Digitimes has today published one of its more questionable rumors regarding Apple’s upcoming low-cost iPhone. Citing sources in the Cupertino company’s supply chain, it claims the cheaper device — believed to be called the “iPhone mini” by one analyst — will make its debut later this year, aimed at China and other emerging markets.
But it won’t be smaller to cut costs. Instead it’ll boast a larger screen to meet the “prevailing trend for the adoption of 5-inch displays.”
Some sources claimed that they have seen the sample of the low-cost iPhone, which will come with a larger display, meeting the prevailing trend for the adoption of 5-inch displays for high-end models. They added that the low-priced iPhone will also have a brand new exterior design.
It’s unclear how Apple will make the device cheaper if it’s going to increase the size of display. Presumably, it would have to make changes to other components, while that new form factor could utilize cheaper materials. However, as we’re all too aware, Apple isn’t a company that launches cheap products.
It could follow the same path it took with the iPad mini, which is to use older components from previous-generation products. Sources have indicated that it could also employ Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon processors aimed at entry-level at mid-range smartphones.
Digitimes reports that the iPad mini’s success in China and other emerging markets is one of the things that persuaded Apple to produce a low-cost iPhone. It also claims the company is working with China Mobile to launch a new iPhone compatible with its TD-SCDMA network.
Tim Cook is actually in China this week, though we’re almost certain that’s nothing more than a coincidence.
While I won’t rule out the possibility of a cheaper iPhone, I struggle to believe Apple will cut costs with cheap components — that goes against everything the company is about. I also don’t believe it’ll introduce an iPhone with a massive display to cater to the demand for 5-inch devices; the company made a big point about keeping its iPhone displays small for easier operation when it launched the iPhone 5.