The Cheap iPhone Might Be Really Cheap

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That resuscitated rumor about an affordable Apple iPhone now has a price attached to it: $99 to $149, sources tell Bloomberg's Olga Kharif and Adam Satarian. With more outlets picking up this familiar suggestion, maybe this thing really can get built with cheap enough parts to meet demand here and, more importantly, abroad.

Bloomberg's sources mirror Tuesday's report in the Wall Street Journal, citing "less-expensive components" and competition from Google's Android platform, but they also told Kharif and Satarian that Apple has talked with at least one major U.S. wireless carrier about the plan — and that "Apple was also considering a more versatile version that would work on multiple wireless networks."

A $99 iPhone sounds nice to just about everyone, of course, but the move would make sense for Apple, especially as it moves overseas to markets like China and India, where it can't compete with lower-priced devices. The Apple phones have "sold out" in both those countries since their debut. But in India that comes out to 10,000-15,000 units in 24 hours, and 200,000 in about two months, sources told the Journal's Dhanya Ann Thoppil and Rumman Ahmed. That's a very teeny tiny number compared to the 10 million Galaxy devices Samsung has sold in the country. Apple is getting crushed. With something cheaper, however, Apple could have a chance in these markets.  A big chance.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.