Apple is working on a less expensive iPhone, and an entire line of iPhones with iPod-like colors. Sounds great, right? That’s especially inviting if the price for an unlocked iPhone drops into the $399 range vs. the $650 for an iPhone 5S.
Allow me to apply a little common sense to the problems associated with a cheaper iPhone (price and manufacturing quality), and an iPhone line with half a doze colors.
First, something has to be missing. Say goodbye to aluminum as that probably costs more than plastic (which is easily produced in many colors). Apple could trim the cost of manufacturing by using last year’s CPU, camera, and perhaps not use a Retina display.
There needs to be something to differentiate the low-end iPhone from the latest and greatest iPhone at the high end.
Customers already love to customize their iPhones with color cases, but adding a low-end phone with limited storage but in multiple colors brings a horrific inventory problem to the front.
Just in the U.S. the current iPhone 5 line has multiple phones– black, silver, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB versions. That’s already a cumbersome number of products to manufacture and stock.
Add to that a low-end model with, say, 16GB and 32GB, multiple carriers, and in six different colors. Suddenly that small line of iPhones starts to become a cluttered line of iPhones.
Technology industry pundits argue that Apple needs to diversify the iPhone line, broaden the mix, and lower the price. I’m not going to argue about an iPhone that costs less but what’s in it for Apple?