Apple will reportedly unveil a high-end and mid-range iPhone next month
Apple has reportedly asked supplier Foxconn to ship two new versions of the iPhone early next month ahead of the expected announcement of the devices on 10 September.
The Wall Street Journal claims suppliers in Asia have been mass producing components for both a new flagship model and a cheaper, mid-range smartphone aimed at expanding the company’s market share in existing and emerging markets such as China and India.
Such a move would mark a change in direction for the Apple, which has previously catered for the mid-range market by discounting its older models and has never created a budget smartphone, although this strategy has seen it enjoy some success with first time smartphone buyers, especially in the UK.
An announcement has not yet been confirmed, but it would be the first time Apple has revealed two smartphones at the same time and it would fit in with the pattern of previous iPhone debuts. The iPhone 5 was revealed in September last year, while the iPhone 4S was shown off the first time in October 2011.
It is likely that both smartphones would be released alongside iOS 7, the version of the mobile operating system that was unveiled by Apple in June and is now in test. It features an overhauled user interface with an improved notifications system and additional developer capabilities.
A cheaper model would be the start of a brand new product line and mark a significant change in direction. Apple has so far resisted calls to release a mid-range smartphone, fearing such a device would affect the significant profit margins it makes on the iPhone.
However its share of the global smartphone market is shrinking due to competition from mid-range Android and Windows Phone handsets, while a number of other operating systems preparing to launch later this year are targeting emerging markets.
Apple will hope the smartphones appease shareholders concerned about the company’s sliding share price and who doubt Apple’s continued ability to innovate. Apple is widely believed to be working on a smartwatch dubbed the iWatch, but it is believed the project is in no position to be unveiled just yet.
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