Will this be the year that fashionistas can finally get an iPhone in their choice of color?
Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White issued a research note today indicating that a cheaper ‘iPhone mini’ would be announced in June along with the next version of the iPhone 5, the 5S, and shipped in July.
The ‘iPhone mini’ is not actually expected to be smaller than an iPhone 5 — except in price — but will have a curved back casing constructed with colored plastic, White says, and should be priced somewhere between $350 to $400, as opposed to iPhone 5′s $700 to $900 price tag. Naturally, there will be deals with carriers to get the phones for “free” with wireless plans.
That price point, White says, will be cheap enough for consumers, but also expensive enough for investors:
We believe this price point will provide relief for those investors concerned that Apple would be sacrificing too much margin or brand to serve the lower price band of the smartphone market.
At least part of White’s information is in strong contrast to KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo, who said yesterday that Apple’s iPhone 5, the new cheap iPhone, and the updated iPad mini would all be delayed until perhaps October/November. This is not uncommon as analysts fish for details with industry insiders who may have only small pieces of full picture, and Apple attempts to keep a firm lid on any shipping timetable information or rumors. White is basing his report today on new information from sources in the Chinese consumer electronics world.
In other news, the new report confirms that, in keeping with Apple’s long-standing practice of unveiling similar update models, the iPhone 5S will look almost identical to the iPhone 5, but will have a slightly larger camera, plus fingerprint identification technology for security.