Gene Munster: Time Has Come for Cheaper iPhone
It's the suggestion of many and now the prediction of one very prominent Apple watcher and market analyst. According to a research note published Monday for investors, Piper Jaffray's Apple news and research guru Gene Munster speculated about what Apple may be forced to do next year given the increased competition from cheaper smartphones in the mobile space.
"We believe the delta between smartphone market growth and iPhone growth will push Apple to release a lower priced device despite comments to the contrary," Munster said this morning. "Looking back historically, Apple always priced Macs as the higher end of the market and ultimately the iPad, and now the iPad mini, became the 'Mac for the masses.'"
According to Munster, a cheaper entry-level iPhone is critical for one very pressing reason - Android phones are getting hot and they aren't going anywhere. Even if some folks want an iPhone, the general quality and affordability of Android phones may be enough to keep consumers on the financial fence away from Apple territory.
Munster says Apple may very well release a dirt cheap iPhone (at least when compared to the cost of a fully-equipped new model) that will be possible by plucking several nice but non-essential features from the high end models, like Retina display. And while Munster is aware of how low-price, contract-free iPhones have been rumored about since the first model arrived in 2007, the analyst thinks 2013 may the year when this longstanding rumor may finally become a reality.