“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,” analyst Brian White wrote in a research note Monday.
Besides projecting a June release, Brian White says the next generation iPhone could serve as the entry-level iPhone, potentially marketed as the “iPhone mini” (via iPad mini) or “iPhone Air”. He argues the naming with the light weight of the device prototypes they found, as they feature a plastic shell.
“We believe a $250 to $300 price point for a lower-priced iPhone would make sense and 58% below the $649 price point for an unlocked 16GB iPhone 5,” White said. “A $250-$300 price range would also be competitive with China-based Xiaomi that offers a high-end phone experience at a mid- range price of ~$320 in Chinas.”
As the price shows, the analysts of Topeka Capital forecast a 10-15% cut in Apple’s gross margins, but this is exactly why the Cupertino company could successfully enter into emerging markets like China, Brazil, Russia and India (where – just a side note – it has seen a tremendous growth in iPhone sales).
White also reiterated earlier rumours about how Apple plans to cut down the costs of the cheaper iPhone. From his perspective, the plastic casing will mean substantial savings for the company, while this could also enable the possibility of adding colors “to excite consumers”.