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Rumor: Apple planning low-cost iPhone with larger display for late 2013

post #1 of 81
Thread Starter 
A new rumor claims Apple plans to launch a low-cost iPhone with a larger display in emerging markets in the second half of 2013.

The source of the rumor is the much-maligned DigiTimes, which has a questionable track record with respect to Apple products. In a report published on Tuesday, the publication cited supply chain sources who said Apple is working on the new, cheaper iPhone for launch later this year.

"Some sources claimed they had seen the sample of the low-cost iPhone, which will come with a larger display, meeting the prevailing trend for the adoption of 5-inch displays for high-end models," the report said. "They added that the low-priced iPhone will also have a brand new exterior design."

iPhones


It's said that Apple's success in China with the iPad mini, which has a lower entry price than the full-size iPad, may be driving the company's alleged interest in a cheaper iPhone for emerging markets.

It was also suggested that a cheaper iPhone could rely on Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon chipsets, namely the dual-core MSM8960 or the quad-core APQ8064.

But rumors of a cheaper iPhone intended for emerging markets are not new, and Apple has yet to release such a device. That hasn't stopped analysts from predicting that Apple will eventually take that approach with a new iPhone model.

Future growth in the smartphone market is expected to come from countries like China, where customers prefer less expensive smartphones that can be purchased without a contract subsidy. Currently, Apple's cheapest option is the 8-gigabyte iPhone 4, which is available for free with a new two-year service contract, or for $450 unlocked and contract-free.

Apple has gradually expanded its iPhone lineup over the years by offering previous-generation models at lower prices. But some investors believe Apple should do more ? as it did in expanding the iPad lineup with the 7.9-inch iPad mini.

Apple's new smaller iPad has been an instant hit in China, where customers have shown "insatiable demand." Both Hong Kong and mainland China have seen stock-outs and limited availability of the iPad mini since the device went on sale in late 2012.
post #2 of 81
This report is just full of all kinds of ridiculous.
post #3 of 81

Are we so hungry for Apple rumors that we have to keep seeing DigiTimes made up claims?  Who can stop this maddness!

post #4 of 81
One would think that an iPhone 4S (with whatever cellular technology required) would be much cheaper for Apple to send to developing countries at this point than a brand new design.
post #5 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by jglonek View Post

One would think that an iPhone 4S (with whatever cellular technology required) would be much cheaper for Apple to send to developing countries at this point than a brand new design.

 

Yes, but, iirc, larger displays are selling really well in developing nations, and they are cheap to boot. [Does Apple have the same cachet in these countries?]


Edited by island hermit - 1/8/13 at 7:28am
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post #6 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by jglonek View Post

One would think that an iPhone 4S (with whatever cellular technology required) would be much cheaper for Apple to send to developing countries at this point than a brand new design.

If people actually wanted a year old tech, Apple would not have had problems selling it in south and eastern Europe, Brazill, China and India.
post #7 of 81

I suspect that when we hear these kinds of rumors, they are a combination of things like:

 

  • Possibly different products under development (e.g., a cheaper phone AND a larger phone) but the details are getting jumbled
  • Possibly Apple just ordering parts for prototypes as they experiment with different approach and these may or may not ever see the light of day
  • Apple sending out false project and product information in order to smoke out sources of leaks

 

This would certainly explain the varied and confusing and seemingly non-sensical rumors.

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post #8 of 81
5" screen? Not going to happen.
Snapdragon processor? Not going to happen.
Release a new "cheap" phone just to compete with the plethora of crap on the market now. Not going to happen.
DigiTimes printing crap like this until it comes true. Going to happen.
post #9 of 81
So Apple is going to make a cheaply priced phone with a ridiculously large screen and a special new design.

Keep saying it Digitimes. You were finally right about that second iPad (sort of) so you could eventually be right about the cheap iPhone. Or not.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #10 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by techguy911 View Post

Are we so hungry for Apple rumors that we have to keep seeing DigiTimes made up claims?  Who can stop this maddness!

So long as the other sites keep posting their stuff, they will keep writing it

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #11 of 81

The number of people who think Apple should just maintain its status quo is large and hilarious.

 

Apple has to compete against the likes of Samsung whether it wants to or not. A client handed me a Galaxy S3 a few days ago and I have to say, that large screen is extremely attractive and makes my iPhone look like a Fisher Price toy. There is a reason why customers like the larger screen. It would serve Apple well to differentiate its products or at least move the product line more towards what consumers are demanding.

post #12 of 81

Yeah Apple is planning a low cost phone alright it's called the iphone 5. Smh

post #13 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

Yes, but, iirc, larger displays are selling really well in developing nations, and they are cheap to boot. [Does Apple have the same cachet in these countries?]

Does Apple want it? Apple has never been about designing to be 'cheaper', designing to the blog readers demands, designing to what the other boys are doing, and so on.

So perhaps, as uncharitable as it might come off, Apple doesn't care if the third world has iPhones particularly in the sense of making one just for them.

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #14 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZREOSpecialist View Post

A client handed me a Galaxy S3 a few days ago and I have to say, that large screen is extremely attractive and makes my iPhone look like a Fisher Price toy.

Amusing because a co worker handed me his Galaxy S3 a couple of weeks ago and my first thought was that it was a toy, like something from Fisher Price.

Suppose that's why it is called an opinion.

Apple sells millions of phones world wide, that's enough for them. They don't need to rule the world. As the wise man said 'Us winning doesn't mean everyone else must lose'. Apple doesn't look at the zero sum game of market share, they look at their profits. And that is doing just fine

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post #15 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Does Apple want it? Apple has never been about designing to be 'cheaper', designing to the blog readers demands, designing to what the other boys are doing, and so on.

 

You may be confusing "cheaper" with "less expensive." Clearly Apple does care about less expensive. The evolution of the iPod line should demonstrate this. Plus Apple is a mass market product company and the mass of the market needs and wants less expensive.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

So perhaps, as uncharitable as it might come off, Apple doesn't care if the third world has iPhones particularly in the sense of making one just for them.

 

Apple cares about making money and they will care about these markets if a) they can make money in them and b) they consider them to be strategically critical to not losing the overall smart phone platform (i.e., iOS) battle. While you refer to the 3rd world (China mostly isn't that any longer) the developing world (like China, India, etc.) have a shitload of people coming up into the middle and upper classes every year. These are huge markets that will eventually make the US look like child's play.

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post #16 of 81
I don't get it.

Sure... if market share and/or unit sales are the metric... Apple is getting creamed by other manufacturers and platforms. Especially in developing countries.

HOWEVER... Apple's iPhone already generates about $6,000,000,000 in PROFIT every quarter. That's billions with a B every 3 months.

Does Apple really need these emerging markets? I thought niche was their thing.

Like Mac vs Windows... Apple sells far fewer Macs than the other guys sell Windows machines. Yet all those other companies would gladly trade balance sheets with Apple.

The cheapest phone Apple makes is $450. Yeah... it's out of reach for most of the developing world. But why does that matter?

We've discussed this in other threads: there are plenty of Android phones that retail for $100 brand new unlocked. And they are garbage... and are primarily used as feature phones in poor undeveloped countries.

Why does Apple need to chase that market?
post #17 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Apple sells millions of phones world wide, that's enough for them.

 

Maybe. But probably not. Apple needs to keep growing.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

They don't need to rule the world. As the wise man said 'Us winning doesn't mean everyone else must lose'. Apple doesn't look at the zero sum game of market share, they look at their profits. And that is doing just fine

 

True enough, but too much of short-term focus in an industry where the dominant player can basically relegate everyone else to also-rans could be extremely short-sighted. Apple, I think, learned this lesson from the Mac vs. Windows battle.

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post #18 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post

Does Apple really need these emerging markets?

 

Yes.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post

I thought niche was their thing.

 

It hasn't been for a long time. iPod, iPad and iPhone are not exactly "niche" products. Apple is a mass market company.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post

Like Mac vs Windows... Apple sells far fewer Macs than the other guys sell Windows machines. Yet all those other companies would gladly trade balance sheets with Apple.

 

Except that approach almost bankrupt the company at one point. Yes, NOW they'd like to exchange balance sheets...after Apple transformed itself away from being a niche player.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post

The cheapest phone Apple makes is $450. Yeah... it's out of reach for most of the developing world. But why does that matter?
We've discussed this in other threads: there are plenty of Android phones that retail for $100 brand new unlocked. And they are garbage... and are primarily used as feature phones in poor undeveloped countries.
Why does Apple need to chase that market?

 

Because that market is probably the future.

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post #19 of 81
BINGO! I think I win the rumor bingo game!
post #20 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


Does Apple want it? Apple has never been about designing to be 'cheaper', designing to the blog readers demands, designing to what the other boys are doing, and so on.
So perhaps, as uncharitable as it might come off, Apple doesn't care if the third world has iPhones particularly in the sense of making one just for them.


... but that wasn't what jglonek and I were discussing. jg mentioned about selling the 4S rather than investing in brand new technology. My answer was to say that the 4S might not sell well because that is not what they are buying (smaller screens). Nothing was mentioned as to whether or not we felt that Apple should or should not do it (make a cheap large screen iPhone).


Edited by island hermit - 1/8/13 at 8:01am
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post #21 of 81

What a joke.

 

Next people will be suggesting Apple will release a smaller format iPad.  As if!  Anyone who's ever seen a Samsung Galaxy tab would just laugh.  7 inches? ... Puhleeze ... Apple will never go there.
 

post #22 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

 

Maybe. But probably not. Apple needs to keep growing.

 

 

 

True enough, but too much of short-term focus in an industry where the dominant player can basically relegate everyone else to also-rans could be extremely short-sighted. Apple, I think, learned this lesson from the Mac vs. Windows battle.

yup. that's why Apple is trying to deal with China's #1 carrier with 600 million subscribers. Once that's done, then it'll deal with the lower end. However, still selling previous year's model seems to be working for Apple.

post #23 of 81
I live in the what the story refers to as 'developing nations', ie. Bangkok. This place is Samsung central. If this were in any part true (and given the source it seems highly unlikely), this would be a terrible decision. The iPhone should be the best piece of hardware around. And this is coming from a bloke that owns zero Apple products (and about 10 Samsung products!)
post #24 of 81

I can't see Apple producing a low end phone.  I think they're quite happy with the upper end of the market.  Then again, the iPad mini could be be viewed as a defensive move for a "cheaper" tablet.

 

I won't believe it until more credible sources than Gene Munster and Digitimes report it, anyway.

post #25 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


The source of the rumor is the much-maligned DigiTimes,

 

I've stop reading there. 

post #26 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

yup. that's why Apple is trying to deal with China's #1 carrier with 600 million subscribers. Once that's done, then it'll deal with the lower end. However, still selling previous year's model seems to be working for Apple.

 

I agree. I believe that's the approach they'll take. But it doesn't mean they are not actively working on the next 2-3 steps of the overall strategy. Apple seems to a pretty friggin' smart company. I'm fairly confident they have product plans going out 10 years. Granted, those plans will change and be affected by market and technology conditions that develop between now and then. But they are thinking ahead.

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post #27 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

-- It hasn't been for a long time. iPod, iPad and iPhone are not exactly "niche" products. Apple is a mass market company.

But Apple only has 20% market share of smartphones worldwide... and only 10% of ALL phones worldwide. That's the niche I was talking about.

Yet Apple is so far from bankruptcy it's not even funny.

Let Samsung sell $100 garbage phones across the globe. Apple is a premium hardware maker.

-- Except that approach almost bankrupt the company at one point. Yes, NOW they'd like to exchange balance sheets...after Apple transformed itself away from being a niche player.

It's silly to compare the Apple of 1996 to the Apple of today. Bad CEOs... bad products... horrible decisions in the 90's.

Yeah... it stings to think about those times... but Apple is nowhere near the same kind of company today.

-- Because that market is probably the future.

And that market will continue to demand cheap phones with almost no profit margin for the manufacturer.

Like I said... Apple's been down this road with the Mac. It ended up that selling fewer premium products is better than selling lots of garbage products.
post #28 of 81

Question, though:

 

We're focusing on hardware here.  But many people would argue that the Android OS has caught up with iOS as of Jelly Bean.  I've seen it - I love Apple, but Android 4.x is the smoothest I've seen of Android so far.  Google Now is a decent enough answer to Siri.  And in a creepy way, it is even a bit more advanced than Siri.

 

So while we're talking about hardware, what about OS?  If Google/Android win on the OS war, will hardware ultimately matter?  Most of us here are probably Apple fans, I am.  But I am concerned that the Android OS will outpace iOS in the future, at some point.  Really hoping Ive has a few tricks up his sleeve!

post #29 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post
 

 

Your drawing a false dichotomy between where Apple's products are right now and "$100 garbage phones." It needn't play out like that. Apple could find some way to create products that are more affordable without driving to "$100 garbage phones."

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post #30 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

What a joke.

Next people will be suggesting Apple will release a smaller format iPad.  As if!  Anyone who's ever seen a Samsung Galaxy tab would just laugh.  7 inches? ... Puhleeze ... Apple will never go there.

 

Apple never does cheap. Let the Android crapware lovers have their 7 inch tablets and their synthetic jeans.
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post #31 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Your drawing a false dichotomy between where Apple's products are right now and "$100 garbage phones." It needn't play out like that. Apple could find some way to create products that are more affordable without driving to "$100 garbage phones."

But I'm asking why they need to.

Samsung makes dozens of phones ranging from $100 low-end to $700 high-end.... while Apple makes basically 3 phones from $450 mid-range to $900 high-end high-capacity.

Those are very two different philosophies.

And Apple is more profitable as a result... while Samsung wears the crown of sales numbers and/or market share.

Apple's (and any company's) goal is to maximize profit... not volume. I can't imagine a situation where someone says to Tim Cook "uh boss... we're not selling enough phones..."
post #32 of 81
It has been said before, but it may be worth repeating, in developing countries a large smartphone may serve two purposes. It is both a phone and a small tablet. Such a large phone and small tablet may have drawbacks where people can afford both devices, however, it is an economical way for a person to, in a sense, have both. Think of it more as an iPad nano with phone capabilities rather than an iPhone.
post #33 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Apple sells millions of phones world wide, that's enough for them. They don't need to rule the world. As the wise man said 'Us winning doesn't mean everyone else must lose'. Apple doesn't look at the zero sum game of market share, they look at their profits. And that is doing just fine
But they do have to compete.

The problem with ignoring the entry-level market is that many of those users will one day be more affluent. Sell a teenager a cheap Samsung phone today, improve the OS over their 2 or 3 years of ownership and they are likely to buy another one, especially if they are still poor. By the time they can afford an iPhone, they are fully immersed in the Android ecosystem, with Apple holding little interest for them (especially because they tend to be "cultures" -- got to hand it to Android for taking a page from Guy Kawasaki) ... Until the Next Big Thing comes out.

Steve Jobs knew this. This is why he placed so much emphasis on education. Get the kids, get the future market. Gassee didn't get this, and surprisingly, neither did Sculley. The problem was illuminated for me in the late 90s when a relative was complaining about how awful Macs were. What she was actually complaining about we're the outdated Macs in her school district, and how they couldn't do most of the things the kids parents Windows laptops could do -- new PCs given to the parents by their companies. The parents knew how to use PCs, not Macs, to help their kids, and the perception for the kids was that the PCs were so much more powerful as a platform, yet cost so much less! So schools started buying PCs to replace their aging Macs.

Now translate that to an entire emerging population ... Ignore them and one day the largest markets in the world will not be interested in your product if the competition has given them something they have gotten used to which works more or less as well as yours, if not better in some cases.

Microsoft rests on their laurels, not Apple. Apple reinvents markets -- the Mac in particular, which attempted to gouge the customer during the Gassee years, and it ended badly for the Mac. Then the iPod, followed by the iPhone and then the iPad. TV looks like the next area. I have a hard time imaging what comes after that though. And the mini really didn't introduce anything new, nor did the iPhone 5 -- mainly different sizes of the same idea. The iOS continues its slow incremental improvements over time. So if this is the best Apple can do, while their competitors have more or less caught up and are now introducing features Apple does not have, all for significantly less, then it won't be long before Apple begins losing market share, or profit margins as the less affluent Android users mature and start spending more. (Anybody seen Idiocracy?)

So yeah, they'd better care about servicing all markets, or they'd better start reinventing themselves every three or four years, in which case ideas like the iPad mini alone just aren't going to cut it.
post #34 of 81
So it'll be BIGGER and CHEAPER.

Does that mean it'll have to be slower and heavier?

There are trade offs.
post #35 of 81
Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post
The problem with ignoring the entry-level market is that many of those users will one day be more affluent. Sell a teenager a cheap Samsung phone today, improve the OS over their 2 or 3 years of ownership and they are likely to buy another one, especially if they are still poor.

 

Why, when iDevices remain the thing that everyone buys in the first world? To affluence from poverty, they'll go the way of the already-rich.

post #36 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post


But I'm asking why they need to.
Samsung makes dozens of phones ranging from $100 low-end to $700 high-end.... while Apple makes basically 3 phones from $450 mid-range to $900 high-end high-capacity.
Those are very two different philosophies.
And Apple is more profitable as a result... while Samsung wears the crown of sales numbers and/or market share.
Apple's (and any company's) goal is to maximize profit... not volume. I can't imagine a situation where someone says to Tim Cook "uh boss... we're not selling enough phones..."


I notice AI seems to be steering well clear of mentioning Samsung's latest profit forecast for the Dec. quarter $8.3 Bn - a 90% increase over the same period last year.

 

Apple and Samsung have different strategies, and they both seem to work.

 

 

Quote:

"Investors are a bit concerned that Samsung's momentum may slow in the first half after posting a series of record profits," said Kim Sung-Soo a fund manager at LS Asset Management.

"The smartphone market is unlikely to sustain its strong growth, as advanced markets are nearing saturation," he explained.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20942231

 

If that saturation comment is correct, Apple might well be considering pursuing less saturated markets to sustain growth, which would require a cheaper model.  So DigiTimes might be inacurate on the details, but the logic is probably sound.

post #37 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post

And that's truth and you know it, unless you are stupid.

 

the iPad has 35% more real estate.


So Pedro, you're saying the iPad mini at 7.9" will be a commercial failure then?

post #38 of 81
A cheaper iPhone with a 5 inch display, Snapdragon SoC and probably plastic construction (if it is to be cheaper than a 4 inch iPhone 5) is the way to go, if - Apple wants to completely destroy its premium brand status! DigiTimes are dicks. Mind you, a 5 inch plus high-end iPhone would actually float my boat, I saw a Galaxy-Note 2 recently and was really liking that screen, even though I still think the iPhone 5 is a beautiful piece of kit.
post #39 of 81
The S3 is heavier with a lower resolution screen than a 5. I'll take the lightweight hi-res product that's faster as well.

If I wanted to carry around a brick I'd move back to 1995. Oh and Apple makes two larger screens: on the iPad 4 and the iPad mini and there's no ridiculously expensive voice contract to lug around either.
post #40 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZREOSpecialist View Post

The number of people who think Apple should just maintain its status quo is large and hilarious.

 

Apple has to compete against the likes of Samsung whether it wants to or not. A client handed me a Galaxy S3 a few days ago and I have to say, that large screen is extremely attractive and makes my iPhone look like a Fisher Price toy. There is a reason why customers like the larger screen. It would serve Apple well to differentiate its products or at least move the product line more towards what consumers are demanding.


Totally agree. While I don't care for the cheap feel of the Samsung, I do like the screen. It's hard to do anything on my iPhone 4S. And the iPhone 5 ain't all that better. Really.

 

Just make another larger phone, Apple.

 

I'm sure they will.

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