So here are some more rumors on the cheaper iPhone that should allegedly release sometime in 2013. Previously we’ve heard rumors that this cheaper iPhone is meant to appeal to consumers in emerging markets such as China, Brazil, and others. This rumored iPhone, dubbed the iPhone Mini, would be made of low-cost parts and sport a polycarbonate plastic back.
Analyst Detwiler Fenton, reported via Forbes, thinks that Apple is indeed working on such a device for 2013. The analyst mentions that the iPhone Mini would be using a Qualcomm Snapdragon process to evade high costs.
The use of the Qualcomm Snapdragon would allow Apple to stay with the margin of a $100-150 price-point, a cost that would appeal to the aforementioned consumers. The Snapdragon would also be capable of adding such features like Bluetooth and WiFi into a single chip, unlike the iPhone 5 having three separate chips, once again cutting down costs.
“It is likely that the work with QCOM is being driven by AAPL’s concern regarding maintaining gross margins as well as the need to differentiate the product by performance,” the research firm (which shuns putting the spotlight on particular analysts) said in a research note. “AAPL would not want a value priced iPhone to offer the same kind of graphics and video support, processing power etc. that its premium priced device would, therefore a less powerful lower-end Snapdragon integrated solution would help segment the product.”
Detwiler adds that by using a Snapdragon with integrated Bluetooth and WiFi, Apple can consolidate three discrete chips used in the current iPhone 5 (a Qualcomm modem, the application processor and the Broadcom WiFi/Bluetooth combo chip) into a single chip at sharply lower cost to preserve margin.
Fenton mentions that the Qualcomm Snapdragon chip would only cost Apple $10-$15 per chip, per phone. The iPhone Mini seems like a given for Apple to take on China Mobile’s 700 million subscribe, who currently can’t afford premium iPhone devices.
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