It has been widely speculated that Apple will be launching a low-cost iPhone later this year.
China Times (via AppleInsider) reports that T.H. Tung, CEO of Pegatron, Apple’s manufacturing partner in China, while speaking to company’s shareholders said that Apple’s low-cost iPhone will not be cheap.
It has been rumored that Pegatron may become the “primary assembler of a low-cost iPhone.” Apple started working with a new firm called Pegatron back in 2011 on small scale iPhone and iPad mini production.
The executive said products currently on the market can carry a number of names, but “cheap” is not one that should be associated with Apple’s less expensive iPhone. He went on to say that, compared to feature phones, smartphones are increasingly offering more value for the price.
Yesterday, a case maker revealed design schematics and 3D renders of the cheaper iPhone, dubbed “iPhone Lite,” which gave a glimpse of what it may look like. According to previous reports, the low-cost iPhone will have 4-inch screen, like the iPhone 5, a bottom like the 5th generation iPod touch, and a shape that’s similar to the iPod classic.
Analysts expect the low-cost iPhone to be priced in the $250 to $350 range. Based on Mr. Tung’s comment, it looks like it will be priced at $300 – $350, though it is a little strange that Apple’s manufacturing partner would comment on unannounced products.
At $300 to $350 price range, the low-cost iPhone will still be cheaper than an unlocked iPhone 4, the currently entry-level iPhone, which costs $450. It will be interesting to see how Apple plans to manage the iPhone product line with the launch of the cheaper iPhone. Will it continue to offer three generation old iPhones? They might ditch that strategy when the low-cost iPhone hits the market.