By Stephen Schenck | May 3, 2013 7:53 PM
Despite the sporadic sightings of components that may end up in future Apple phones, Apple’s doing a pretty good job keeping us guessing at what to expect. Maybe we’ll learn of a new iPhone, a low-cost iPhone, and a jumbo-sized iPhone over the summer. Maybe we won’t hear about anything at all until next year. Will we see all three of those rumored models, or just one or two? Today, we’ve got the rumored budget iPhone in the cross-hairs, with a couple new theories landing about how the phone will be sold.
First up, Digitimes and its supply chain friends have been talking about numbers. Specifically, how many units Apple could be planning to ship for this new version of its iconic smartphone. According to them, it looks like Apple might want to keep things light at first, delivering fewer than three million units the first quarter the handset’s available. Considering Apple can sell 50 million iPhones a quarter, that’s just a drop in the bucket. Supposedly, Apple would want to get a feel for the response from emerging markets before ramping things up.
Next, there’s some analysis that this cheap iPhone might not be so cheap after all, and instead be more of a mid-market handset. That idea has to do with there being not too many phones available in the $350-$550 range, so Apple could see it as a prime target for adding to its own market share. It would be sort of like what Apple did with the iPad mini, not aiming for the $200 rang, which already has a lot of competition, but pricing it in more of a middle ground between super-cheap and full-price tablets.
If this is accurate, Apple could hope to sell the phone for something like $425 or $450. At that price, it could threaten to steal sales away from the regular iPhone, but Apple may be able to live with that (and the lower margins it would bring in) if the volume makes up for it.