In what seems to be an Apple trend of appealing to the “budget” market, the Wall Street Journal is today reporting that the One Infinite Loop corporation is indeed working on the much-rumored ‘iPhone mini,’ or, if not mini, an overall cheaper iPhone. But what would such a device look like? What would be the device’s specifications?
Jessice E. Lessin of WSJ writes:
The cheaper phone could resemble the standard iPhone, with a different, less-expensive body, one of the people said. One possibility Apple has considered is lowering the cost of the device by using a different shell made of polycarbonate plastic. Many other parts could remain the same or be recycled from older iPhone models.
Apple certainly released the iPad mini due to competition from other tablet manufacturers — namely Google and the Nexus 7 — and rising demand for a cheaper alternative to the entry-model iPad. Is similar pressure being put on Apple in the smartphone arena? Maybe, but it’s worth noting that Apple already has a cheaper iPhone. It exists in the form of “last years model,” or in this case, the iPhone 4S. Even at $99 with a 2-year contract, it is a worthy competitor to all but the latest Android phones.
It’s funny to see this report come from the WSJ on the first day of CES, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence. Apple notably does not make an appearance at the annual Consumer Electronics Show, and there is no doubt reasoning (or money) behind this news story even making today’s rounds. All that said, I doubt that this device would see the light of day.
I personally am of the same opinion of Cult of Mac‘s Mike Elgin. Apple doesn’t need a cheaper iPhone, they need a more expensive one. People who revere Apple’s ability to take a new technology, polish it, make it user-friendly (without dumbing it down), and market it, would not have a problem purchasing a higher-end iPhone. Furthermore, one could argue the point that Elgin made in his article: Maybe Apple should create a satellite phone.