If rumors and hints are to be believed, Apple may be releasing a lower cost, prepaid iPhone. During an interview with Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi, Apple COO Tim Cook seemed to suggest that we may see a lower cost iPhone in the near future.
Apple is reportedly doing “clever things” to attack the prepaid market, because, as Cook notes, he wants Apple to be “for everyone,” not “just for the rich.” Cook also indicated that Apple recognizes “price is big factor in the prepaid market”.
Historically, Canada is not a big prepaid market. The Canadian wireless telecos love their high margin price plans and lengthy contracts. However markets such as China is where Apple has been driving into which is “a classic prepaid market.”
Interestingly, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer said that Apple would not let carriers dictate terms. We saw such a stance when Apple launched the iPhone 3G in Canada in 2008 where Apple ensured that Rogers did not brand the device or install software. Apple also played a part in reducing data fees and increasing given data amounts.
It would definitely be interesting to see an officially supported prepaid iPhone reach Canada, as it could be the start of a shift away from contracts. Until then, I have to go back to my 3-year Fido agreement :(.