The $99 iPhone - To Be or Not To Be

SUREN on December 11, 2008

 The rumor mills have been on overdrive about a possible low-end iPhone sold through WalMart for Christmas this year. Priced at $99, the claim is that Apple is planning to reintroduce the 4 GB model to try an capture a whole new segment of value shoppers during the holiday season.

BoyGenius, who broke the story, writes:

We just got a tip that in addition to the iPhone 3G actually making its way to Walmart, as we exclusively told you, there will be a 4GB model priced at $99 with a 2-year agreement. We're not putting our stamp of approval behind this one just yet as the tipster isn't listed in our Guide to respected Ninjas handbook, but it does make you think, doesn't it?

Certainly does make you think about what Apple and Jobs must be thinking. Personally, I think the iPhone still has that premium feel to it. However, clones are coming up all over the place and the iPhone is still coming out tops in match-ups. A $99 smartphone would be a pre-emptive strike that would shake the fundamentals justifying the R&D investments that Apple's competitors are making. Or, perhaps, Steve really believes that getting an iPhone into the hands of every single person that craves one is the goal, and what is lost in immediate profits can be made up in subscription revenue sharing.

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