A report via Apple Insider Tuesday alerted readers that the production of accessories purposed to fit a new low-cost iPhone model has already been undergone by Japan’s MGM Corp. A new case featuring a thicker design and more rounded edges was leaked by Japanese blog, Macotakara. The case still includes space for a rear-facing camera, volume buttons, and a mute switch, and is about 2 millimeters thicker than the case designed for the iPhone 5. In addition, it has rounded sides, similar to older models of the iPhone but dissimilar to the iPhone 5’s squared off edges.
Though Apple has yet to confirm whether it will branch out into the lower end of the smartphone market, there is increasing speculation that the tech giant will do so, and it will make its mark offering customers the option of a lower-cost iPhone in an attempt to appeal to those not looking to sign a new service contract.
Apple’s main rival, Samsung Electronics (SSNLF.PK), currently controls the lower end of the smartphone industry, and because Apple rarely likes to come in second place at anything, analysts suspect that it will break into the market sooner than later.
Some even believe that the tech giant will take it a step further, offering the low-cost iPhone in a variety of colors. Others aren’t concentrating on the details of the smartphone, but more on what it will mean for the company as a whole. Because Apple usually offers high premiums on its devices, leading to high profit margins, a low-cost alternative would fail to command the same premiums, and could potentially attract Apple-loyal consumers that would have otherwise bought the higher-priced iPhones. This could then negatively impact the company’s margins on device sales and drive down stock prices.
Still, others believe the low-cost iPhone won’t even happen, supported by CEO Tim Cook’s assertions back in February that the company was not working on a budget iPhone.
All rumors are still unsupported but if the latter proves true, Apple is going to have some very disappointed cases on its hands.