iPhone ‘Mini’ due by the end of the year

Allan Swann
January 9, 2013

Apple has been secretly working on a lower specced and lower priced version of its iPhone, in a bid to tackle Android’s domination of the mid and lower end ranges of the market.

This would also assist the company in breaking into more price sensitive markets, such as China and India, where Android is dominant.

According to the Wall Street Journal, who spoke to people with knowledge of the matter, the cheaper phone could resemble the standard iPhone, with a different, less-expensive body – it would be made out of polycarbonate plastic, while the other parts would ‘remain the same or be recycled from older iPhone models.’

WSJ does admit, however, that the company could still scrap the plan.

It does make sense however, and would follow Apple’s development plan for the bestselling iPad Mini. While that retained a high quality body (and a high price to boot), it used mostly recycled iPad 2 specs on a 7-inch screen – again, in an attempt to cut off Amazon, Google and Samsung from taking over the 7-inch tablet market.

According to IDC, Apple’s share of worldwide smartphone shipments has slipped from 23% in fourth quarter 2011, to just 14.6% in third quarter 2012. Much of this is Samsung’s doing, as its market share has ballooned from 9% in 2010 to 31% in 2012. Samsung has just announced that it is expecting record profits for fourth quarter 2012, on the back of its successful Samsung Galaxy S3 which has sold 30m units.

The iPhone 5 has sold 45m units since launch, despite huge problems with iOS6 and Apple Maps, which caused CEO Tim Cook to issue an apology. The Apple iPhone range is vital to Apple’s fortunes, accounting for 48% of all its revenue.

Image: (C) Allan Swann, 2012. It must not be reproduced without permission.

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