Cheaper iPhone models might arrive as soon as Monday

One of the more talked about Apple stories, as of late, has been what kind of price cuts the iPhone might see in the coming weeks. With Apple likely to introduce iPhone models with 16GB and 32GB of storage at the upcoming WWDC, many have speculated that Apple might try and make the iPhone more affordable by selling 4GB and 8GB models at lower price points. Also, reports a few weeks ago suggested that AT&T might lower the standard monthly data plan for the iPhone by $10, which would make the monthly cost of ownership $60 as opposed to $70. Throwing its hat into the ring, the Financial Times reported early Friday morning that we might see cheaper iPhones available for sale as soon as this Monday, the same day Apple's WWDC kicks off.

"Apple plans to introduce a cheaper version of its popular iPhone as soon as Monday, in a move that could dramatically increase the company’s share of the market for web-surfing devices, people familiar with the initiative said on Thursday."

As I see it, lower priced iPhones are inevitable, the only question is when it's actually going to happen. The fact of the matter is that the iPhone's high priced entry point simply makes it un-affordable for a vast number of otherwise interested consumers. And in today's tough economic climate, spending $70 a month on top of a $199 device just isn't as feasible as it was even a year ago. It's worth pointing out that Apple's success with the iPod never truly materialized until it released the cheaper iPod Mini nearly 2 years after the original iPod was released in 2001. Apple isn't stupid, and they definitely seem intent on using the success of the iPod as the blueprint for similar success with the iPhone. With that in mind, a cheaper iPhone with less storage, and perhaps Edge network access, seems like a quesiton of 'when', and not 'if.' The iPod has owned the MP3 player market for years with an almost 90% marketshare. As it stands now, the iPhone has about a 10% marketshare, and if Apple wants to increase that to iPod like levels, cheaper models might be right around the corner. The iPhone has sold incredibly well as is, but if the report in the Financial Times is accurate, we ain't seen nothing yet.

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