One thing expected by many this month is the introduction of a cheaper iPhone.
Apple’s decision to introduce a budget model of the popular device is similar to its strategy in the tablet market last year: to produce a phone that offers consumers a cheaper alternative to the company’s top-end, £529 product. The iPhone 5C, as is touted, is expected to have features similar to the current version of the iPhone, albeit with a plastic body and more varied colours. Meanwhile, the new iPhone 5S is expected to be a refined form of Apple’s current device, boasting a slightly better camera among other tweaks.
Unlike the release of the iPad Mini however, the decision to release a cheaper iPhone is not an effort to protect its market share. Instead, the iPhone 5C will attempt to reclaim lost ground to Android in the smartphone market, which has, in the last few years, consistently dug into Apple’s market share. The new iPhone can therefore be seen as Apple taking a proactive strike in acquiring new users, particularly those unwilling to pay the current premium for a top-end smartphone.
A cheaper iPhone will see profound effects on the mobile industry. Most notably, Apple’s market share should increase further in the coming months, particularly in the build-up to Christmas 2013. Whether it can scale back Android’s domination, particularly in China and Africa, remains to be seen.