It looks like the media will have to pick a new name for Apple's rumored low-cost iPhone, which has been dubbed the "iPhone mini" by some analysts. According to a report by the DigiTimes, Apple is planning to launch a "low-cost version of the iPhone for China and other emerging markets in the second half of 2013". However, sources in the supply chain claim the new iPhone will feature a larger display, instead of being a smaller version of the iPhone 5. If the rumor is true, Apple could use older components, like it did with the iPad mini, to keep the cost down.
Some analysts believe Apple needs to release an affordable iPhone to compete with Samsung, who is expected to see a 35% growth over the next 12 months, according to Strategy Analytics.
“We expect Samsung to slightly extend its lead over Apple this year because of its larger multitier product portfolio,” Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, told Reuters.Brian J. White of Topeka Capital Markets said in a report that he believes Apple will release the iPhone 5S in May or June, but will not release the iPhone mini until next year.
"We think Apple will have to launch an 'iPhone Mini' at some point over the next three years to address the hundreds of millions of prepaid users worldwide that cannot afford the current iPhone," White said. "The iPhone 5 is growing fast and profitably right now, so there is little incentive for Apple to launch an 'iPhone Mini' this year".