Not everyone is really sure about Apple trying to fit a new smartphone product into its iPhone-series but for those of us that do believe that Apple's “budget” iPhone could be a reality, we're going nuts discussing about the price.
The “budget iPhone” has been widely speculated to be priced at $330 by a few reports. Stock analysts, whose opinions the legendary Horace Dediu says should be taken very cautiously and often rejected summarily, have pinpointed that Apple would do good to price their budget iPhone in the $300 range as this will help them make headways into the Asian market (especially India and China where Samsung smartphones dominate).
A new analysis – much more balanced and well-placed – surfaces from J.P.Morgan. Their lead analysts Gokul Hariharan and Mark Moskowitz put forward a clear theory: Apple's low-cost iPhone isn't really going to be a “low-cost” iPhone. Like the iPad Mini – supposed to be a budget iPad – the ‘budget' iPhone will be priced at a much higher price than the $200 Samsung smartphones that are aimed at budget markets.
At first glance, this goes against the norm but that's particularly what Apple has been doing since long.
By drawing a $350-400 price range for the ‘budget' iPhone, what we're really looking at is:
- A high-quality product. Bid goodbyes to speculations about low-quality casing (plastics) and lack of retina displays.
- A lower margin which Apple appears to be quite comfortable with (the long-term potential vs. the short-term profits debate)
- A larger market-share over the longer time period.
The iPad Mini, priced at $329, was derided for the odd pricing (Nexus was $199 and Kindle Fire was $249). Yet, the product cut the lines of speculations and made it big on the market share of mini tablets. Incidentally, the analysts claim that Apple could be thinking in a similar tone for the ‘budget' iPhone too.
While speculations for the ‘budget' iPhone keep popping up, here's something to chew on. The budget-iPhone price will not be ‘exactly' a budget price. It's going to be in the $400 range if at all Apple plans to sell one.