Apple rumors point to cheaper iPhone 4

New Apple rumors say a less expensive, 8GB iPhone 4 could arrive within weeks. Reports suggest that the model will appeal to lower income families and countries. But what's behind these latest Apple rumors?

  • close
    A man tries an iPhone 4 at the 5th Avenue Apple Store in New York. Apple rumors suggest a cheaper iPhone 4 is coming.
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

The latest Apple rumors suggest that a new, cheaper iPhone 4 is on the way.

While Apple fans await the iPhone 5 (which may launch in early October), Reuters has pulled attention back to the current hardware. Within the next few weeks, Apple will introduce a revised, less expensive version of the iPhone 4, according to the report.

This new model will have 8GB of storage – smaller than the current 16GB and 32GB options – and a reduced price to match. The pared down specs could help Apple target developing countries, where many people aren't ready to spend hundreds on a new phone.

"Apple may want to push into the emerging market segment where customers want to switch to low- to mid-end smartphones from high-end feature phones, which usually cost $150-200," Yuanta Securities analyst Bonnie Chang told Reuters. (The rest of the article relied on unnamed sources). "But I think for an 8GB iPhone 4 the price is hard to go below $200, so Apple will still need a completely new phone with low specifications for the emerging markets."

For a couple years now, Apple has redesigned the iPhone, but kept selling an older model as a budget option. Right now, you can order an iPhone 4 (16 GB) for $199 or double the storage space for $299 – both deals include a two year contract. Or, if you don't need more storage, high-resolution "retina" screen, and a front-facing camera, Apple offers an 8GB iPhone 3GS for $49, again with a contract. Buying an iPhone without a two-year commitment starts at $649, a price that more accurately reflects the true cost of the device.

Yes, the manufacturing expects at iSuppli say that an iPhone 4 contains about $187.51 worth of parts. But Apple's premium image and innovative updates come with a hefty price tag. Research, prototyping, ads, Apple stores, and production quickly plump up $187 into a figure that most customers won't swallow, especially in emerging markets.

So what about the iPhone 5? As stated above, the latest Apple rumors point to an October 7 release, with preorders in late September. It may come in a new "tear drop" shape, could include an NFC chip for credit card-like purchases, and probably won't come with a 4G LTE antenna. But Apple rumors are slippery things. The only people who can truly confirm them are Steve Jobs and company.

Follow Chris on Twitter @venturenaut and sign up for the Monitor's weekly BizTech newsletter, which ships every Wednesday.

[Editor's note: The original version of this story has been changed to clarify that iPhones have flash storage.]

Share this story:

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK