Rumors have been running rampant for the last couple of months about what could be up Apple’s sleeve and what may be in store for technophiles and mobile geek junkies. News media have been off the handle with talk about a possible next-gen iPhone made out of plastic and all truth be told, I think it’s something Apple needs more than the loyal Apple fanboys and fangirls.
For those who have been keeping track of Apple’s trends in the market lately, it’s been a rough ride. Apple had a stock crisis not too long ago after news broke that the iPhone 5 demand had been dwindling ahead of estimated forecasts and that parts would be scaled back from Sharp, ultimately causing many-a-shareholder to absolutely freakout over the possibility that Apple may be done for.
While the initial panic over Apple’s stock price dipping on the news that iPhone 5 demand was waning, things recovered after rumors of a cheaper iPhone emerged, renewing interest in what could be Apple’s attempt at gaining first-hand sales from the lowered end of the market spectrum, something the company has avoided since it emerged as a major player in the market field with the debut of the original iPhone back in 2007.
At this juncture, however, many analysts have been led to believe that Apple is on the breaking point of over-saturation, as suggested by Andy Hargreaves and Corey Barrett of Pacific Crest, a research and market investing firm. Yahoo! originally ran the story back in mid-January, suggesting that the analysts have downgraded Apple’s portfolio to somewhere between $400 and $550 throughout the majority of fiscal 2013 thanks a rough start based on shortened iPhone 5 demand and talk of market saturation.
However, the thing no one really seems to talk about is that Apple has only peaked at the top-end of the market. Many teens aren’t fancied into getting an iPhone, as many market research reports have suggested and many young teens and young professionals are aimed at picking up an Android. Why? Well, it’s the same as an iPhone except cheaper. Price would obviously be a huge deciding factor for a budget-conscious teen or young working professional who would easily support Apple if they could afford to do so.
If there’s a large market of untapped young individuals not interested in buying the latest iPhone because of price, then the long-rumored plastic iPhone 5S could be Apple’s saving grace.
It wouldn’t matter if the next iPhone, presumably the iPhone 6, fails to meet demands if a cheaper, newer alternative is also available. Those who crave the high-end quality of Apple’s products will undoubtedly lay down their hard-earned money for the latest $500 plus iPhone or grab a subsidized iPhone with a multi-year contract because they can. However, on the opposite end of the spectrum, the lower-tier of the marketplace, Apple can start focusing on actually saturating the untapped potential that Samsung has been milking all these years and an iPhone 5S would be the perfect place to start.
The only downside to a cheap, plastic iPhone 5S is that it could signal a weakness in the company…that being and staying high-end is no longer feasible as a sustainable, profitable venture for the long-term. This couldn’t be further from the truth; there’s always going to be someone young and rich who would be willing to spend top-dollar for the latest high-tech handset and the standard iPhone and iPad entries can satisfy that customer. However, the majority of tech consumers are not at the high-end, willing to pay top dollar for goods, as indicated by all the Craigslist sales turned sour, with people willing to get their hands on iPhone 5 devices for cheap and with the added cost of danger to their lives.
A cheaper, more affordable iPhone 5S could help eliminate many of the crimes associated with people trying to sell expensive Apple gadgets across various trading sites. With more people gaining access to the device it could lead to fewer opportunities to exploit sellers for an Apple product, as it would probably be less risky and more affordable to simply buy a cheap, non-contract iPhone 5S.
There’s no real guarantee that a cheaper iPhone would instantly strengthen the iPhone brand or raise Apple’s stock back to the illustrious $700 range, or that crime would instantly drop in regards to iPhone thefts, but there are some real possibilities present for making a more affordable iPhone 5S and the market could easily stand to benefit from such device.