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Does The iPhone Sales Mix Point The Way To A Cheaper Model?

Apple's quarterly financial call is due later this week and may provide an interesting guide to Apple's plan for the next iPhone refresh.

Sales performance source, CIRP, is suggesting that the mix of iPhone sales is strongly trending cheaper. Whereas the iPhone 4S made up 73% of iPhone sales a year ago, it's likely that the iPhone 5 will only command around 50%. The shortfall being made up of the now budget option 4S and 4 models.

Whether this change reflects increased take up of the iPhone at the cheaper end of the market or poor performance by the 5 at the top end is immaterial. If the mix is weakening Apple needs to respond with a low end phone.

Whilst the 4 and 4S have no doubt amortised their design and production costs there is also no doubting that they aren't what Apple would have come up with if it were looking at producing an entry level phone.

My guess is that Apple will announce that the 5 is a much lower proportion of iPhone sales than previous flagships and, when the time comes later this year, they will announce a new flagship phone - 5S or 6 - make the 5 a mid tier phone and introduce a lower spec iPhone at the same time.

What the new device will look like I can't begin to guess, but I'd say it will probably pack the 4S internals into a new shell with a 4" screen.


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