Apple will release a low-end iPhone this summer, says RBC analyst Amit Daryanani in a note this morning.
He believes it comes in June/July timeframe.
According to his checks, it will have a 4-inch screen like the iPhone 5, but it will have a plastic casing and a non-Retina screen. Retina is Apple’s marketing language for its super sharp screen.
Daryanani says Apple will be trying to sell the phone for less than $400 as it targets the pre-paid smartphone market, and emerging markets like China and India.
Analysts have talked about a cheap iPhone for years now. They believe Apple has to do it to find growth in countries like China and India, where the current iPhone is not subsidized by carriers and therefore too expensive for consumers.
The cheap iPhone debate sounds a lot like when Apple was getting pressured to make a netbook. Instead, it made the iPad, which killed the netbook.
Some people were hoping Apple was going to innovate and release something that would act as a cheap iPhone without being just a cheap iPhone.
If this RBC report is accurate, it sounds like Apple is simply doing a less expensive iPhone. Considering Tim Cook’s mantra is to build the best product possible, we’d be a little surprised if it really is a cheap phone. That’s not the best product possible.
Daryanani thinks the cheap iPhone will generate $22 billion in sales for Apple in 2014, as well as $5.00 in EPS. He thinks that would add $50 in value to Apple’s stock.
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