News & Reports News Year 2011 August 2011 Low-price iPhone ready to target Asia

Low-price iPhone ready to target Asia

ASIAN suppliers to Apple have begun manufacturing a lower-priced version of its hot-selling iPhone 4 with a smaller eight-gigabyte flash drive, according to sources.
The flash drive for the 8GB iPhone 4 is being manufactured by a Korean company, a source said yesterday, declining to name the company. Apple currently sources its flash drives from Japan's Toshiba and South Korea's Samsung Electronics.

Apple and Samsung declined to comment.
The existing iPhone 4 was first launched in June last year in 16GB and 32GB versions, with a white version added in April. The 8GB version is expected to launch within weeks, sources said.
Some analysts said the cheaper 8GB iPhone 4 could help Apple boost sales in emerging markets.

Yuanta Securities analyst Bonnie Chang said: "Apple may want to push into the emerging market segment where customers want to switch to low to mid-end smartphones from high-end feature phones, which usually cost US$150 to US$200.
"But it is hard for an 8GB iPhone 4 to go below US$200, so Apple will still need a completely new phone with low specifications."

In addition to the launch of the smaller iPhone 4, Apple is targeting an end-of-September launch for the next-generation iPhone 5, a source said.
The new model, which some call the iPhone 4S because of an appearance largely similar to the iPhone 4, will have a bigger touch screen, better antenna and an eight--megapixel camera, according to a source. Two manufacturers Hai and Pegatron have been told to prepare production capacity for a total of 45 million units, the source said.

Apple is increasingly looking to Asia to boost earnings. Chief operating officer Tim Cook said of China last month: "We are just scratching the surface right now. There is an incredible opportunity for China."