While it may run iOS, Apple’s proprietary smartphone and tablet operating system rumours are that the phone will look nothing like iPhone 4S or 5 and it will be restricted to emerging markets.
That makes sense – the Applesphere is a finely balanced environment where millions of people have purchased a premium product at a premium price – to bring a cheap iPhone to any established market would simply cannibalise iPhone sales and profits.
What we think we know is the pricing will be around US$300-350 and that it will be released in late 2013. It will be pretty much based on existing 4S components i.e. 3G, not 4G.
It will have a 4” LTPS (Low Temperature PolySilicon) LCD which is a 200dpi screen and is easier to make, requires less graphics processor power and less electronics. There will be a front 720p and rear 5MP camera. Memory will be 8GB and not expandable.
The existing Apple A6 dual core processor will be used. It is an ARMv7 running at 1.3Ghz and it would make sense to use this rather than adopt a new chip entirely. What we think however is that this one will be made by an unnamed Chinese ARM processor manufacturer rather than Samsung further distancing Apple from this supplier and giving Apple some future supply options.
The plastic (polycarbonate) case is contentious – Apple can’t afford to have anything too cheap and chintzy. The main image shows a more rounded style and some new colours.
If large telco carriers get behind it then this product could well be free with a contract. Interestingly however Asian markets seem to prefer no bundling so they can take advantage of “deals, deals and more deals”.
Samsung currently dominates this segment with 35% market share and analysts predict that Apple will capture 20-25% of Samsung’s sales – but remember that China is a huge market and Apple is almost entirely missing out on millions of handset sales and the spinoff for iTunes where the real money is made.