Apple needs a working-class iPhone to compete globally, a technology analyst reported today.
Jeffries & Co. analyst Peter Misek suggested that Apple's iPhone 4 is retailing for $649 at Verizon Wireless (without contract subsidy) but a $300 version of the iPhone could increase earnings and the Apple brand, according to ZDNet. It also nods to AT&T's winning tactic of selling the $49.99 iPhone 3GS, which helped the carrier compete when Verizon began selling iPhone 4s in February.
The new $300 price could mean as many as 500 million phones per year for Apple that could fill the niche for mid-market iOS fare, according to Barron's.
With Android's various prices and models, and with both BlackBerry and Nokia struggling to keep their market share from eroding, Apple appears to be the only company not concerned with catering to the masses. Misek wisely points out that lower-priced handsets are a huge market opportunity especially in developing nations, but will Apple rise to the occasion or settle for Western markets only?
Apple should pay attention to what's happening globally. While only 30 percent of the world's population have a bank account (2.1 billion,) a whopping 75 percent (5.2 billion) own mobile phones. That's a lot of opportunity.