According to the The Wall Street Journal, which is practically an unpaid Apple press office, production of the new iPhone will begin sometime in the second quarter. Don’t expect a major overhaul though – the new iPhone is supposedly just an incremental upgrade of the iPhone 5. This means quite a few Apple fanboys could be disappointed and they could legions of Samsung fans who are still moaning about the “underwhelming” Galaxy S4.
The more interesting part of the story is an unnamed, cheaper version of the iPhone aimed at emerging markets. There has been a lot of talk of a less expensive iPhone dating back to 2010, but the rumours never panned out. This time around things might be different. The reports are coming from reputable sources and an iPhone designed with emerging economies in mind makes more sense than ever.
The timing also makes sense. Rather than introducing two all new designs at once, it makes more sense for Apple to introduce a new low-cost iPhone along with a revamped iPhone 5. Next year it could roll out a replacement for the 5, while at the same time refreshing the cheaper model without changing the basic design.
The “cheap” iPhone is the one to look out for this year, provided it exists at all. The only trouble for Apple is that it has to live up to unrealistically high expectations, much like Samsung with its S4. One would expect tech enthusiasts to be realistic, rational, well informed and intelligent. However, judging by the wild expectations surrounding every flagship phone launch, er, they aren’t.
Smartphone fans (and even some analysts) are starting to sound like spoiled brats who expect their new phones to cure cancer and come equipped with lasers and X-ray vision as standard. They tend to forget that flagship smartphones have about $200 worth of components in them and that they don’t do magic tricks. I wonder what the “disappointed” fanboys could botch together with $200 of electronics in their garage, and how a bunch of Foxconn workers would review their contraptions.