Why a mid-tier iPhone actually makes sense

Facebook’s move to add a video-sharing component to its Instagram offering is being covered from just about every angle, so I’ll use this space to comment on reports that Pegatron CEO T. H. Tung’s statement that Apple’s upcoming iPhone won’t be as cheap as some have predicted. The new model’s price will be “fairly high,” Tung said without revealing any details, leading to speculation that Apple will produce a mid-tier iPhone to complement its iconic high-end model.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year that Pegatron has been tapped to help produce the upcoming iPhone, so I’m inclined to believe Tung. And I think producing a mid-tier iPhone could be a smarter move for Apple in the long term than churning out low-end models. The move could help Apple compete with similarly priced Android gadgets with a new model rather than an aged one, and it would be less risky when it comes to keeping Apple’s highly polished brand. And while the strategy may not give Apple as much of an immediate boost in emerging markets as a cheap iPhone, a mid-tier iPhone could become substantially cheaper as it ages. Apple has done a great job leveraging the iPhone 4 in emerging markets, so a cheaper handset could give the company a huge lift in those markets in the next few years.

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Colin Gibbs

Colin Gibbs

Mobile Curator Gigaom Network

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