Strategy Analytics' Neil Mawston reckons Apple will launch a mini mobile in 2014 to combat Samsung. The Korean company has fingers in many mobile pies, whereas Apple is tied to the top end of the market. Apple will look to change that with a smaller, more wallet-friendly device, Mawston reckons.
"We believe Apple will have to launch an 'iPhone Mini' at some point over the next three years to address the hundreds of millions of prepaid users worldwide that cannot afford the current iPhone," Mawston told our US colleagues. "The iPhone 5 is growing fast and profitably right now, so there is limited incentive for Apple to launch a profit-squeezing 'iPhone Mini' this year.
"We expect the 'iPhone Mini' to be more likely next year, in 2014, when Apple's penetration of the global postpaid smartphone market will be nearing saturation and Apple will be forced to discover fresh growth streams elsewhere."
Does Apple really need to launch an iPhone mini? Mawston reckons so. He predicts Samsung will have a third of global smart phone sales this year, up from 31 per cent last year. Apple will only manage 21 per cent, up from 20 per cent in 2012, Mawston thinks. Hence, Apple will need to start to cash in on the budget end of the market.
Don't fret though if you're worried there'll be no new iPhone this year -- some say an iPhone 5S is on the way sooner rather than later.
Would Apple launch an iPhone mini? The iPad mini is looking to see off competition from cheaper tablets, so I could see Apple doing the same with a phone. How much should it cost? And are you with me on the lower case 'm'? Let me know in the comments, or on Facebook.