A new report claims that Apple in 2013 will release a larger, albeit cheaper, iPhone device in an attempt to make inroads in developing markets. The report, originally sourced from Digitimes, notes that this alleged larger iPhone will sport a completely new exterior design.
Growing sales of the iPad mini, particularly in China and other emerging markets, may have served as an impetus for Apple to roll out a low-cost iPhone to repeat its success gained on the sale of the iPad mini, the sources commented.
Indeed, the lower cost iPad Mini has seemingly been a runaway hit for Apple thus far. In fact, it took Apple a good few weeks just to be able to keep up with consumer demand. More recently, it was reported that workers at Foxconn will be working through the Chinese New Year on account of surging iPad Mini demand.
So from that angle, it does stand to reason that Apple may be more open to releasing a lower-cost iPhone device, presumably one without a Retina Display in an effort to keep costs down.
But remember that rumors of cheaper iPhone models have existed for years now and all Apple has really done in that regard is to lower the pricepoint on previous iPhone models.
What makes this report interesting is that it comes amid a number of other reports claiming that Apple may release iPhone models in a variety of form factors later this year. With Samsung’s lineup of Android handsets still selling extremely well, perhaps Apple has seen the merits in having a more varied lineup that appeals to a greater pool of consumers.
Lastly, the report concludes with a blurb about Apple releasing a TD compliant iPhone on China Mobile this year. Of course, the rumblings regarding Apple striking a deal with China Mobile have persisted for years now so it’s probably best to take a wait-and-see approach in that regard. One thing’s for sure though – once the iPhone does land on China Mobile – which is the largest mobile carrier in the world – expect iPhone sales to really skyrocket.