More Details Emerge On The iPhone Lite

A recent Bloomberg article entitled "Apple Preparing Faster iPhone For September" is getting plenty of media buzz. Essentially, it says the new iPhone 5, due in September, will be better and faster, with an improved camera. But the big reveal is actually somewhat buried: According to Bloomberg's sources, Apple's also got a "cheaper version of the iPhone aimed at attracting customers in developing countries" on the way. It'll use internal tech similar to today's iPhone 4.

Speculation about an "iPhone Lite" has been brewing for a while now—but the typically tight-lipped Apple hasn't confirmed anything. This latest story, though, feels like the same kind of official unofficial leak we suspect the company has used to seed positive Apple-centric stories in the The Wall Street Journal. Coming after a prominent analyst downgraded expectations for Apple based on concerns about delays in the iPhone 5 release, it's plausible Apple wanted to quell worries and tease new features.

An iPhone Lite could translate into billions of new sales for Apple. From the sounds of it, the scaled-back iPhone uses much of the guts of the iPhone 4 in a cheaper shell, which could be the "radical" overhaul the market's been chattering about, including a super-slim teardrop-shaped design. Apple's possibly dropping expensive items like memory and the unique metal chassis and glass back to keep the price low—low enough to please buyers in developing nations. This also could mean consumers in China, and people with smaller budgets in the U.S. and Europe.

If the iPhone Lite comes to market at a price comparable to entry-level Android phones—each lacking the high-end iPhone's cachet and performance abilities—Apple will be giving Android a real run for the money. Rather than keeping last year's model on sale at a reduced price, Apple could spin the new iPhone as a swanky entry-level option for the rest of us, who might have otherwise gone with Android. Potential result: millions—if not billions—of new dollars to bolster Apple's balance sheet.

Chat about this news with Kit Eaton on Twitter and Fast Company too.

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8 Comments

  • ian stewart

    apple has no clue or no desire to make efforts to support developing markets - if you like products designed for the US and supported in the US and developed world but not many other places then this could be for you

  • James Watson

    Unless the iPhone Lite combines affordable carrier services along side the cheaper devices, it won't be falling into the hands of "billions of new (customers)." The iPhone Lite already exists, sans carriers, and has been retailing as the iTouch for years. If the goal is to enhance usability, increased utility and affordability (and a reduction in size) of the iPad would be a better next step. This is not a discussion of new technology, but increased usability of current technology. Skype + tablet + camera + app store + 4G.  An ounce here and there isn't an issue right now. My $100 monthly phone bill to get a data plan on the iPhone is.

  • Graham Bond

    Changed from Iphne to Android a yera or so ago and regretting it. Will wait until I5 comes out and will then change my phone. Can't wait

  • Todd Singleton

    Scott,  Apparently you aren't aware that Fast Company is Apple's biggest whore.  If Steve Jobs blows his nose then sketches up an iToilet, you'll hear about it first from Fast Company.  Appears that boosting Apple stock through propaganda is in their editorial guidelines.  I've often wondered how much of FC Apple owns?

  • Tyler Gray

    Scott, can we speak on the phone (Apple only, at least 3GS iPhone or newer, please) later today about this iToilet? We are hearing rumors of an iToilet2 coming in Sept. (with a rear-facing camera). And you seem to be the guy who could give us the inside scoop, as it were. I don't know if this iToiilet is real but Fast Company officially loves it already. Also, Jobs blew his nose? Hang on, let me tweet "bless you." Awesome zingers.

  • e.w.parris

    Is Apple planning an iPhone with only iCloud storage? Losing SSDs would shave bulk, weight, & cost. Take a picture, up it goes to the cloud.

  • scott

    kinda wish the government had some type of right to take down websites like this that make up stories, kinda seems to me that the iPhone 4 would be the "cheaper iPhone aimed at developing countries" no extra work needed...
    apple is never going to make an iPhone light or nano or whatever, theres no need to at all.
    become a real reporter and report some real news assholes