If you want proof Apple is planning a ‘budget’ iPhone to address untapped markets, look no further than a new report which says that Apple’s suppliers are going on massive hiring sprees… and citing the imminent arrival of a new, cheaper iPhone as the cause.
Pegatron — one of Apple’s major assemblers of iPhone and iPads — said that it would increase the number of workers it had in China by 40% in the second half of the year. Since they already employ 100,000 workers, that’s quite the hiring binge.
Even more interesting, supplier sources have apparently told Reuters that it’s all due to the budget iPhone:
Suppliers have told Reuters that Apple is developing a cheaper model of the phone, broadening its sales base to lower-income buyers in growth markets such as China and India.
A supplier source in Japan said small-scale production of the display panel for the model would begin in May, ramping up to mass production in June.
What would a budget iPhone be like? Actually, it’s more likely to be a colorful mid-range model in the $200-$500 (unlocked) price range, and many analysts think that the release of such a device by itself could deal a death blow to Samsung’s Galaxy business in the United States.