iPhone 5 Price To Drop After iPhone 5S (or 6) Release Date, Do We Really Need a “Mini”?
Article by: Carlo Raphael Diokno — Rumors today say that Apple will launch a cheaper version of its iPhone alongside the iPhone 5S or iPhone 6 launch later this year. This so-called “iPhone Mini” will reportedly take on mid-range Nokia and Samsung devices that currently dominate emerging markets especially in China and other Asian countries.
But, does the maturing smartphone market really need a “cheaper” and “new” iPhone? Let’s look at previous Apple smartphones and their prices — like last year, Apple’s transition from iPhone 4S to iPhone 5.
Apparently, the price of the iPhone 4S hits an all-time low right after the launch of the brand new iPhone 5. Online retailers and re-sellers slashed the price of the 2011 unlocked Apple flagship by more than 25 percent, while wireless carriers re-introduced the iPhone 4S with new prices on contract.
Today, the iPhone 4S is cheaper than ever. For the unlocked model, retailers are selling the 16GB variant for $500 to $600, and $650 to $700 for the 32GB model. For comparison, the unlocked iPhone 5 with 16GB storage still sells for $700 to $800 depending on store and location of the customer. Not much in price difference, regardless, the iPhone 4S is cheaper than the new flagship especially on contract.
All eyes will be on the iPhone 5S or iPhone 6 later this year, and the iPhone 5 is expected to take the current position of the iPhone 4S, while the iPhone 4S will take the iPhone 4′s position in the so-called Apple smartphone “chain.” It is safe to say that the iPhone 5′s price will dip right after the launch of the iPhone 5S or the iPhone 6. For the iPhone 4S, well, it will take a deeper dip because prices depend on the product’s age and features. So, where does the RUMORED iPhone Mini fit in the chain of Apple products?
According to new rumors swirling online, the iPhone Mini will take advantage of the polycarbonate’s cheaper price and will offer a ginormous 4.5-inch display. No word yet from the rumor mill about the iPhone Mini’s camera and other features, but some reports suggest that the iPhone 5S will still follow the aluminum strategy of Apple and will offer a design similar to iPhone 5 with additional features and enhancements.
Really, I cannot find the connection between the “iPhone Mini” and the rumored 4.5-inch display. It’s not Mini if it’s big, right?
After the iPhone 5S or iPhone 6 official unveiling, it’s more likely that Apple will announce the new price tags of the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4S on contract — but let’s speculate on the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S unlocked price tags. If the iPhone 4S is currently priced above $500, after the iPhone 5S or iPhone 6 release date, it will probably slide below $400, while the iPhone 5 will take its previous price of $500 to $600. Again, we’re talking about the “unlocked” online price here and not the official prices from the Apple.com USA website.
Apple is still expected to put the next iPhone on $649 entry-level price point, but online retailers will surely take advantage of the high demand — and we’ll know when we get there.
Keep in mind that rumors are pointing to August release date of the cheaper iPhone and the new flagship iPhone, so bargain Apple shoppers, refrain from buying a new smartphone now and wait for announcements by fourth quarter of 2013.
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