The Apple rumor mill has been inundated in recent days with rumors regarding a lower-priced iPhone. Aside from the iPhone 5S or iPhone 6, Apple is now believed to be mooting an inexpensive version of the iPhone, perhaps a larger-screened device with lower-end specs or a so-called “iPhone mini” in the words of one analyst. Regardless of what Apple has in store, another analyst believes that a more affordable iPhone could monetize a good 65 percent of the expected smartphone market for 2013.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, a reliable source of Apple-related forecasts and supplier updates, said yesterday in a note to investors that a more affordable iPhone could successfully tap into a market representing close to 600 million consumers. According to Munster, the high-end smartphone market, which represents unsubsidized phones worth $400 or more, would cover about 320 million units, with Apple expected to take up half the market share. As for emerging markets, which could cover 580 million units, Munster believes Apple could tap into those markets with a lower-priced iPhone despite the possibilities of reduced profit margins.
“We believe the opportunity for Apple is too large to miss, as the low end market is growing significantly faster than the high end smartphone market,” said Munster regarding the viability of catering to emerging markets. Earlier in the week, Munster forecasted an estimated $6.5 billion worth of revenue to be generated by a low-cost iPhone, should said device be released towards the end of 2013. Price points for the rumored inexpensive iPhone could be at around $199, with the target markets being countries such as China and other so-called “emerging” markets. This would be less than half the price of the cheapest non-contract iPhone, the iPhone 4, which currently sells for $450 in the United States.