Tag Archives: rumor

The Budget iPhone: A Risk for Apple?

The Apple rumor mill is currently working overtime with reports and leaks related to a new low-cost iPhone. In recent weeks, various photos have emerged, including the rear view of a plastic iPhone in a range of colors, as well as a pile of plastic boxes for an “iPhone 5C.”

While there’s nothing to guarantee that there’s any truth to the rumors, when the web-based chatter reaches this volume, there’s usually some level of fact in play. Prior to the launch of the iPhone 5, the bulk of the leaked information proved to be right, so it’s not unreasonable to assume that some of the reports that we’ve heard about the budget iPhone are correct.

Budget iPhone

Assumptions

Let’s assume that most of the rumors we’ve heard are true. What other assumptions can we hypothetically make about a new budget iPhone? Here’s what we could expect.

  • It will run iOS 7, because Apple’s hardly going to release something new that runs an old operating system, obviously.
  • Storage options will be similar, although there may be a return of the low-capacity 8GB model that’s been dropped since the release of the 4S.
  • It will have the same aspect ratio as the iPhone 5, although it may not be a retina display.

As we’re now playing the assumption game, let’s also assume that the cost of the budget iPhone is roughly half the cost of an iPhone 5. (A SIM-free 16GB iPhone 5 is $649 in the US right now, making our hypothetical budget iPhone cost around $325, which is broadly in line with internet rumor).

What will you get for paying double the price?

  • Potentially a little more storage space
  • A higher-resolution camera
  • A retina display
  • A phone built with higher-quality materials

So what’s my problem with all of this? My main problem is that aside from the points above, consumers still get an iPhone after paying half the price. Most everyday consumers don’t even know how many megapixels their camera has, nor do they probably care. Furthermore, the lack of a retina display will most likely have no bearing on sales, as the lower-quality display has done nothing to stop the iPad Mini selling by the boatload.

We’re then left with the materials. The materials that have made previous iPhones seem luxurious and desirable are the same materials that result in expensive repair bills from disastrous smashed shells and screen incidents. With this in mind, I have to wonder if, when I go to buy my next iPhone, I’ll decide to buy one that costs half as much. More importantly, it will still only cost half as much when I have to replace or repair it.

Conclusion

I welcome the possible release of a low-cost iPhone. I also fully appreciate that there will always be plenty of people who simply have to have Apple’s flagship phone. This is, of course, made easier for consumers in countries where handsets are network-subsidised.

However, I can’t help but wonder whether Apple is underestimating how many people just simply want an iPhone and aren’t that bothered about specs and materials. While a budget iPhone will undoubtedly sell to millions of people who haven’t been able to afford one before, it may also encourage existing iPhone users to “downgrade” the next time they “upgrade.”

A closer look at the iPhone 5 Mockup

With the release of the latest-generation iPhone around the corner, the web has registered numerous leaks about the device from multiple sources around the globe. The latest bit of information comes from a set of videos and still photos of a full mockup of the iPhone 5 at the 2012 IFA convention in Europe. The mockup was first spotted by GSM Israel field agents in a booth for an iPhone case maker.

The news caught up like wildfire after being translated and posted on The Verge, stemming a lively discussion about the real meaning of the mockup. Commenting on the same, a reporter said, “We are told volume production of the form-fitting cases have already begun, with a view to shipping to retailers in a week’s time.” He went a step further to state that, “The mockup we got to see today confirms absolutely nothing about Apple’s plans, but at least one company is confident enough in the dimensions on show to start producing accessories for the expected iPhone 5.”

The Verge claims to have stumbled upon the mockup that is shown below courtesy of the CEO to a major cover and case manufacturer. The mockup rhymes with all the iPhone 5 rumors floating around in the sense that the gadget is taller than existing iPhones and features a bottom-placed headphone jack and a two-toned back plate.

Among the expected upgrades on the iPhone 5 will be a larger 4-inch screen, a slimmer design, and a redesigned charging dock with fewer pins. Other features to expect in the new model will be 4G LTE connectivity, NFC capabilities and a longer-lasting battery.

With the launch anticipated to be a real game changer, other handset rivals are rushing to share the glory ahead of the iPhone 5. Nokia announced some new devices yesterday, including their new flagship Lumia 920, while Amazon is rumored to debut a new Kindle Fire on September 6th.

The scoop on the Nokia Lumia 920

Nokia will unveil its new flagship Windows Phone smartphone, the Nokia Lumia 920 at an event scheduled to be held on September 5th in conjunction with Microsoft. The smartphone has been designed to help Nokia maintain its place in the smartphone marketplace following the enormous challenge from the open-source Android-operated smartphone models that are flooding the market.

Rumor has it that the new Nokia smartphone will feature a 1.5GHz dual core processor, wireless charging capabilities, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera and a 4.5-inch HD display. The primary camera is speculated to be a PureView camera of around 8 megapixels.

What we have for sure so far are images of what appear to be the Nokia Lumia 920 smartphone. They appeared last week with the only details being the name and that it will feature a 4.5-inch screen. Judging from the leaked images, the smartphone will most definitely come in a range of colors, a speculation that we can only confirm come tomorrow.

Reputed for its manufacture of hardware and software-reliable phones, Nokia must have put their best into designing and producing the Nokia Lumia 920. This is something good to the ultimate user of the phone. However, the rigorous testing and vetting of the phone design’s strengths and weaknesses is an expensive one, an explanation given by many techies as to why Nokia phones can be so high-priced.

The Nokia Lumia 920 will be released into a market flooded with relatively cheaper smartphones operating on Android and iOS. To gain a position in the gamble, the phone must have an extra software touch. For instance, Windows Phone has an edge over Android on multitasking, an edge that Nokia must exploit if they intend to shake the market.

Though the release date is on the first Wednesday of October, it is unfortunate that most of us will have to wait until late October or November before we can lay our hands on the gadget and try out the features and performance.