In fact, according to analysts from J.P. Morgan, Apple might sell the unsubsidized phone for as much as $400. Still, that’s cheaper than the $600 they want for a brand new iPhone 5, but when most of us heard cheap iPhone, we thought no more than $100.
Perhaps, not the case. Macotakara is pointing to a pair of reports from the China Times that share a similar notion, reports MacRumors:
According to the first report [Google translation] from the China Times, Tung addressed the iPhone at a meeting of the company’s shareholders, expressing his displeasure with reports referring to the lower-cost iPhone as “cheap” and noting that the “price is still high”. Tung apparently believes that attaching the “cheap” description to the lower-cost iPhone gives the impression of a low-value feature phone rather than the full-featured smartphone it will actually be.
There’s apparently two different manufacturers in charge of the iPhone 5S and the cheap iPhone. Foxconn, Apple’s go-to Chinese manufacturer for iPhone and iPad, and Pegatron, another Chinese company, which is said to build the cheaper version.
Pegatron’s factories, according to the second Chinese Times report, have been extremely busy. The company has also expanded its workforce significantly to keep up with production. It’s estimated that the factory could manufacture 13 to 15 million units of the cheap iPhone — not one with full features.
The cheaper iPhone is rumored to have a plastic shell, perhaps in the same color as the latest generation iPod Touch. With a cell phone plan, it could be as cheap as $50 or $100.
It’s expected to roll out with the iPhone 5S, which is rumored to have a faster processor, stronger camera and very likely, better battery life. The iPhone 5S is expected to cost $199 with a two-year cellphone contract in the U.S. It’s expected to be released this September.