How cheap will a low-cost iPhone be? Maybe $99 to $149

11 Comments

How low is Apple(s AAPL) willing to go to increase its worldwide sales of iPhones? Anywhere between $99 to $149, according to a Wednesday report in Bloomberg.

Though it had died down after causing a stir in early 2011, the “Apple is making a cheaper iPhone” story line is back again.  The Wall Street Journal got two sources on Tuesday to say Apple is seriously considering making a lower-cost version of its best-selling iPhone. Apple is reportedly weighing the use of cheaper plastics and older internal components to make a device that looks like an iPhone but is cheaper to produce.

Bloomberg adds a little more detail to this juicy rumor. Besides the price range, which is specifically intended to appeal to developing nations — where iPhones are often considered too expensive — the report claims that Apple has discussed this plan with a “top U.S. wireless carrier.”

Apple has been making progress in building its brand and selling its devices in some developing countries, like China. CEO Tim Cook is also eyeing an expansion in Brazil. China is already one of Apple’s fastest growing market for iOS devices, and the company is in the process of adding to the eight Apple Stores it has already built in the country.

But the company is facing a long, uphill battle: cheaper Android devices dominate in China. Combining a lower price with Apple’s established brand name could be a shortcut that helps Apple make faster gains in these regions.

11 Comments

Fred Stein

People let’s take the emotion out. These are just consumer electronics products. Good companies can have different business models. Premium brand, quality companies also sell budget models and vice versa. Look at cars, clothing, etc.

Nitish Kannan

STupid idea why not just continue to sell older iphone models which work great, rather than ruining the brand with crap!

Danox

We live in a world of privilege freeloaders, isn’t that what Google teaches us, so Apple is suppose to put out a free no margin Amazon-Google phone for nothing.

Paul

Subsidized phones are closer to payday loans than they are to freeloading. Objectionable either way, but driven by poverty or ignorance, not by laziness and greed..

Stephen

I’m assuming this means off contract/unsubsidised….otherwise it makes no sense, because you can already get cheap iPhones subsidised

Oletros

No way Apple can sell a phone for $99-$149. Barely no low cost smartphone costs that

Aaron Berlin

I guess anything’s possible, and maybe if they’re playing the long platform game it makes sense, but in the near term, selling a billion $99 iPhones will shred Apple’s storied margins, no? Selling more is paradoxically likely to further depress its stock price.

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