Apple may release an iPhone mini priced under $250 this summer

By on January 4, 2013, 1:00 PM

The latest Apple rumor to surface suggests the company is planning to release a budget version of the popular iPhone handset known as the iPhone mini. Such a rumor would have easily been squashed previously but since Cupertino released a smaller and more affordable version of the iPad late last year, is the thought of a cheaper iPhone really that farfetched today?

The idea behind a smaller iPhone is simple – make it more affordable which in turn will open it up to a much larger user base. It’s no secret that Samsung is winning the proverbial smartphone battle as recent data shows the Korean electronics giant is expected to account for one third of all smartphones sold this year. Apple’s iPhone, on the other hand, is forecasted to capture 21 percent of the market, just a single percentage point more than last year.

Neil Mawston from Strategy Analytics told CNET that he believes Apple will launch an iPhone mini at some point within the next three years to cater to prepaid users that can’t afford the current iPhone.

Peter Misek from Jeffries echoed those sentiments, adding that we could see a cheaper iPhone from Apple as early as this summer priced between $200 and $250. He believes the project hasn’t gotten the go-ahead from Apple yet, however, because they are concerned that such a product could eat into their gross margins.

Either way, 2013 is shaping up to be another exciting year with regards to the smartphone market. Samsung will release the Galaxy S IV at some point, a revised Nokia Lumia line is rumored to be in the pipeline and it’s a safe bet that Apple will release some sort of iPhone later this year.

At this point, which new handset are you looking forward to the most?




User Comments: 15

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3 people like this | VitalyT VitalyT said:

iPhone form-factor in itself is already a mini compared to other phones out there today. Reducing the size further will be pointless, nobody needs it. In fact, iPhone has been losing its market to phones that had simply bigger screens and resolution. Lesson to be learned, and in the opposite direction - we want the next iPhone with the same iPhone 5 form, but an edge-to-edge screen, so they can have at least the full 720p on it.

2 people like this | The Internet The Internet said:

Apple releasing a $250 iPhone Mini will not help it gain market share. Actually, such a device would go against everything Apple stands for. Apple sells premium mobile electronics. Compare the price of an i5 Windows laptop with an i5 Macbook Air. The Air will certainly be several hundred dollars more expensive, and that still leaves the i5 Macbook Pro.

With every iPhone release for the last few years, Apple has offered the newly-outdated models for $99. Now, a phone that is $250 without a contract is a different story, but it would end up being one of 2 things: A phone with VERY bad and outdated specifications (such as the iPad Mini, which under the skin is actually an iPad 2) or A phone which Apple will sell at cost and not make money out of it. This scenario REALLY goes against Apple's ways, especially when you compare the amount it costs them to build an I device versus what they sell it for.

It's good to know that Apple is more open-minded about offering devices in different sizes at varying price points, but, in my opinion, Apple needs to shake up their software more than their hardware. A more customizable iOS experience would be a great start, but asking Apple to loosen its grip of control is as likely as hell freezing over. iOS is basically the same experience it's been since 2007, hence, it's very stale.

Julien Julien said:

I completely agree. I recently picked up a Samsung Note 2 at the end of my contract. My Iphone 4S is quick and still running a great ios as far as I am concerned but the tiny screen got boring after three years of iphones for me. I am looking forward to the day that the Iphone becomes wider.

iPhone form-factor in itself is already a mini compared to other phones out there today. Reducing the size further will be pointless, nobody needs it. In fact, iPhone has been losing its market to phones that had simply bigger screens and resolution. Lesson to be learned, and in the opposite direction - we want the next iPhone with the same iPhone 5 form, but an edge-to-edge screen, so they can have at least the full 720p on it.

1 person liked this | alexander49 alexander49 said:

Today's Apple isn't Jobs' Apple.

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I remember seeing prototypes of this thing almost 2 years ago, figure Apple decided to can the project because who the hell wants a small smart phone, counter intuitive if you ask me. Anyways, a co-worker managed to order two from a Chinese site, it then took 6 months for him to get them. At which point it was obvious why this never came to be. Slow, hard to navigate with the smaller screen and battery life was horrible. Perhaps Apple has put some new hardware in it, honestly I could care less, because the sheeple Apple fans will buy one to complement their full size iPhones because for the price, its cheap Apple tech, and unfortunately thats all that matters to some people.

Gars Gars said:

iPhone form-factor in itself is already a mini compared to other phones out there today. Reducing the size further will be poin...

some people needs to go outside

whats wrong to get a $250 for free?

MilwaukeeMike said:

Apple releasing a $250 iPhone Mini will not help it gain market share. Actually, such a device would go against everything Apple stands for. Apple sells premium mobile electronics. Compare the price of an i5 Windows laptop with an i5 Macbook Air. The Air will certainly be several hundred dollars more expensive, and that still leaves the i5 Macbook Pro.

With every iPhone release for the last few years, Apple has offered the newly-outdated models for $99. Now, a phone that is $250 without a contract is a different story, but it would end up being one of 2 things: A phone with VERY bad and outdated specifications (such as the iPad Mini, which under the skin is actually an iPad 2) or A phone which Apple will sell at cost and not make money out of it. This scenario REALLY goes against Apple's ways, especially when you compare the amount it costs them to build an I device versus what they sell it for.

It's good to know that Apple is more open-minded about offering devices in different sizes at varying price points, but, in my opinion, Apple needs to shake up their software more than their hardware. A more customizable iOS experience would be a great start, but asking Apple to loosen its grip of control is as likely as hell freezing over. iOS is basically the same experience it's been since 2007, hence, it's very stale.

Yes, but what has Apple learned after releasing an iPhone 5 with marginal new features over the 4S, and an iPad mini without a retina screen? Every time Apple releases a new product there are news stories about the lines outside the stores, there's the hype about the product, there's the boost in revenue (notice the stock price doesn't always go up though... hmm..). Why should they stop? Next will be the iPad Mini Retina... if they can put small variances in their products and sell them all as people fill out their collection, then why stop?

It won't gain market share, but the phones will sell. Anyway... $250 for the latest iGadget is a steal.

1 person liked this | Ultraman1966 said:

Apple could sell a turd in a box if they wanted. I do think a smaller iPhone is silly though, it's just not acceptable for 2013 on a premium product. Unless they really sell it for 250usd but then is it still Apple?

Pan Wah said:

Apple could sell a turd in a box if they wanted. I do think a smaller iPhone is silly though, it's just not acceptable for 2013 on a premium product. Unless they really sell it for 250usd but then is it still Apple?

I'm going to hold out for the iTurd

GunsAblazin said:

Apple will definitely make an iPhone mini. The iPad mini is evidence that they're trying to cover all price points, not just high end or contract based. The prepaid market is getting larger and more attractive to people wanting better quality smartphones on a budget. News of Sprint starting a pay-as-you-go service (http://www.engadget.com/2013/01/04/sprint-confirms-pay-as-y
u-go-service/) is even more evidence that the market is changing.

Guest said:

After apple scientists at R&D spent large of money and time to innovate their new iPhone with longer display (add another row of icon).. now, they want to shorten it as iPhone mini..

..next year, apple will introduce new lineup of their phone called iPhone nano

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Maybe Apple has a surplus of iPhone 4S's ..?

Zahar Zahar said:

FAKE!!! it's FAKE. Same news cameup at 2007 by NYtimes. I don't believe it

avoidz avoidz said:

I remember seeing prototypes of this thing almost 2 years ago, figure Apple decided to can the project because who the hell wants a small smart phone, counter intuitive if you ask me. Anyways, a co-worker managed to order two from a Chinese site, it then took 6 months for him to get them. At which point it was obvious why this never came to be. Slow, hard to navigate with the smaller screen and battery life was horrible. Perhaps Apple has put some new hardware in it, honestly I could care less, because the sheeple Apple fans will buy one to complement their full size iPhones because for the price, its cheap Apple tech, and unfortunately thats all that matters to some people.

"couldn't care less...." FTFY

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