Analyst: iPhone 5C to be priced at $400-$500, to replace iPhone 5

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Mingchi Kuo, analyst at KGI Securities, has released a new research update to his clients where he has provided some interesting details about Apple’s rumored budget iPhone.

While Apple analysts are dime a dozen, Kuo has a good track record when it comes to predicting Apple’s product plans based on his supply chain sources, so we generally pay attention to what he has to say.

Here are some of highlights from his research report:

  • He expects iPhone 5C to support China Mobile’s TDD-LTE network, which suggests that Apple may have finally clinched the deal with the world’s largest carrier.
  • He speculates that iPhone 5C will replace iPhone  5 and not iPhone 4S due to the feature set overlap and $400-$500 price range. Not surprisingly, he expects Apple to discontinue iPhone 4.
  • Surprisingly, he expects Apple to continue to offer iPhone 4S in the $300-$400 price range. There have been speculations that Apple will discontinue iPhone 4S with the launch of iPhone 5S.
  • According to his sources, Apple is ready to ramp up production in August and September, and may begin manufacturing iPhone 5C earlier than expected in August.
  • Even though iPhone 5C will come at a lower price range, he expects iPhone 5S to outsell iPhone 5C.
  • He expects Apple to sell 5.2 million iPhone 5C units and 8.4 million iPhone 5S units in Q3 2013, and 28.0 million units and 18.7M units respectively in Q4 2014.

If it is indeed priced at $400-$500, iPhone 5C would be too costly to be called the budget iPhone. I thought iPhone 5C with mostly iPhone 4S components will the new entry level model and will be available in the $300-$350 price range, so that it can compete with lower-priced Android smartphones. It also made sense to discontinue iPhone 4S as it has a 3.5-inch display and the legacy 30-pin dock connector. So I am a little skeptical of Kuo’s latest predictions, but he has access to a lot more insider information than we do, so can’t rule it out.

Apple is widely expected to unveil iPhone 5S, and perhaps iPhone 5C at the media event on September 10.

[Via 9to5Mac]