Apple has long been known to dominate the smartphone market's upper crust of customers. The iPhone has held the top spot for smartphone sales in this segment of the market for most of its existence. The iPhone has been a status symbol since its inception, and for many, it is more than just a phone.
The iPhone symbolizes achievement for many of its owners. Since it is the premier smartphone on the market, owning it has offered a sense of accomplishment to many consumers. The iPhone has always been considered the "Mercedes Benz" of smartphones, and the cost reflects this sentiment.
However, iPhone's high price may soon be a thing of the past according to FOX News. They report that sources have indicated that Apple Inc. Is working on a new model of the iPhone which is said to be more affordable than past models or the recent iPhone 5. This change will mean a huge alteration for Apple, as it has previously focused on the high end market.
According to sources, the new model will closely resemble the iPhone, but will be manufactured with a cheaper production cost. The main feature said to be less expensive about this proposed iPhone is a more affordable body structure. The current model, the iPhone 5, has an aluminum body that has driven production costs up. However, the new model may have a body made of polycarbonate plastic, which will be much less expensive.
The internal components could very well remain the same, or quite possibly, Apple could decide to recycle components from older models of the iPhone. Of course, there is always the possibility that Apple will decide to scrap the plans to build such a phone, and so far, the Cupertino company has declined to comment on the report.
Apple is definitely feeling the pressure from its cheaper counterparts, as the company's market share has dropped in recent months. As of the last quarter of 2011, Apple Inc. (AAPL) held 23% of the worldwide smartphone market, but that number has plummeted to only 14.6% in the third quarter of 2012. It is safe to assume that the figure has improved somewhat due to the release of the iPhone 5 in September, but Apple is still struggling to maintain revenue and sales.
Google's Android OS has opened up the possibilities for handset manufacturers to build cheap handsets, and this has caused the Android OS phones to dominate the market. Apple will have to make a move toward the mid to low end of the market soon, if it hopes to continue to compete.