Rumors about cheaper Apple iPhone resurface

More tech stories

Parking doesn’t have to be a hassle

Parking doesn’t have to be a hassle

Meet the man who wants to make parking in a garage as fun as riding in an Uber.

Big data: A double-edged sword

Big data: A double-edged sword

New information will improve our health and prevent crimes, but uncover skeletons and hurt privacy.

White House updating online privacy policy

White House updating online privacy policy

A new Obama administration privacy policy explains how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites, and it clarifies that online comments, whether tirades or tributes, are in the open domain.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple may offer the new phone as early as the end of this year. It also may decide not to go through with the product, the report said.

The WSJ report also said Apple might be able to sell the iPhone at a lower price point by using cheaper materials such as polycarbonate plastic rather than aluminum for the phone’s body. That would be a bit of a departure for Apple, which has always prided itself on using high-quality materials that make their products, and in particular their iPhones , feel a cut above budget options from Android handset makers. It could be difficult for the company to reconcile a “budget phone” with its carefully constructed image as a premium brand.

Whatever the construction plans, a cheaper iPhone would make some sense for Apple. The Cupertino, Calif. firm has taken some steps to addresses the price-conscious consumer, opting to discount older models rather than introduce multiple current models of its flagship phone. Apple also offers the iPhone in no-contract, pay-as-you-go plans on select carriers.

A new, cheaper iPhone — if it exists — would likely be marketed to emerging economies, where Apple has potential for growth but is sometimes priced out of the mainstream market. Smartphones from companies like Samsung, Huawei and ZTE, meanwhile, have large customer bases in these price-sensitive countries, and are poised to benefit the most from the planet’s ever-increasing mobile adoption.

Samsung, of course, continues to be Apple’s greatest competitor. The company announced Tuesday that it is projecting record profits for this quarter of around $8.3 billion (8.8 trillion won) as it continues to hold court at the International Consumer Electronics Show.

Apple, which does not attend the show, will report its earnings on Jan. 23. The report will reveal how the firm fared during the holiday season as it pushed a range of new products including the iPhone 5, iPad mini, redesigned iPod Touch and iMac computers. The company did report this week that it’s reached a new App Store milestone: customers have now picked up 40 billion apps for their devices — nearly 20 billion in 2012 alone.

 
Read what others are saying