The Apple iPhone 5 (or 4S) may not have made an appearance at WWDC 2011 but it hasn’t stopped people talking and speculating about this iconic device. Although we felt the odds were very low for the next iPhone being announced on Monday, we know that many of you were disappointed. However all the signs for the next iPhone suggest a release in September and we want to turn our attention to the iPhone 5 price and how much it will be and ask if in fact it may be lower than the previous iPhone.
If you want to catch up a bit with recent news and rumors about the iPhone 5 we recently published a rumor roundup so hit the link for more and yesterday we told more about the improved camera expected to come to the next iPhone. There is still some confusion about whether the next-generation iPhone will be called the iPhone 5 or the iPhone 4S but for reasons of continuity for now we’ll call it the iPhone 5. After the announcements that were made by Steve Jobs in the Apple keynote speech on Monday, it’s made us think about the current pattern of Apple pricing and the signs are that Apple will try to keep the iPhone 5 price extremely competitive as Apple appear to be making an effort to keep prices more reasonable.
The last round of Apple products, the MacBook Pro refresh, the iMac refresh and the iPad 2, were all released with similar or the same pricing to the previous models. Although we’re expecting a lot of upgrades and improvements to the iPhone 5, to keep up with other upcoming impressive smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S2 and the HTC Sensation, so far from Apple this year we’ve seen that improvements don’t necessarily need to add to the cost of the new product.
Back in January when we all still thought that the iPhone 5 would be making a June appearance, OSM’s Tim Ollason asked how much readers would be willing to pay for the iPhone 5 and gave a comprehensive history of iPhone pricing so far. The iPhone 4 was $199 or $299 at a subsidized price for 16GB or 32GB models respectively. Unsubsidized the prices were $499 and $599. We think it’s likely then, given Apple’s recent efforts to keep prices lower, that the iPhone 5 will be the same price on release as the iPhone 4 was (although it has recently been cut). In fact Apple could surprise us further by making prices at least $50 cheaper.
Bear in mind here that the new Mac OS X Lion that was announced on Monday will have a price of only $29.99, and also Apple’s iCloud was unveiled and will be completely free so this also shows that Apple is trying to shed it’s reputation for high-priced products. We’d like to hear your thoughts on this. Do you think Apple can offer enough improved specs and features for the iPhone 5 and still manage to keep pricing roughly the same? Maybe you think that Apple might go one better and actually reduce the price of the next iPhone? Let us know with your comments.