Since the launch of the original iPhone (and perhaps even before then) we’ve been waiting for Apple to offer a sibling. This strategy has served them well in almost every other product category (iPods and Macs) but has been withheld from its mobile phone segment. Is now the right time to move this strategy forward?
“It’s time for a mid-range iPhone,” analyst Chris Whitmore with Deutsche Bank declared in a note to investors on Monday. He believes Apple will offer a lower-end iPhone priced between $300 and $500 paired with a pre-paid voice offering.
With more than 1.5 billion prepaid customers worldwide, it’s a market Apple currently doesn’t address. Grabbing a slice of this pie, even at lower price points, would help keep the platform thriving as more users would be added quickly. Places like China, where 85% of users rely on a pre-paid account, must be high priority sales on Apple’s list.
Other questions, ones like what would a lower-end variant do to the luxury of the higher end model? Would a lower end model run a different software version? If so, does that mean we’ll see the dreaded fragmentation issue?
The thing about Apple is we likely won’t know until it’s announced on stage.