Analyst expects a $200 off-contract iPhone in 2014, will it happen?

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
Analyst expects a $200 off-contract iPhone in 2014, will it happen?
There has been a lot of talk recently about emerging markets, almost as if analysts have finally realized that they exist, and that smartphones will be finding a lot of new customers in places like South America and Africa. Recently, we heard the Blaast CEO say he expects that Android will likely take about 75% of the market share in emerging markets. And now, an analyst wants to throw Apple's name into the ring with the possibility of a $200 off-contract iPhone in 2014.

Of course, just like the Blaast CEO didn't mention which version of Android would be taking over emerging markets (we're assuming it will be Android 2.3, not Android 4.x, as we've mentioned in past discussions on the topic), Apple fanalyst Gene Munster doesn't really give much info on his iPhone prediction either. Munster has a record of making predictions mostly about Apple, and making his predictions sound good, but not have much info behind them. A couple years ago, he predicted that Apple would offer a free on-contract iPhone, but he didn't mention anything about the fact that the free iPhone would be the model from 2 years back, which is what Apple ended up doing. 

Similarly, Munster has predicted that Apple won't want to just cede the emerging markets to Android, and as such will offer a $200 off-contract iPhone in 2014. Given that 2014 will bring the iPhone 6 (after 2013 has the iPhone 5S), and the iPhone 5 will likely be the free on-contract option from Apple, we're going to guess that the iPhone that will be $200 off-contract will be the iPhone 4. Because, as much as Apple may not want to give up an emerging market, the company also doesn't make devices for the ultra-low cost market, so it will likely just use old stock. 

If we're right on our predictions, that would mean that by 2014, Android devices will be cheap enough to be (at best) running Android 4.0 on ultra-low cost handsets. This would mean that the folk in emerging markets will have the choice between an Android handset with hardware and software that is at least 3 years old, and an Apple handset that could be as much as 4 years old. It's hard to say what version of iOS will be functional on a handset that old now that the iOS software has been put in new hands (and those hands may be tempted to push the platform faster). 

Still, even if Apple does bring a $200 iPhone to market in 2014, and it isn't a terribly old piece of hardware, the question still stands: Is $200 cheap enough to be successful in emerging markets? The reason that emerging markets are still emerging is because the population doesn't tend to have a lot of disposable income (or the predilection for falling into debt like many Americans.) Because of this fact, many manufacturers have been aiming at sub-$100 prices for smartphones in these markets. Apple could very well try a $200 iPhone, but those without disposable income tend to not want to pay an Apple tax when there is a less expensive option available.

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64 Comments

1. kozza3

Posts: 776; Member since: Oct 17, 2012

it would probably be the iphone 3g

4. rickywinataa

Posts: 262; Member since: Apr 05, 2012

It is impossible for apple to sell a device that cheap. They are a company that's always hungry for money,look at their profit margin nowadays.

52. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

What's the purposes of a business to help humanity, or to create jobs? Of course they are hungry for money, you think Samsung is not?

60. darkkjedii

Posts: 30673; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Some people think that apple is the only company that's n business to make money. Look how they have that persons post thumbs up, but yours a thumb down...that's cuz yours was correct and reality based where his was just to bash apple. Some, and I said some if these android fans r the very s***p they accuse apple users of being. They follow their fellow droiders and thumb down anything that isn't anti apple, and now I notice how much they attack wp8 also. Watch how many thumb downs my post gets. Samsung, google, Avon, Pepsi, Chevrolet, Sarah Lee, Htc, Motorola, and every other for profit company is just as greedy as apple is. They want your money, and that's all u r to them (money). Samsung wants every dollar that apple wants, and when they get it they move on to the next. Android fans feel they're part of some freedom revolution, when all they are, are consumers walking into a store to purchase a device and nothing more. They praise choice and freedom until someone uses that same choice and freedom to buy an apple device, or wp8 device. When u do buy something other than android they go off on u for exercising the same freedom they have. It's funny how droiders are all about freedom as long as that freedom is used on android. Hypocrisy at its best is what I say. U get Atleast one thumb up from me bro

6. phil2n

Posts: 519; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

here comes another genius analysts

9. angelesmec unregistered

Affordable dual core Android with at least Android 4.0 installed to be on the low-end market by year 2014 if given a reasonable price will be the best choice not an iPhone.

10. SlepiBrat

Posts: 2; Member since: Nov 11, 2012

In that case 2014 nexus will be free of charge.

11. cjslman

Posts: 23; Member since: Aug 29, 2012

Nope, a $200 iPhone won't work in a developing country... besides, Apple is the Cadillac of the smart phones... really don't think the Apple is interested in marketing a phone in emerging markets. I think that Samsung/Nokia/etc have a much better chance with Bada/Symbian/etc and they probably would be interested in doing it also.

29. tedkord

Posts: 17043; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Your analogy is faulty. Apple is more like the Coach Purse of smartphones - nice looking, well built, but doesn't do any more than any other bag on the market, but bought because it's got the Coach logo clearly visible. I speak from experience - my wife paid $400 for a Coach. Drives me nuts every time I see it.

37. thelegend6657 unregistered

If you have the money why not ? (i mean bags or highend fashion )

39. someones4

Posts: 627; Member since: Sep 16, 2012

If i have the money, my bags will be lined with kevlar to protect myself and all the cash i'm carrying. The high-end stuff i own will be truly functional rather than regular stuff with a big logo that does nothing.

47. thelegend6657 unregistered

They are women , what do you expect ? When women get together , and one of them carry the coach (or iPhone ) the rest will be jealous right away and want one . My mother still thinks every other phone out there is inferior to the iPhone until recently because she found out that many of her friends aare carrying Samsung . She feel embarassed for using a Nokia/HTC/Sony(she is using xperia now ) because her most of her peers wasnt using one . Women care about brand A HELL LOT

48. someones4

Posts: 627; Member since: Sep 16, 2012

and they say men are shallow....

13. Cyan3boN

Posts: 446; Member since: Feb 23, 2012

yeah in my dreams

15. thelegend6657 unregistered

Probably a iPhone 4 with lightning port , 8 or 16 gb , with the glass back replaced by a cheap plastic back and with the IPS LCD retina display replaced with a TFT retina display found on the iPod touch 4

16. Aeires unregistered

Yes, but probably closer to 2016 or 2017. It will take that long for Apple to realize their over priced phones are getting pummeled by both Android and Windows. Their market shares will be so low they will have to adapt to stay competitive. It's also been mentioned they will be going to a 6 month release date in order to stay competitive. The iPad4 was a step in that direction. Simple truth is Apple have always been a niche company but with the overwhelming sales of the iPhone and iPad, everyone forgot.

17. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

lol no. xD

18. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

I am very upset I know all the articles written by Michael are if not the best and should not be taken lightly, We all know PA is infested by Apple haters by please Michael put effort and to me is very credible on his article .. please have more respect and enough with the hating.. because you are not changing any one at this point..

41. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

Apple will have to care about Specs war and Market share ... if not then they can start preparing for making "Hand Crafted" models of iPhone (and not mass produced in some Chinese setup) with a price tag of $20000/piece (not 200) ...

45. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Seriously, you and Mxy do not offer any valuable insight as it is full of bias and nonsensical nonsense.....

19. XPERIA-KNIGHT unregistered

if this is true it will be because apple is going to start losing tremendously in the sales game because of the constant rising of android and maybe even windows and blackberry.........apple will be forced to price competitively or else be left far behind....people are waking up and seeing apple for who and what they really are if that isnt the case then a price that low from apple will probably be on one of their older devices not their new ones, point blank...

20. TROLL

Posts: 4851; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

What diffrence would it make? Buyers, users, fans will even still pay upto $400....! ™®©

24. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

I buy android smartphones because they are cheap ($300 for Moto Triumph and looking to spend $300 for LG Nexus 4) and I only spend $400 a year for no-contract wireless service (with TMobile's $30 a month plan, I plan to spend $460 a year). However, Apple products help me make money. Since I got my iPad Mini on launch date, I am already up $600 so the 32GB iPad Mini already paid for itself. Two years ago, my iPod Touch 4G helped me make over $10,000. I never understand why people would lock themelves to an expensive 2-year contract for a top of the line android smartphone that will be obsolete in 9 to 15 months. I fully expect my LG Nexus 4G to last 12 to 15 months until the next great android deal. Android smartphones just don't hold their value, and ends up being a money sinkhole. Cheers.

64. wassup

Posts: 565; Member since: Jun 23, 2011

lolwut?

25. vickygamit

Posts: 33; Member since: Aug 16, 2012

impossible

26. osanilevich

Posts: 287; Member since: Sep 29, 2009

they'll probably just take the 3GS or the original 4 and sell it at $200

31. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

You make it sound like you didn't actually read the article...

28. cncrim

Posts: 1533; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

No way on earth will happen unless it is 3gs however Apple will kill the 3gs by next June.

33. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

But isn't GooPhone alrteady selling for ~$200? :D

34. Kaze105

Posts: 21; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

Considering apple is all about profit, if it is 200, the internal of the phone would be worse than whats in the iphone 3GS. If they make the external look nice, people would buy it even if its a crappy phone. I know so many people buy iphones since it looks cool.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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