Remember all those iPhone Mini rumors that were later assumed to actually be about a cheaper iPhone? Apple’s COO Tim Cook has thrown some more fuel on the fire after a meeting with a research analyst about iPhone market share, as reported by Forbes. The most notable comment attributed to Apple’s COO is this:
Cook “appeared to reaffirm the notion that Apple is likely to develop lower priced offerings” to expand the market for the iPhone. Cook said the company is planning “clever things” to address the prepaid market, and that Apple did not want its products to be “just for the rich,” and that the company is “not ceding any market.”
A ‘lower priced offering’ would be in line with past reports by the Wall Street Journal and New York Times that have mentioned a cheaper iPhone/iPhone Mini.
Many possibilities and questions remain, including whether or not a low cost iPhone offering will be announced alongside an all new iPhone 5, or if a cheaper model is going to just be the current iPhone 4 sold at reduced prices, which some rumors seem to suggest.
The comment about the prepaid market is also interesting. Currently, the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS can be converted into a prepaid phone rather easily just by inserting an AT&T pay-as-you-go sim card to make phone calls, and enabling data is just slightly more difficult. Offering an iPhone that is specifically intended for the pay-go market would be a bold move away from their current contract offerings. The iPhone 5 is expected to be released at WWDC 2011.