iPhone 5 Affordable Options: Three Different Pricing Levels

We’ve known for some time now that Apple’s iPhone handset has been hugely popular and the interest just keeps on growing, with rumors of the next generation coming in September. With just mock-ups of the device to go by and speculation as to its specs, name change and so on, all we can do is patiently wait for the outcome.

One topic of discussion is of course how much the handset will cost? The Android market is getting inundated with new and forthcoming phones and its a job to know whether Apple will do enough to sustain their top position. Up until now, the iPhone to some is less than affordable, so have we got the slightest inkling as to what it will retail for?

Not a concrete price, but the guys over at Beatweek.com have given us possible news that the new iPhone 5 will be based around a trio of pricing levels. This comes as competition has been looked at with Android offering free handsets, as well as Steve Jobs and his company realising that the next iPhone has to be affordable for a larger consumer audience. This as beatweek reported could be as little as $99 which could contribute to a shift in the iPhone 4’s price or even Apple doing away with the current device.

Interestingly to enable Apple to have three structured pricing levels, they would ideally need to introduce three varying gigabyte models, be it 16, 32 and the bigger 64 retailing for say $99, $199 or at the top end $299.

The feeling of a cheaper iPhone seems to be across the board, with AppleInsider backing the idea of a phone appealing to more customers. According to analysts, the iPhone 3GS will serve as a “low-end” handset, with one suggesting that an iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 are on their way with a possible stand-alone price of $349. Others on the flipside to this, have argued with FBR Capital Markets analyst Craig Berger saying that a “low-price iPhone” is unlikely, and that there is “no near-term plans for a low-end iPhone for emerging markets, or a new iPhone in a transparent case.”

What are your thoughts on this? Are you waiting for the iPhone 5’s arrival? What realistic price should Apple be selling the iPhone 5 for?