At some point, rumors become so persistent it is hard to dismiss them out of hand. Apple building cheaper iPhones retailing for $99? Yeah, there may be something to this after all.
Reuters reports, based on sources in Apple’s Asian supply chain, that the company is considering building two new iPhones. One will be a 4.7-inch smartphone while the other could be a 5.7-inch “phablet.” Apple is also considering making cheaper smartphones that would be launched in a variety of colors that would sell for $99 (presumably on a two-year contract) and be aimed at emerging markets like China and India.
Reuters hedges its bets by quoting sources saying that there is no guarantee that Apple will actually produce these products. “They constantly change product specifications almost to the final moment, so you’re not really sure whether this is the final prototype,” Reuters quotes one source as saying.
It’s Difficult To Discern The Truth
You should treat these rumors like so much sand running through your fingers. The technology media’s favorite game over the last six years or so has been Apple speculation. For the most part, they’ve been wrong (except for, oddly, last year when we knew almost exactly everything Apple announced before it hit shelves).
What is really going on in Apple’s supply chain? The only people that can really answer that question are a few select folks in the executive suite at Apple in California. CEO Tim Cook said earlier this year that Apple would not consider making a cheaper iPhone for the sake of having a cheaper iPhone.
At the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference earlier this year, Cook reiterated Apple’s marketing line when asked about a less expensive smartphone.
“Our North Star are great products,” Cook said. “We wouldn’t do anything that we consider not a great product. That is not why we are on this Earth. There are other companies that do that and it is just not who we are,” Cook said in February.