Why does Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) need a cheaper new iPhone model? According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, the prices of unlocked iPhones around the world are genuinely prohibitive for consumers, who then automatically veer toward cheaper Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android devices.
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In the U.S., an iPhone 5 without a contract costs $649, the iPhone 4S is available for $549, and the iPhone 4 sells for $450. By comparison, in China, which is being touted as one of the biggest potential markets for the rumored devise, an unlocked iPhone 5 currently costs $840. The iPhone 4S sells for $713, while the iPhone 4 costs $491.
In Sweden, a new iPhone 5 without a contract comes for $918, the 4S for $735 and the 4 for $505. In Singapore, the prices are $771, $641, and $478, respectively, while in Italy they are $955, $824, and $562 respectively. Things are even worse in Brazil, which has a heavy import tax and where an unlocked iPhone 4S costs $983. The iPhone 5 is not available in that country through Apple’s online store yet, but even with a carrier contract it starts at $628.
Apple has, characteristically, not confirmed or denied any the news, but most reports suggest the device will come as early as the latter half of this year.
Investing Insights: Analyst: Cheaper iPhone Will Heal the Stock.