Apple could be about to wrongfoot us with its branding for the fabled low-cost iPhone, an analyst claims, as speculation around the company’s plans to enter the budget smartphone market ramps up to a more feverish pitch than ever.
In a note to investors, Topeka analyst Brian White revealed that the group’s market intelligence suggested that although the tech giant might opt for the ‘iPhone mini’ name that’s long been a fixture of tech blogs, there’s also a good chance it could choose the moniker ‘iPhone Air’.
Apparently, this reflects the phone’s lightweight, plastic shell, which Apple is thought to have adopted because it’s so much cheaper than the aluminium and glass construction of its higher-end models.
White also claims that the more keenly priced iPhone could be here as early as June and that is likely to sell for an upper-end price of around $300 – all the better to take the fight to the Android competition.
He wrote: "In late December, our research uncovered iPhones in different screen sizes for potential launch in May/June, allowing Apple to better bifurcate the market and pave the way for a lower-priced iPhone.
"We believe a $250 to $300 price point for a lower-priced iPhone would make sense and 58 per cent below the $649 price point for an unlocked 16GB iPhone 5.”
Apple’s budget smartphone is principally intended for the burgeoning Chinese and Indian markets, where Android handsets’ comparatively cheap price points have given Google a competitive advantage.