With the recent announcement that Nokia is teaming up with Microsoft to challenge Apple and Google for smartphone dominance, and reports that Android is now the market leader in smartphone operating systems might just have rang a few bells over at Apple HQ. The result according to a recent Bloomberg article is that Apple is working on a cheaper version of the iPhone that will have a wider market appeal.
This is not the first time that the rumors around a stripped down cheaper version of the iPhone surfaces, with those familiar to the iPhone rumor mill surely remembering the ongoing iPhone Nano discussions of about a year ago. With the popularity of the current iPhone models racking up marketshare in the higher end of the smartphone market, delivering a cheaper version was not a necessity.
One can still argue that diluting the iPhone brand with a cheaper and less functional version would be wrong, but given the increased competition from Android based handsets, and Nokia popularity in certain markets, Apple might just have to rethink the strategy if they are aiming the wider mobile phone market.
By bringing a lower price iPhone model into certain markets it also opens up for cutting out dependence on long term contracts. With a rumored price at around $200 (£150) this iPhone model suddenly becomes an affordable option for many people, especially if they can run it on PAYG and similar Sim deals.
Only time will tell whether the iPhone Nano or whatever they will call it becomes a reality, but at least the market conditions are more favourable for it at the moment.