thinking that sounds a little strange when an iPhone 4 costs $0 with a contract, that’s because the phone wouldn’t made with Apple’s current markets in mind: the phone would be targeted towards markets like India and China, where subsidized phone contracts are less attractive and the market share of Apple’s high-end iPhones is low. This would be an aggressive grab away from entry-level Android phones.

How to get fired from Apple: The iPhone Shuffle.

It does make sense–why would Apple miss an opportunity to market compelling smart phones to two and a half billion people? Apple has released comparatively more affordable versions of its hardware in the past; see the iPod Shuffle, and more recently the iPad Mini. At the very least it wouldn’t be too difficult for Apple to take the iPhone 3GS’ guts, make the parts even cheaper to produce with newer fabrication methods, and put it in a new case.

Then again, Munster’s has predicted low prices that haven’t panned out in the recent past–for example, citing competition with the Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire HD, Munster didn’t think Apple would charge more than $300 for the iPad Mini… which you can now find in stores for $329. While it may be advantageous for Apple to compete with entry-level phones in China and India, only Apple knows what Apple is thinking.

With the introduction of Sina Weibo integration in iOS 6, it would make sense for Apple to double down on their approach to China.

Would Apple release a $200 non-subsidized iPhone, or will Apple continue to price itself as a ‘high-end’ brand even if that means it prices itself out of key markets? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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  • Tudor Alexandru

    I disagree with Gene Munster, although older iOS device prices will continue to drop as newer generations are released, Apple will never compromise design or build quality over cutting costs. The iPad mini is a great example of such a device: it’s a premium product, priced and advertised as such, but it uses a 2 year old display and CPU. It doesn’t take a psychic to tell that next year Apple will release a new iPad mini with dramatically improved display and performance, and then the first gen iPad mini will get a 100$ discount and will start selling like hot-cakes in India and other countries, a typical Tim Cook move. Am I the only one who thinks that the iphone 4 is still a great smartphone? And it would make much more sense for Apple to keep selling the iPhone 4 and 4S at discounted prices, than to produce any cheap, plastic, somewhat entry-level new iPhone.

  • guest

    I’d wager that it’ll be 4GB iPhone still rocking 3GS parts (or a cheapo equivalent), and about a year or year and a half of iOS support.

    Pretty ironic for China, since THEY produce all of the high end iPhones with all the bells and whistles in their factories, and Apple’s all like “Yeah, thanks. Have a crap model on us. You put it together.”


  • Michael Schnier

    That’s a criticism as old as factories.