Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on T Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on Twitter, Angel List, LinkedIn.
Stepping back into familiar ‘iPhone Mini’ territory, Reuters is reporting that Apple is considering introducing new plastic iPhones aimed at reaching a new segment of the consumer market and increasing competition with Samsung.
The company is said to be weighing up two types of devices with a 4.7-inch and 5.7-inch, both of which would come in up to up to 6 different colors. The report claims said devices may retail for as little as $99, according to sources in the supply chain within Asia, which claim they could be introduced next year.
Reuters’ multiple sources claim that the devices would be cheaper than the regular iPhones, and aimed at competing with Samsung’s wide range of smartphones. The two screen sizes and new colors also reflect Apple’s interest in competing with Samsung’s large-screened phablet range of smartphones-cum-tablet devices, the news agency claims.
As ever, when it comes to supply chain rumors, speculation is the word of the day. Reuters includes a pretty hefty disclaimer from its leakers who admit Apple regular changes things around to keep everyone involved in their toes (we’ve heard similar about the purported iWatch, of course):
“They constantly change product specifications almost to the final moment, so you’re not really sure whether this is the final prototype,” said one person with direct knowledge of the matter.
But, the mere fact that Apple is said to be considering these devices at all is indicative that an entirely new product strategy may be forthcoming. To date, the US firm has steadfastly refused to offer a lower priced device based on the premise that doing so would compromise the user experience and quality of its phones; despite many indicators showing that sales of mid- and low-range smartphones growing strongly, particularly in China and emerging markets.
Headline image via Jeff Pachoud / Getty Images
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