If there’s one area where Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is seriously lacking, it’s in budget-friendliness. But what if that were to change? And what would a cheaper iPhone be like, exactly? These are the questions that Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) analysts have been pondering in recent reports for investors — but don’t get your hopes up just yet for that double-digit $99 price tag.
Analysts speculate that a successful cheaper iPhone would have to stay compatible with iOS, have no smaller than a 3.5-inch display, and cost less than the current lowest-end model. That being said, a $249 price point seems much more likely than the rumored $99. A high-quality display and touchscreen are the two main components that drive up the cost of a phone. A polycarbonate plastic shell might be another cost-effective downgrade from the iPhone 5’s sleek aluminum case.
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Apple’s more limited product offering has always been geared mostly towards high-end consumers, so a lower-end smartphone, rumored for release sometime near the end of 2013, would mark a dramatic shift in corporate strategy. But with so many other companies providing viable options for budget markets, it seems like a mistake for the tech giant not to jump on the bandwagon.