There are hundreds of cheap smartphones available for purchase, but there isn’t even a single “low-budget iPhone” in the market that cost less than $200. The reason is simple: Apple has always focused on manufacturing devices that falls at the higher end of the spectrum — both in terms of quality and price.
All this, however, is going to change as Apple is finally planning to release a “cheap” iPhone very soon.
Reports from various sources indicate that Apple is working on a low-priced iPhone device that, unlike other Apple products, will have a plastic back.
Apple site 9to5Mac posted an article from China Watch Labor that points to a document titled: “Apple’s unkept promises: Cheap iPhones come at high costs to Chinese workers”. The intent of this document was to expose the working condition at Pegatron, a plant in China that manufactures products for Apple.
The 60-page document revealed harsh truth related to work/labour at the Pegatron’s factories. Folks at Computerworld flipped through this document to find the most important detail, which is as follows:
“Today’s work is to paste protective film on the iPhone’s plastic back cover to prevent it from being scratched on assembly lines. This iPhone model with a plastic cover will soon be released on the market by Apple”
There was also a clear mention of the word “plastic” in the intro paragraphs:
Its assembled products include iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, and low-priced plastic iPhones.
Of course, this may also mean that Apple is testing a new product, which may or may not be launched. However, looking at the number of mid-range smartphones that are released and embraced every year, at such a faster rate, launching a budget iPhone will be Apple’s next logical step.
Whenever a new iPhone was launched, the pricing of the old iPhones dropped. Other than that, Apple has always stuck with a standard pricing. A low-cost iPhone is only going to help Apple to extend its customer base.
Replacing the current aluminium case with a plastic cover will raise a few eyebrows. However, having a smartphone with a plastic back reduces the cost of production, eventually making the device “affordable.” Imagine an unlocked iPhone priced appropriately at $200.
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Many claims have already been made in the past. Sites like The Wall Street Journal reported that the next iPhone will feature a polycarbonate shell. Even Business Insider claims the next iPhone will be Apple’s cheapest iPhone so far. Some have gone a step further and named the next iPhone as iPhone 5C, where C stands for “cheap.”
Tim Cook already stated that this fall (when iOS 7 will be released) and year 2014 will be Apple’s year, as the company plans to offer many great things to its loyal users. Will a cheap iPhone be one of them? Or, is it going to the Apple smartwatch? Only time will tell.
Source: Computerworld, 9to5Mac, China Watch Later (PDF file)