Some iPhone Nano and Shuffle concepts, from long, long ago

iPhone Mini: Can a cheap iPhone help Apple regain its smartphone supremacy?

Autore: ExtremeTech

Some iPhone Nano and Shuffle concepts, from long, long ago

Single-handedly resurrecting its own iPhone Lite/Mini rumors from a couple of years ago, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that according to “people briefed on the matter” that Apple is working on a lower-end, cheaper iPhone in an attempt to regain the stranglehold it once had on the smartphone market.

Though Apple hasn’t exactly lost enough ground to consider itself in immediate danger, Android devices — in particular, those produced by Samsung — have certainly taken control of a large chunk of the mobile market, partly due to some Android phones being much less expensive than an iPhone, and partly because some people like having an alternative to what was once the only game in town. If you take a quick look through Apple’s device history, you can see that it has produced cheaper alternatives before: the iPod branched off into the Nano and Shuffle lines, the iMac branched off into the Mac Mini, and late last year the iPad branched off into the iPad Mini. The only two flagship Apple product lines left to branch off into a cheaper “lite” alternative are the iPhone and MacBook, so a cheaper iPhone wouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

So, if Apple is releasing a cheaper iPhone, what features would it cut in order to reduce the price? WSJ is reporting that Apple could switch the body of the phone from aluminum to cheaper polycarbonate plastic. If we’re taking lessons from the iPad Mini, Apple could also avoid including a Retina display in the cheaper iPhone, and reduce the phone’s size a bit as well. It might seem odd for Apple to release a smaller phone right after it finally went the route of the bigger phone with the iPhone 5, but Apple just released a smaller version of its tablet, so a smaller phone isn’t out of the question. Reducing camera quality and storage capacity are also easy targets to help reduce cost, and using the older A5 SoC rather than the iPhone 5′s A6 could also help cut costs.

Another weird iPhone 5/iPhone Mini/Lite conceptApple has never had parallel iPhone models on the market at once, but has instead simply left older models on the market and reduced their price. However, with the iPad Mini and multiple parallel iPod models, Apple does have experience dealing with multiple pillars of the same product.

As for the price? WSJ reports that Apple is looking to offer something cheaper than the iPhone’s $ 200 on-contact price, though it remains to be seen if an inferior phone gussied up by a shiny new exterior would attract a significant market. If we look to reports of how the iPad Mini is fairing against its bigger, stronger brother, we could see that, yeah, consumers don’t seem to mind less powerful guts inside a pretty body.

You might think that Apple releasing a cheaper iPhone would water down the brand’s value, or perhaps ultimately decrease overall profits if everyone begins buying the cheaper phone instead of the more expensive non-Lite models. However, not even counting Apple’s own history of releasing a Lite version of an already established line, this revision structure has been working for the tech industry for ages — particularly the gaming industry. Sony released at least one “slim” version of each of its consoles, and released two slim versions of the PSP. Microsoft also released a slim version of the Xbox 360. Nintendo recently announced the Wii Mini, and the DS Lite is what helped the DS take off. You don’t even need sales figures to know that this model has been working, because it wouldn’t keep happening if it kept failing.

Wherever these cheaper iPhone rumors lead, just keep in mind that we’ve heard it all before, and even from the same source; that doesn’t mean they aren’t true, and weren’t true then, but you should probably just temper your expectations a bit.

Now read: The iPad Mini: Has Apple lost its way?

[Image credit: Informationarchitects.jp]

7 thoughts on “iPhone Mini: Can a cheap iPhone help Apple regain its smartphone supremacy?

  1. Ciao vorrei acquistare applicazioni a pagamento su Apple Store ma non ho la minima idea su come si fa…. Si usa la carta di credito?? Dobbiamo prendere una carta come quella della vodafone ad esempio?? Spiegatemi un po’ GRAZIE :)

  2. Posso scaricare il software mac della apple e istallare su un computer normale?
    Adesso ho windows xp
    Se siì come faccio? e dove lo trovo ?
    Grazie in anticipo ;D
    10 punti al migliore

  3. Salve.
    Mi hanno rubato l’iPod Touch ed ho chiamato il numero verde della Apple per informazioni,cliccando vari numeri sono riuscito a parlare con un operatore,ora il problema è questo,prima di parlarci mi ha chiesto il seriale dell’iPod, ed io sfortunatamente non sono riuscito a trovare la scatola.
    Comunque,gli ho fatto,ora non ce l’ho ma volevo sapere sono un’informazione e sono stato per circa 3 minuti a chiedergli se era possibile rintracciarlo.
    Ora ho paura che abbia speso molto ma prima della telefonata non diceva niente sui costi della chiamata…
    Possibile che mi venga la bolletta del telefono alta per aver chiamato la Apple senza seriale?
    Risposte serie da persone che sanno qualcosa.
    Grazie mille!

  4. Ora sulla Apple TV non c’è niente,e quello che c’è lo devi pagare,e anche molto caro.
    Comunque ho visto lo store Americano e c’è tutto!!
    Arriveremo mai ad una visione di Film così ampia con la apple tv?

  5. Su itunes store ci sono molti più film disponibili che sull’apple tv, come faccio ad averli tutti disponibili?

    ad esempio the avengers non è disponibile sull apple tv e mi sembra molto strano…

  6. Nel senso io ho un’ipad con un film dentro normale cioè non noleggiato, in quel caso è possibile guardarlo sull’apple tv? Serve una connessione internet o dal momento che hai acquistato il film puoi vederlo in tv senza internet? L’ipad o apple tv devono essere collegati almeno uno di questi a internet o no? Grazie in anticipo scusate per la lunghezza del testo ma vorrei comprare un apple tv e vorrei essere sicuro di non avere comprato una cosa che non mi serve. In più se potete mi direste altre cose sull’apple tv che potrebbero servirmi?

  7. Esiste un applicazione simile a passport che c’è su apple che permetta per esempio di utilizzare il cellulare al posto di un abbonamento per il pulman o per passare alla metro per android?
    Grazie in anticipo :)

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