Rumours of a budget iPhone launching this year from Apple have been given a significant boost today, with Apple’s manufacturing partner Pegatron announcing that it will increase its number of workers by 40% in the second half of the year.
It has lead many analysts to believe that Pegatron (which makes many iOS devices for Apple), will be the lead manufacturing partner for a cheaper iPhone, aimed at courting customers in emerging markets such as India and China.
Adding further fuel to the fire, Pegatron’s chief financial officer Charles Lin revealed that the company expect 60% of its revenue for 2013 to come during the second half of the year, with 40% of that figure made up revenue made from the manufacture of communications products. Communications products like a cheap iPhone, perhaps?
Another factor pointing to Pegatron’s work on the budget iPhone is falling demand for the iPad Mini, an Apple device they manufacture. It’s lead to a decrease in second quarter revenue as production has slowed, with Apple seemingly turning their attention to the next wave of devices.
Indeed, Apple CEO Tim Cook has himself teased that the company will be introducing “exciting new product categories” from the Autumn through to 2014. And though a budget iPhone wouldn’t constitute a brand new product category for the company, it would be a new venture for a company that deals primarily in premium products. Morgan Stanley analysts have even stated that a budget iPhone could increase Apple’s lucrative Chinese market share from 10% to 30%. And even if the cannibalisation of premium iPhone devices is a factor, the increased traffic to the iTunes and App Store could make up the difference.