It’s a delicious thing. The iPhone Mini: it’s smaller (something like a 3″ screen), it’s cheaper and it’s much more accessible. But while all that we hope for may come true one day, the iPhone Mini seems far from any admissible stroke of reality.
However, an investor note sent from Morgan Stanley (by Katy Huberty) says that an iPhone Mini could be released as early as summer of 2013 leading to an increased market penetration in China. The focus is on the Chinese market where $300-range smartphones from other leading manufacturers like LG, Huawei and ZTE are fast becoming popular standards.
Although the equations are good-looking and the prospect of a $300+ iPhone (Mini) sounds nice, I think it wouldn’t work out that way. If Apple had been working on an iPhone Mini, things would have actually leaked out somewhere. Apple has not been categorically denying any such rumors but Schiller remarked that Apple wouldn’t sacrifice its flagship quality for the sake of a cheaper variant. Yet, with Apple releasing iPad Mini, one must wonder if Schiller’s remarks would stand the test of time or wither away once Apple decides to enter iPhone Mini into production.
There are some interesting iPhone Mini anecdotes outlined by Huberty in the note. She says that the iPhone Mini would cannibalize about one-third of the iPhone sales while fetching about 40 p.c gross margin. The financial argument is that iPhone Mini will open up more revenue for Apple and therefore, naturally, it’s a plausible thing to do.A low-priced iPhone Mini would, according to the note, add about 20% to the prevailing market share (which stands at 10%) of Apple’s smartphone product in the Chinese market.
The bottom-line for taking this at more than face value comes down to what Apple’s goals are.
Analysts think – and some rightly so – that Apple’s time has come to focus more on investors and share value. iOS and the general iDevice product range have flattened out (or gone stale, whichever way you prefer). It’s certainly looking like the right time to put that dent in the universe with another innovation. But is the iPhone Mini the right product? Or is it iWatch or iTV?