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Old Jan 22, 2013, 12:07 PM   #1
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Digitimes Backtracks on Earlier Claim of Larger, Cheaper iPhone




Earlier this month, Digitimes claimed that Apple was planning to launch a larger and cheaper iPhone in the second half of this year, seeking to make an impact on emerging markets and combat the growing screen sizes seen on Android devices.

Rumors of cheaper and larger iPhones as part of a multi-pronged product strategy for Apple have continued to circulate, but the idea of a new iPhone being both larger and cheaper drew skepticism and questions about how the company would be able to accomplish both goals in a single device.

Digitimes has now published a new report backtracking on its earlier claim and indicating that Apple only plans to launch two new 4-inch iPhone models in 2013, presumably the iPhone 5S and some form of a new iPhone 5, perhaps revamped into a cheaper form factor based around a plastic shell. A larger iPhone is reportedly still in the works, but will not be seeing a launch this year.
Quote:
Previously it was said that Apple would release a lower-cost version of its iPhone with a bigger screen in 2013. But the sources claimed that Apple is indeed developing an iPhone with a bigger screen, but that will not be among the models to be launched this year.

One of the two versions to be introduced this year will target the midrange market segment, but both will adopt in-cell touch technology.
The report notes that Apple may struggle to bring in-cell display technology to a lower-cost iPhone given issues with yields on the panels, which allow for the thinner profile seen on the iPhone 5, but yields on the new technology are reportedly improving.

Article Link: Digitimes Backtracks on Earlier Claim of Larger, Cheaper iPhone
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 12:12 PM   #2
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As expected.

If we get a bigger screen, it'll be the iPhone 6 in 2014 and not the iPhone 5S this year. Expect internal upgrades and maybe colors in 2013. The thing this year will be iOS 7. Last year, it was more about hardware. It's pretty easy to follow their pattern, just not the dates.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 12:12 PM   #3
Dwalls90
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Digitimes wrong? Shocker!

/sarcasm
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 12:16 PM   #4
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Since this is just a rumor, I will add my two cents. Personally, I'd rather see Apple release a quality high end larger iPhone next to the iPhone 5 update, rather than a cheaper plastic iPhone.

I think a cheaper plastic iPhone would be a step backwards for Apple. I like their current strategy of offering the previous model for less after the iPhone is updated better.

A larger screen iPhone done right is more important in my opinion. That is where the trend seems to be moving. Apple can do it better, and I have no doubt that they will. What to call it tho? The iPhone Max? The iPhone Plus? The Mega-iPhone? Lol.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 12:18 PM   #5
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As it was digitimes, if you didn't see the story being fake then.........
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 12:27 PM   #6
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Iphone 4/4S has the better size.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 12:29 PM   #7
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I don't think the new iPhone needs to be any larger than the 5. The iPad Mini already bridges the gap between the iPhone and iPad.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 12:32 PM   #8
Gluben
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My prediction:

iPhone 5S = cheaper iPhone but still 4 inches; marketed as improved iPhone 5; similar to MacBook

iPhone 6 = more expensive option; also 4 inches but more premium features; similar to MacBook Pro

Then continue this every year with 6S and 7, 7S and 8 etc.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 02:06 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Gluben View Post
My prediction:

iPhone 5S = cheaper iPhone but still 4 inches; marketed as improved iPhone 5; similar to MacBook

iPhone 6 = more expensive option; also 4 inches but more premium features; similar to MacBook Pro

Then continue this every year with 6S and 7, 7S and 8 etc.
Offering a new design every year would help Apple stock recover. It would also give those ready for a upgrade from now on a choice between a new design at a higher price or a one-year-old design at a lower price. A new, subtle design every 2 years isn't enough anymore, at least not according to Wall Street and teenagers/young adults. If it looks the same like last year's model, it will be a big FAIL according to the media, Wall St. and a lot of young users.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 12:30 PM   #10
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This is quite sobering after the cacophony that went on when the rumour resurfaced the other day.

...carry on...

Now if the iPad mini would allow for voice calls ...
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 12:20 PM   #11
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My prediction

Larger future iPhone = "iPhone"
4" future iPhone model = "iPhone mini"

I can't imagine Apple slapping a horrible name on their flagship iPhone. At least the "mini" is something that has been used previously.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 12:32 PM   #12
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Hopefully, iOS 7 will see some welcomed changes, and i think it'll be one of the biggest updates to iOS.
As far as hardware goes, we will see a 5S looking exactly like the 5 with the usual spec bumps + 1 new feature not available on the 5. I don't think it will be NFC, but more like a camera/flash upgrade.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 12:46 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by sulpfiction View Post
Hopefully, iOS 7 will see some welcomed changes, and i think it'll be one of the biggest updates to iOS.
As far as hardware goes, we will see a 5S looking exactly like the 5 with the usual spec bumps + 1 new feature not available on the 5. I don't think it will be NFC, but more like a camera/flash upgrade.
I think that iOS 7 will have some UI changes, but not enough time to redevelop it. I agree with those that state iOS 8 (or even later). Jony Ive doesn't rush things.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 01:27 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by sulpfiction View Post
Hopefully, iOS 7 will see some welcomed changes, and i think it'll be one of the biggest updates to iOS.
As far as hardware goes, we will see a 5S looking exactly like the 5 with the usual spec bumps + 1 new feature not available on the 5. I don't think it will be NFC, but more like a camera/flash upgrade.
Not to sound like a Debbie Downer but there is a strong chance that IOS7 will be nearly indistinguishable from IOS6, and IOS5. Big changes arent going to happen to the software or the hardware, only incremental changes. Thats just how Apple rolls!

Saying that if they do shake it all up then I will take it as a sign that they are feeling the competition lol
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 01:35 PM   #15
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Not to sound like a Debbie Downer but there is a strong chance that IOS7 will be nearly indistinguishable from IOS6, and IOS5. Big changes arent going to happen to the software or the hardware, only incremental changes. Thats just how Apple rolls!

Saying that if they do shake it all up then I will take it as a sign that they are feeling the competition lol
These things are generally in production at least a year ahead of their release (hardware side, I'd bet they have the next 2-3 iPhones planned already)....

To say Apple will release ANYTHING as a knee-jerk reaction to competition is ridiculous. If a 4.8" iPhone happens this year or next, I'd guess it was in production/planning back in 2011.....

This is also the reason I don't see the UI of iOS 7 being much different - Ive & Co. just haven't had enough time as it was already in production when Forstall got ousted....

I expect the iPhone 6/iOS 8 to be the big game changers - and will hold on to my iP5 until then!
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 12:36 PM   #16
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It's okay... Nobody believed them anyway.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 12:39 PM   #17
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Modern Journalism: Get the scoop first no matter how inaccurate it is. Later backtrack and say, "Ooops! Our bad."
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 12:42 PM   #18
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So no Meth this summer?
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 01:28 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post
Modern Journalism: Get the scoop first no matter how inaccurate it is. Later backtrack and say, "Ooops! Our bad."


Often, not even a retraction or a "sorry, our bad" :-)
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 12:41 PM   #20
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I realize that plastic is cheaper than aluminum but the latter is a very cheap material too (and there's not much of it used in an iPhone shell "as is"). How much of a difference could switching the shell material make in the cost of the "cheap" iPhone? $10? Maybe $20?

I perceive the concept of a need for a cheaper iPhone to be something that competes with the really cheap Android smart phones (which can be had for much less than $300, $500, or $700 off contract) is going to take more than just replacing a little aluminum with a little plastic. That switch helps cut unit cost (a little). I would think much more would have to be cut to have a shot at a truly cheap iPhone that still gives Apple it's target margin.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 12:54 PM   #21
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I realize that plastic is cheaper than aluminum but the latter is a very cheap material too (and there's not much of it used in an iPhone shell "as is"). How much of a difference could switching the shell material make in the cost of the "cheap" iPhone? $10? Maybe $20?

I perceive the concept of a need for a cheaper iPhone to be something that competes with the really cheap Android smart phones (which can be had for much less than $300, $500, or $700 off contract) is going to take more than just replacing a little aluminum with a little plastic. That switch helps cut unit cost (a little). I would think much more would have to be cut to have a shot at a truly cheap iPhone that still gives Apple it's target margin.
It isn't the price of the material that is the issue, it is the price of manufacturing using that material. Machining is more expensive than moulding.

But still, that wouldn't be enough to create a price differentiation. I expect there to be other differences. The material will just as much be about identifying the premium option as it will price.

As an example of the differences I mean. The iPod Touch 4th gen had a lower spec screen than the iPhone 4, even though it had the same resolution. The cheaper iPhone might also be thicker because it misses out on in-cell screen tech.

EDIT: powers74 also made a comment about machining cost while I was writing this reply.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 01:00 PM   #22
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But...but, I've already sold my 5 in anticipation!

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Old Jan 23, 2013, 12:35 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by HobeSoundDarryl View Post
I realize that plastic is cheaper than aluminum but the latter is a very cheap material too (and there's not much of it used in an iPhone shell "as is"). How much of a difference could switching the shell material make in the cost of the "cheap" iPhone? $10? Maybe $20?
It's not just the cost of the material, but the cost of machining the aluminium. Still, I've wondered the same thing—how much more could aluminium really be adding to each iPhone?

Quote:
I perceive the concept of a need for a cheaper iPhone to be something that competes with the really cheap Android smart phones (which can be had for much less than $300, $500, or $700 off contract) is going to take more than just replacing a little aluminum with a little plastic. That switch helps cut unit cost (a little). I would think much more would have to be cut to have a shot at a truly cheap iPhone that still gives Apple it's target margin.
Question: Should Apple be holding onto that 'target margin'? It's over 70% on the 64 GB iPhone by some estimates! Whatever it is, it's clearly the highest in the industry when you look at Apple's profits. When you buy an iPhone (especially the 64 GB model), mostly you're just contributing to that huge pile of cash Apple sits on. If Apple wants a more competitively priced phone, perhaps the only thing that really needs to 'be cut' is their profit margin.

Perhaps by adding a plastic option and marking it down, while maintaining the high price on the aluminium model, Apple will be trying to reinforce the perception that metal is a high-quality material, while plastic is cheap. Marketing, after all, is about consumer perception and pricing has more to do with what people are prepared to pay, than what an item actually costs to manufacture.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 10:32 AM   #24
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Perhaps by adding a plastic option and marking it down, while maintaining the high price on the aluminium model, Apple will be trying to reinforce the perception that metal is a high-quality material, while plastic is cheap. Marketing, after all, is about consumer perception and pricing has more to do with what people are prepared to pay, than what an item actually costs to manufacture.
Not sure why this metal/plastic comparison keeps coming up. Do people fawn over the minimalist form of an aluminum drink can before they chuck it in the nearest dustbin?
You're right, it's all about perception.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 12:43 PM   #25
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Good, it seemed a bit odd for a couple of reasons. Although I almost began looking forward to an iPhone Meth. It may just be what Apple needs to keep their fans addicted, now that Steve Jobs is gone.
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