A $149 iPhone could be in the works for the end of 2013

Daniel Bader

January 9, 2013 3:00pm


According to sources familiar with Apple’s plans, the company has been testing the waters for an inexpensive iPhone that could cost as little as $149 sans subsidy. The idea of a cheap iPhone has excited analysts for years, as Apple seems reluctant to let go of its premium brand image in exchange for massive worldwide market share.

But as low-end Android and Windows Phone devices continue to improve in speed, build quality and desireability, Apple would be missing a huge opportunity for that developing market. This is according to Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal, both of which claim to have insider knowledge about the company’s plans.

Neither publication is sure whether the phone will ever emerge from the testing labs, but the idea of a cheap iPhone, available to millions of users who could not otherwise afford it, continues to entice. It’s more likely, however, that Apple will draw down its product line as it has in the past, offering its one and two generation-old products at a discount. In Canada, for example, you can still purchase an iPhone 4 for $0 on a 3-year contract, and the iPhone 4S is approaching that price on many carriers, too.

Source: Bloomberg, WSJ

  • Milpool

    It’s not gonna happen. That jerk-a*s company doesn’t have over 97 billion in cash reserve by selling their products on the cheap.

    • Eduardo

      It will happen, but it will have the specs of a 3GS/4 in the iPhone5 casing and it will be just as “Magical” as the iPad mini

    • JUST SAYING

      WHAT THEY ARE GOING TO CALL IT iCrappyCrap!!

    • Nobel

      I agree with Milpool here. Remember, what was the price hype about iPad mini ($199 to compete with Nexus 7)? And how much did we see eventually?? Apple will always be overpriced.

  • gurtej08

    They would just package a 3G iphone and sell it as iphone 6

    • Fartknocker

      How is that any different from what Android OEMs do for their low end phones?

  • NATHANIEL JAMES

    No Matter how low the price is, I will never buy one because Android is still the best. :D

  • ehoustoun

    Nothing beats putting stock in January iphone rumours.

    Go home iPhone, you’re drunk.

  • WTF

    No way it sells for $150 without a contract. Apple loves their margins and $150 would have to mean selling almost any phone at a loss. Loss leaders are Android’s playing field, I can’t see Apple even wanting a piece of that. If they could sell it at $250-$300, then I could imagine the might be able to pull it off, albeit with lower margins. But low margins are better than negative margins.

  • StephenBB81

    Seems very unlikely they’d be able to sell a $149 iPhone while retaining iPhone experience

    The only way they can pull that off would be a smaller sized device, made of plastic, and using the old 30 pin connector as the new lighting connection is substantially more expensive and troublesome to make.

    Apple needs people OFF of the 30 pin connection so hardware makers are focused purely on Lightning connector accessories so Apple gets the license fees.

    Also what do you do to the App ecosystem by including a smaller further dumbed down smartphone?

  • Ron Mexico

    Doesn’t matter, no will buy it except iSheep. Android brings be joy and happiness, Apple can never do that for me nor for most people. Android gives me wood and so does seeing everyone around me using Android. Seeing Apple users makes me limp.

    • Ron Mexico

      Stealing identities to troll now? A new low, even for turtleneck lovers.

    • John

      @Ron you keep thinking that people buy android for the experience. Almost 50% of android users are on gingerbread. You think they don’t want to upgrade?? They would if they could, but they can’t. If apple made a cheap iphone, those android users would come right over.

    • Android4Life

      TBH Ron, I thought that was you. Sounds exactly like some of the s**t you write.

    • Carlo

      @John, you do realize that regardless of which OS they have, the overwhelming majority of smartphone users aren’t techies right? The android users that are still on GB wouldn’t really care one way or the other. Those that do care will have been running custom ROMs or forked out for a new phone long ago.

      So tell me, how many iPhone 3G, 3GS, or 4 users are running iOS 6? And what percentage of them have ALL the features of iOS6? Hint: the answer to the 2nd question is 0% even though the features they don’t have aren’t constrained by the handset hardware.

    • Brad F, Brad F(anboy), jack

      Yeah! Make up your own name.

    • imjustsaying

      Keep dreaming John. Your head is in a cloud. Oh look, it’s an icloud.

  • briggs

    Because this rumor hasn’t been around since 2011.

  • JC Chong

    They can always bring back iPhone 3GS, although they can sell iPhone 4 8GB at the price and still bringing in $$$.

  • kkarunan

    iPhone Nano

  • @maikelparets

    Hahaha. What a joke

  • S S

    If they really want to move more iPhones (or any ‘cheap’ phone), they should have the iPhone 4/4S for $0 on a one/two year contract. They would definitely entice people to get them.

  • dlo

    iPhone Sucks (six)?

  • Kid.Canada

    Time for the iSheep to lineup for this and again when the iPhone 6 comes out lol

  • Xzavier

    If the phone is that cheap the iSheeps won’t buy, it will lose the glamour :)

  • ben

    Put a gsm radio in the ipod touch, and call it a day.

  • 2z

    Is this the iphone 6?? :-D :-D

  • Lol ..keep on dreaming

    Is this rumour the same as Microsoft was going to sell Surface tablets at 199.99 when its launched ..we all know how much it was when it came out ..lol

  • Tb

    8gb iPod touch with a sim card

  • Mark

    This will never happen. Apple makes money selling overpriced phones because of their logo. It will hurt their image if they start selling low end phones. People who want affordable iPhones just have to buy the older devices, that’s it.

  • Android4Life

    This only works (and not at $149) if Apple wants to move into 3rd world countries. In developed countries, no one that buys Apple is looking for the cheapest model on the shelf. That’s why Apple makes the money they do, they take advantage of people with more money than sense. Google’s genius was recognizing that the rest of the world wants cheap and open. not expensive and closed…cheap always wins in the end and open helps.

    I can’t believe MobileSyrup actually posted this. Why not just reprint the same articles from the last 4 or 5 years? Actually, why not just stop printing Apple “news”? They are irrelevant. Google wins.

  • Jake

    Finally they are selling the best phone for the price its actually worth. 150 nothing more

  • LW81

    if the iPad mini costs more than a 10′ tablet, i doubt the ‘cheaper’ iPhone will be cost $99.

  • john

    I was planning to get an iphone 5 but i went with an android instead. I got the razr from fido, since it was offered on a 2yr and the 56$ plan. Not only did i save money i also got a superior OS. I never realized how much better an android device is than apple’s ios. Ever since i got my android phone i haven’t touched my ipad. If apple offered a cheaper phone they would have retained a customer.

  • Brad F, Brad F(anboy), jack

    Re release the Iphone 2G as the “Original” iphone that started it all.

    Cases will be dirt cheap too.

  • Miknitro

    That’s a lot of coin for a dumbed down version of a near feature phone in first place

  • oldschool

    There’s already an iOS device for the entry level market, it’s called the iPod Touch. That was at least until they jacked up the price of the new one by about $100 over the previous gen. Guess that’s what those extra 4 icons cost these days.

  • Sc

    It’s going to cost 329-399 no contract

  • screamer

    Every year the same story and nothing happend but anyways nobody needs an iPhone

  • jimmy the gee k

    $149 is how much the iPhone should be sold for. It’s g a r b a g e. Anyone who paid more then that for their iPhone is a total i d i o t.

  • skullan

    I get visions of the iphone nano with a cell radio.

  • User

    They have a cheap version of the iPhone 5, it’s called the iPhone 4.. Still for sale.

  • t

    Its called the TINYTEENY phone from CRAPPLE

  • Mike

    It doesn’t matter bout the $0 contract price. It matters on a discount on the Outright price. All phones could be $0 on a 3 year contract, that doesn’t its on a discount. A real discount is a decrease in price of the outright full purchase price without a contract.

  • ALL IPHONES ARE OVER PRICED FISHER PRICE CALCULATORS

    ALL IPHONES ARE OVER PRICED FISHER PRICE CALCULATORS AND ARE VERY OUTDATED

  • EvanK

    And knowing the people that buy iPhones, they’d still rather pay $0 for it on a three year than buying it outright for $150.

  • Cyrano

    cheaper iphone?
    oh the iphone 3gs right?

  • gjeff12

    I’m sorry, but it would have to be pretty sh*tty if they were going to sell it for about half as much as an ipod. Who would buy an ipod if you could get an iphone for $100 less?

  • zeake

    Guys there was a typo. They meant to say $1,490.

  • Sweatshop Chinese workers

    I guess the chinese workers who make them won’t even get the peanuts Apple is currently paying them for their $ 800 phones , but these workers will now have to pay Apple to make their $ 149.99 phones..lol.