WSJ: Apple Is Building A Cheaper iPhone (Again)

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple is working on a less expensive alternative to its iPhone. If that sounds familiar, well, it should. It's the same rumour the WSJ trotted out back in February of 2011.

In other words? Don't get your hopes up.

According to this latest report, Apple's rumoured less-expensive smartphone would look much like its flagship (and, well, only recent) model, but would be built from more affordable polycarbonate plastic instead of the slick anodised aluminium of the iPhone 5. It would also likely sport the ageing guts of an iPhone 4S, much like the iPad mini uses spare parts from the iPad 2.


Comments

    If they wanted a less expensive alternative they could just cut their profit margins on the iPhone, which are estimated to be between 40 and 60%, instead of making a overpriced cheap phone.

      What part of the current iPhone is cheap to you?

        Knockstock - The story says a 'Cheaper' iPhone, not a cheap iPhone. If they sold the current iPhone at $200 less then it would be on a par with other top end phones and I'd consider buying it. But if they built a 'Cheap' phone selling it with their high profit margin then what's the point? You'd end up with a smaller phone which is 18 months behind similarly priced phones, just like the iPad Mini.

    I keep seeing this, and I just don't get it.

    If they want a "smaller" and "cheaper" iPhone, they already have it.

    To cut back on costs, you need a slower CPU, less RAM and less storage space than the current.

    Which phone has that? THE IPHONE 4 THAT'S STILL BEING SOLD BY APPLE. FOR $449.

    Why would they do extra R&D to make a phone that already exists and is already being sold at ~ half the cost of a new iPhone 5???

      My first thoughts as well but I think the target audience (prepaid market in the major Asian countries?) would like to see something that at least looks new. I believe the main reason Apple discounts their older models is not because production costs have suddenly gone down but to give people a choice (and to phase out production of the older models over time rather than putting everything to an abrupt and expensive halt). The iPhone 4 still is a premium device to make and I think it would make sense for Apple as well as consumers to get a plastic/cheaper device (Macbook vs Macbook pro) with a big retina screen but not necessarily the top specs and ultra compactness as seen in the iPhone 5. I don't think it will take too long before Apple stops selling the iPhone 4 and 4s models, simply because of their push towards Lightning connectivity.

      I disagree slightly.
      Whilst you are right in some cases, take this example which i think applies to alot of people at the moment:

      I know people with iPhone 3GS' still, the phone is struggling and they desperately want to upgrade. Why would they want to get locked into a 24 month contract on a phone that is already out of date and old (iPhone 4), its hardly an upgrade then and probably wont benefit them over the full timespan of 24 months.

        True, from the customer's standpoint it might make sense, but I'm not seeing sense from Apple's point of view. They cater to the majority of buyers, and given the commercial success of the iPhone of various iterations, I'm not sure that Apple would go to the cost to entice a smaller subset of customers.

        Maybe I'm cynical? Or just off-kilter. Just the gut feeling I get based on their previous business decisions. The iPad Mini was noteable - cheaper than their current stock, but substantially more expensive than the competition.

          I can understand what your saying. You are correct. Which is why I only slightly disagreed haha

      iPhone nano maybe?

    I love this idea, a cheaper iPhone would be great. I know plently of people that dont want Android, but cant afford an iPhone.

      There is still Windows Phone. Nokia Lumia 820 or 620. HTC 8S. Whatever the f**k Omnia Samsung will flag out.

    Ok here's a scenario where Apple could feed of a cheaper model. People like my Dad for example who are older and don't really use any Apps yet they want to be 'seen' with a touchscreen phone that would have basic news and email reading capabilities. Samsung has been feeding of this for years. Their phones are cheap and already plastic and have always been made out of recycled crap. So maybe just get a touch screen and modem connected to it and a really stripped down iOSette on it and there you go, you'll have millions of senior/retired citizens buying them at $199.

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