Apple looking to increase its market share in China.
According to one analyst, Apple is expected to launch a cheap iPhone in 2014 as part of an effort to increase its market share in the lucrative Chinese market.
Gene Munster believes the company should launch a $200 iPhone handset in the region due to mobile operators in the Far East refusing to subsidize the current models. While consumers in other markets around the world have the option of purchasing the phone subsidized and on a contract, consumers in China must purchase the smartphone outright.
The firm said it would be wise for Apple to create a new variant of the iPhone for this market as opposed to heavily discounting previous models of the smartphone. Consumers have long and rightfully been complaining about the price tag placed on Apple products. Without a contract, devices such as the iPhone retail for over $500 in the U.S. or £529 ($846) in the United Kingdom. The iPad sports a higher price tag due to its 3G/4G capabilities.
Due to its various price points and range offered by vendors, Google's Android dominates 90 percent of the market in China. The average cost of an iPhone is 3.25 times higher than that of the average Android smartphone sold in the country.
While Apple has defended the iPad Mini's $329 price, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has stressed that the Cupertino company charges too much for its products. Moreover, Apple is arguably charging premium prices for devices that aren't considerable upgrades from their predecessors. Apart from its increased length, the iPhone 5 doesn't really offer a worthy improvement to the consumer when compared to the iPhone 4S, while similar arguments can be made for the iPad line. When the iPad 4 was announced, owners of previous models of the device were understandably frustrated. The unveiling of the tablet came just six months after the release of the iPad 3.
Analysts have warned that innovation at the firm is "sputtering", while Apple's own co-founder has also expressed concerns regarding creativity at the world's richest company.