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Friday, 18 January 2013 10:43

“Cheap” iPhone is still on the agenda

Written by Nick Farrell



Rumours will not go away


The on again, off again rumours that APpe is going to release a cheap iPhone are now on again. Despite an official denial from Apple, that it is going to create a limited iPhone which is cheap enough for a mortal to afford, it seems that the rumours are persisting.

According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is so desperate to improve its falling share price it will launch an iPhone 5S in June. Kuo said the iPhone 5S would be similar to the current model but offer a few improvements, including an A7 chip for faster performance and a fingerprint sensor. The camera specs would bump up to an f2.0 aperture and a smart LED flash. But the revamped iPhone 5 would be a lower-cost version of the current model in a somewhat thicker case made of plastic and offer a choice of six colours.

The analyst estimates the phone would sell for an off-contract, or unlocked, price of $350 to $450. This means that the lower cost iPhone will be a little cheaper, but at the same time be the flagship, something we think is a little unlikely. But Kuo believes Apple’s fourth-quarter sales will beat expectations, despite halving its supply requests recently.

Based on supply chain checks, Apple likely shipped 52 million iPhones last quarter, Kuo said. If true, that would represent a 41 percent gain over the year-ago quarter. However we think that unless Apple has worked out a way to make the iPhone with less than half its components this too is fairly unlikely.

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