Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Report: Apple to Launch a Less Expensive iPhone

By - Source: BGR | B 18 comments

The Wall Street Journal is (once again) reporting that Apple may launch a cheaper iPhone.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that, according to their inside sources, Apple is working on a cheaper version of the iPhone. There's no reason for excitement just yet, as Gizmodo points out, this is the second time that WSJ is reporting this rumor. The first time the rumor came around was in February 2011, when the Journal detailed the N97—a phone built out of polycarbonate plastic that was supposed to be half the size and cost of the iPhone 4.

This time, the rumor's not much different: "While Apple has explored such a device for years," wrote the Journal. "The plan is progressing and a less expensive version of its flagship device could launch later this year…"

The journal points to myriad ways that Apple could cut costs on this cheaper alternative, including the use of polycarbonate plastic (as mentioned in the previous rumor) or by recycling parts from older models.

With rising competition from Android phones—which offer much cheaper alternatives than the iPhone, no less—it makes sense that Apple needs a cheaper alternative. However, Gizmodo raises the very valid point that Apple's older models, which are still readily available and aren't a bad alternative, can be considered the cheaper iPhone 5.

Still, Apple launched the iPad mini to compete with the 7-inch tablet market, so it's not entirely out of the realm of possibility that it may offer a more affordable version of the iPhone to wage war with Android.

 

Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback

Discuss
Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the Streaming Video & TVs forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 11 Hide
    zzz_b , January 9, 2013 3:15 PM
    You can buy an iPhone 4 for $50. Why would you need a cheaper one with even more outdated hardware? Does not make any sense to me!
Other Comments
  • -6 Hide
    sacre , January 9, 2013 3:13 PM
    Both Apple users and Samsung users are just users of that phone.

    But those who bash another company - are simply fanboys/girls of their current phone brand.

    I am using an iphone 4S right now as my main, its quick, has a smooth interface, does what I need it to do. I don't load things on it so its still got 11GB free of its 16, I don't take thousands of pictures, videos, I don't download thousands of apps, I don't need any of that.

    I just need it to text, make calls, check email, and occasionally provide me with entertainment while I wait.

    My next phone will probably be a Galaxy S4, why? Because I want to try something new. I've tried previous Android devices and the interface is far from being smooth. You can have all the hardware in the world but if the interface is shit, or slow, unresponsive, or "locks up" then i'm not going to enjoy the phone. The Galaxy S3 is a nice one, hence why i'm going to grab the S4 when it is released.

    Till then, According to children and neckbeared overweight individuals that think they are highly educated from their google degree and slight knowledge in computers - I am an "iSheep".

    As for this article? Stupid. They will make it with crap hardware then release another version with "upgraded hardware, faster!" 6 months down the road and up the price and people will buy.
  • 11 Hide
    zzz_b , January 9, 2013 3:15 PM
    You can buy an iPhone 4 for $50. Why would you need a cheaper one with even more outdated hardware? Does not make any sense to me!
  • Display all 18 comments.
  • 3 Hide
    blackjackcf , January 9, 2013 3:18 PM
    zzz_bYou can buy an iPhone 4 for $50. Why would you need a cheaper one with even more outdated hardware? Does not make any sense to me!


    It's why I'm not personally investing too much into the validity of the article. However, WSJ seems quite keen on it happening. And with Apple sacrificing the quality of their product to make an iPad mini, I'm not so sure that Apple won't be willing to do the same with the iPhone.

    But yeah, you can get an iPhone 4 for free if you just sign a contract. Leaps and years ahead as a phone for the free alternatives I got.

    - Catherine Cai
  • 1 Hide
    hitman400 , January 9, 2013 3:23 PM
    Lemme get this straight. After my contract is up, I can upgrade to the new iphone for $100. Why would I want a cheaper alternative with probably less up to par hardware and a smaller screen size? I mean, why are they even wasting their time with this. I hope this rumor isn't true. I just want (or hope) for a screen size that's larger than the 4" iphone 5, not saying that its size is bad. But with the strange screen ratio Apple created for the iPhone 5, allowing minimal thumb movement horizontally allowed through easy use of one hand, this size is catered to around 4". Anything larger maintaining that ratio will result in some ridiculously tall phone. Almost as ridiculous as the nearly 2.4 ratio the dam video records in on iphones
  • 5 Hide
    joebob2000 , January 9, 2013 3:24 PM
    WTF? The iPhone 4 is free/near-free. I don't buy this rumor for a second. I believe they might start selling versions that cost them less to make (as there is a shocking demand for the iPhone 4s and even the 4 yet.)

    That, or this is literally an iPhone mini, so they can go after the emerging 7-13 year old market for smartphones with a device that has a 2.5" screen and will fit comfortably in the front pocket of a pair of junior overalls.

    "less expensive iphone" hah. Steve Jobs just died a little (more) when that got printed.
  • 1 Hide
    hitman400 , January 9, 2013 3:26 PM
    joebob2000WTF? The iPhone 4 is free/near-free. I don't buy this rumor for a second. I believe they might start selling versions that cost them less to make (as there is a shocking demand for the iPhone 4s and even the 4 yet.)That, or this is literally an iPhone mini, so they can go after the emerging 7-13 year old market for smartphones with a device that has a 2.5" screen and will fit comfortably in the front pocket of a pair of junior overalls."less expensive iphone" hah. Steve Jobs just died a little (more) when that got printed.

    I think the new leader of Apple had this thought in the back of my head " When is Steve gonna pass so I get to do what I want to do?" Ever since he passed, the company has made some strannnngeee choices
  • 0 Hide
    hitman400 , January 9, 2013 3:26 PM
    Sorry, I meant back of his
  • 0 Hide
    Kami3k , January 9, 2013 3:49 PM
    lostmyclanohhh wait where is jak islam???


    I don't know, maybe you should go on your Facebook for a Jak Islam.

    Unless you meant Zak Islam and here is still posting the biggest spin jobs since Fox News about Apple.
  • 7 Hide
    BigMack70 , January 9, 2013 3:59 PM
    Report: iSheep offended that Apple isn't going to rape their wallets even harder, respond by planning to buy multiple copies of less expensive iPhone for same effect.
  • 3 Hide
    silver565 , January 9, 2013 4:46 PM
    I think what a lot of people need to understand is that other markets(such as New Zealand) don't just have "contracts". A lot of people are on prepay plans which means they have to buy the phone at full price. Coming from NZ, I did find it quite weird at the amount of people who are all on 2 year contracts
  • 1 Hide
    bwanaheim , January 9, 2013 4:56 PM
    I feel that this lower-cost option will be for carriers like T-Mobile that are doing away with subsidies. Customers new to iPhone will be able to buy a lower-cost iPhone without subsidy for, say $300-$400 versus the $600-$900 that iPhones currently cost without subsidies. This would attract new users to the iOS platforms without having users buy used phones. Without a lower-cost alternative, I believe Apple will have little presence on carriers adopting models similar to T-Mobile. Enough low-cost Android phones already exist. Even the Lumia 920 is under $500 off-contract.
  • 0 Hide
    hedwar2011 , January 9, 2013 5:39 PM
    I'm fine with the average cost of the iPhone when it's around my time for an upgrade because I can typically get one anywhere from .97 - 49.99. I'm not someone that has to have the latest and greatest phone as soon as it launched. The only two things I don't disagree with are the pricing for the data plans for the iphone (which should have stayed at $30 unlimited) and the non-contract price of the phones (which usually only happens if the phone is lost, damaged, or stolen). If they want to make a smaller, watered down version of the iPhone that's fine but they need to also refine down the pricing and usage costs associated with it.
  • 2 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , January 9, 2013 8:03 PM
    ps3hacker12Everyone here apart from bwanaheim is talking about iPhone costs ON-CONTRACT, i don't live in the US, and buy all my phones off-contract, off-contract iPhones are still ridiculously expensive!


    That's right! Contract is the stupidity invented in the US and it mainly stays there. The rest of the world buys phones off-contract. That means, unlocked versions. That means, $500-800 for a high end iPhone or Galaxy. And I've read in multiple articles on various sites (previous TH article about smaller iPhone included) that this is exactly what the new cheaper iPhone will be aimed at - developing countries with customers who can't afford to pay $500+ but whine day and night how much they love Apple and how they'd like to own something from them.
  • 0 Hide
    calmstateofmind , January 9, 2013 9:21 PM
    Either way, in order to sell a phone at a cheaper price, it has to be manufactured at a cheaper cost. With as generic Apple is becoming, especially in such a short amount of time, I don't see how they'll ever reach a "$1000 stock". An iPad "mini", now being carried on T-Mobile and Sprint, possibly an Apple TV, etc. Just doing what everyone else does, not actually thinking about innovation or uniqueness. A company that was once built on/ran by vision and passion is now replaced by paychecks and public relations.

    Jobs wasn't trying to find the trail in the woods, he was just walking through the woods; Cook on the other hand...If you think you're lost, chances are, you are.
  • 0 Hide
    fleeb , January 9, 2013 10:01 PM
    Quote:
    I think the new leader of Apple had this thought in the back of my head " When is Steve gonna pass so I get to do what I want to do?" Ever since he passed, the company has made some strannnngeee choices


    Last I heard, Jobs already thought of 3 generations of iPhones in advanced before he passed away.
  • 0 Hide
    tanjo , January 10, 2013 2:30 AM
    Jobs would be rolling in his grave if this happens.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , January 10, 2013 9:47 AM
    zzz_bYou can buy an iPhone 4 for $50. Why would you need a cheaper one with even more outdated hardware? Does not make any sense to me!


    if the plans you attache these phones to was cheaper i would understand, but if you buy the 800$ phone outright, you pay the same as someone who gets the same phone at a subsidized price.

    joebob2000WTF? The iPhone 4 is free/near-free. I don't buy this rumor for a second. I believe they might start selling versions that cost them less to make (as there is a shocking demand for the iPhone 4s and even the 4 yet.)That, or this is literally an iPhone mini, so they can go after the emerging 7-13 year old market for smartphones with a device that has a 2.5" screen and will fit comfortably in the front pocket of a pair of junior overalls."less expensive iphone" hah. Steve Jobs just died a little (more) when that got printed.


    i can buy it, it costs less for at&t and they stick it on a very high cost plan, that is sadly normal in america... it could happen just because of greed
  • 0 Hide
    ojas , January 10, 2013 10:38 AM
    blackjackcfIt's why I'm not personally investing too much into the validity of the article. However, WSJ seems quite keen on it happening. And with Apple sacrificing the quality of their product to make an iPad mini, I'm not so sure that Apple won't be willing to do the same with the iPhone. But yeah, you can get an iPhone 4 for free if you just sign a contract. Leaps and years ahead as a phone for the free alternatives I got.- Catherine Cai

    Yeah, and the iphone mini rumour has been flying around lately...Apple's basically hit the wall of reality...that it'll have to compete.

    I mean, seriously, if i had to pick between an iPhone 5 and the Lumia 920 today i'd take the Lumia. What advantage does the iphone have over the 920 except the vast and mostly useless (to me) app ecosystem (once you subtract the common apps)?

    I can only think of the SoC, specifically the GPU. But that would matter to someone who buys a phone mainly to play games.
Tom’s guide in the world
  • Germany
  • France
  • Italy
  • Ireland
  • UK
Follow Tom’s guide
Subscribe to our newsletter
  • add to twitter
  • add to facebook
  • ajouter un flux RSS